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The Story of Creation and Redemption: A Hymn Festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan

This hymn festival took place at Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids, MI on October 20, 2013.

The congregations of  Calvin CRC and Woodlawn CRC in Grand Rapids, MI worshiped with a hymn festival featuring the new hymnal Lift Up Your Hearts. The festival encouraged singing the whole story of God and God’s people through vibrant congregational song.  The theme for this hymn festival was Singing the Whole Story: On Freedom's Shore.

The Hymn Festival was held on Sunday, October 20 at 5:00 PM at Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids, MI.


The Story of Creation and Redemption

The Prelude: Preludes on “From All That Dwell below the Skies” (570)—Flor Peeters; David Cherwien

Choral Introit: Jesus Christ Is with Us                                      LUYH 600

The Call to Worship: Psalm 96:1-4

The Opening Prayer:

         O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship; we join the heavenly chorus to offer to you our songs of praise.  We thank you for your servants who offer their gifts of music to the church and who assist us in singing your praises from day to day and forevermore; through Christ our Lord, Amen

*The Opening Hymn: From All That Dwell below the Skies     LUYH 570

*The Greeting

The Welcome

Old Testament Life & Witness

Hymn: The First Place                                                              LUYH 15

Reading: Jesus: Image of the Invisible God (16: Colossians 1:12-18)

*Hymn: How Lovely, Lord, How Lovely                                      LUYH 46

Advent Expectation 

Prayer of Advent Expectation:

        Leader:   Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
                       we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
                       through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
                       When he humbled himself to come among us as a man,
                       he fulfilled the plan you formed long ago
                       and opened for us the way to salvation.

                       Now we watch for the day,
                       hoping that the salvation promised us will be ours
                       when Christ our Lord will come again in his glory.

         All:         Amen.

Hymn: My Soul in Stillness Waits                                              LUYH 63

Christ’s Life

*A Declaration of Faith from the Belgic Confession, Article 10

         All:     We believe that Jesus Christ,
                   according to his divine nature,
                   is the only Son of God--
                   eternally begotten,
                   not made nor created,
                   for then he would be a creature.

                   He is one in essence with the Father; coeternal;
                   the exact image of the person of the Father
                   and the "reflection of his glory,"
                   being in all things like him.

                   He is the Son of God
                   not only from the time he assumed our nature
                   but from all eternity.

*Hymn: From a Distant Home                                                  LUYH 106 

Christ’s Passion & Exaltation

A Declaration of Faith from the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 15

 Leader: What do you understand by the word “suffered”?

 All:         That during his whole life on earth,
               but especially at the end,
               Christ sustained
               in body and soul
               the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race.
               This he did in order that,
               by his suffering as the only atoning sacrifice,
               he might deliver us, body and soul,
               from eternal condemnation,
               and gain for us
               God’s grace, righteousness, and eternal life.

Hymn: Oh, to See the Dawn                                                   LUYH 177

A Prayer of Easter Expectation                                              LUYH 180

*Hymn: Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia                                          LUYH 188

A Reading from The Iona Community, “The Savior Leaves”

         Leader:   Forsaking chariots of fire
                        and fanfared brass,
                        as strangely silent as he came,
                        the Savior leaves
                        and God, with heaven's caress,
                        the Son receives.

                        He has to go, as from the grave
                        he had to rise:
                        in order to be everywhere
                        he must depart
                        to live, not in one place,
                        but in each heart.

                        So, Christ ascends; air cradles him,
                        disciples stare.
                        Their Easter joy, his seven weeks' stay
                        seem now to end.
                        But no! The Spirit's sending
                        they portend.

                        Let angel harmonies resound;
                        let trumpets blare;
                        let heaven's banquet guests applaud
                        the welcomed Word,
                        and earth anticipate
                        her coming Lord.

Anthem: Christus Paradox
      Text: Sylvia Dunstan 1991; Music: France, 17th century;
            Setting: Alfred Fedak, 2000
(Text and music found in LUYH 225: You, Lord, Are Both Lamb and Shepherd) 

Joining in the Spirit’s Work 

*Hymn: Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation                          LUYH 250

*Affirmation: The Church Universal                                        LUYH 253

The Offertory Prayer

The Offertory: Variations on “Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation” (250)—David N. Johnson

Hymn: Salaam/Peace                                                            LUYH 298

                                                          Text & Music: Manal Samir, 2002
Stanzas 1-3: All

Affirmation: Joining the Mission of God                                 LUYH 263

Trusting in the Triune God 

Hymn: Give Me Jesus                                                           LUYH 423

                                               Text & Music: African American spiritual
       Stanza 1: Choir
       Stanzas 2-4 All

Hope for Things to Come

*Hymn: In the Day of the Lord                                               LUYH 485

                                                          Text & Music: M. D. Ridge, 1992
       Refrain: Choir
       Repeat Refrain: All (remaining refrains to be sung by All)
       Stanza 1: Choir
       Stanza 2: All
       Stanza 3: All Women
       Stanza 5: All Men
       Stanza 6: All

*A New Heaven and Earth                                                      LUYH 486

*Hymn: Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending                      LUYH 479

*The Benediction

*The Postlude: Toccata on “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow” (965)
—Michael Burkhardt

Liturgist: Rev. Douglas MacLeod
Ministry of Music: Woodlawn CRC Choir and Calvin Church Sanctuary Choir Choir Director: Roy Hopp
Organist: Kenneth Bos