Walking with God through the Day - A Hymn Festival Based on the Apostle's Creed
This hymn festival service plan is built around the historic Apostles' Creed. The articles from the Creed are woven into the structure of the service, so the service becomes a profession of trust and expression of thanks.
Theme of the Service
This service is built around the professions of the historic Apostles' Creed. The articles of profession from the Creed are woven into the entire structure of the service. This service, therefore, becomes a profession of trust and expression of thanks for the grace of the Triune God.
As originally designed this service was entitled "Walking with God through the Day" and expressed how Christians draw on their faith at the beginning, middle, and end of the day.
WE BEGIN THE DAY WITH PRAISE
Prelude: "Daystar," Buckwalter [handbells] or Behnke [organ]
"Morning Has Broken," Page [handbells], Haan [organ], or Sanborn [piano]
*Processional Hymn: "How Good It Is to Thank the Lord" PsH 92, TH 635
st. 1 - all in unison
st. 2 - all in harmony
st. 3 - all in unison
*God's Greeting and Congregational Amen!
A Reading Based on Psalm 150 (see
Anthem: "Sing to the Glory of God," O'Brien
(The choir will sing the refrain the first time; all will join the choir on the refrains thereafter.)
*Song: "Cantemos al Señor/O Sing to God Above" SNC 40, WOV 726
(Please sing in Spanish on the refrain; sing in English or Spanish on the verses.)
WE WALK WITH GOD THROUGH THE DAY
Walking with God involves a pattern of living that encourages loving God with our heart, soul,
strength, and mind. A healthy walk includes knowing who God is and remembering how God has
loved his people throughout history. We need sensitive spirits and listening hearts to embrace
God's revelation to us.
Anthem: "Do You Know Your Shepherd's Voice?," Lord
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
A Reading Based on Psalm 33 (see
Song of Thanks: "Many and Great" SNC 83, SFL 94
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
Anthem: "Tell Me More," Hinnant
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
A Reading Based on Psalm 22 (see
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
*Song of Adoration: "What Wondrous Love" PH 85, PsH 379, RN 277, TH 261, TWC 212, UMH 292
The Prayers of the People
While our walk with God involves remembering and retelling his story, we also have the
responsibility and privilege of living as God's loved people in this world. We trust that God,
through the work of the Holy Spirit, is now working in and through us and we try to live in ways
faithful to that calling.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints.
Song: "Spirit Divine, Inspire our Prayer" PsH 421, SFL 185
A Reading Based on Psalm 122 (see
Anthem: "We Are Children of Our God," Jothen
I believe in the forgiveness of sins.
Song: "Lord, I Pray" PsH 268, SFL 37
st. 1-2 - all in unison
st. 3 - in canon: lower voices begin, treble voices follow after two measures
I believe in the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
A Reading Based on Psalm 103 (see
*Song: "I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light" RN 152, SNC 77, TWC 539, UMH 206, WOV 649
st. 1 - treble voices; all in harmony on refrain
st. 2 - lower voices; all in harmony on refrain
st. 3 - all in harmony
(During this song the offering is received.)
WE CLOSE THE DAY WITH GOD
An Evening Prayer Based on Psalm 19 (see
Parting Blessing: "May the Lord Bless You," Hunnicutt
or "May the Lord Bless You" SFL 80
*The Benediction and Congregational Amen!
*Recessional Hymn: "The Day You Gave Us, Lord, Is Ended" PH 546, PsH 318, RL 516, TH 407, UMH 690
st. 1 - all in unison
st. 2 - treble voices in unison
st. 3 - all in harmony, a capella
st. 4 - all in unison
Postlude: "The Day You Gave Us, Lord, Is Ended," Burkhardt [organ] or Wilson [handbells]
* you are invited to stand
This service was originally designed to be a hymn festival for the meeting of the Hymn Society of America in July 1998. We believe it is worthy of reproduction here for your consideration. In its original form as a hymn festival it was not a preaching service.
If you desire to make it a preaching service, one of two methods may be considered. Either a sermon may be inserted at an appropriate point in the service and focus on one of the articles of the Creed, or the life of faith lived before God, or the character of this God who walks with us through our days. Or a series of brief messages may be inserted in connection with each major profession of the Apostles' Creed as they are set forth in this service.
Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations:
PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for LiFE (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church,
Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America; Great
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)
- The choral music for this service was originally given by a children's choir. Some of the anthems were adapted for the children from SATB anthems. It would also be possible to adapt the children's anthems for adult voices-either mixed voices or treble voices alone.
- The prelude suggestions reflect the theme of starting the day with God.
- "When Morning Gilds the Sky" (LAUDES DOMINI) is set for 3-5 octaves handbell choir in "Daystar" by Karen Buckwalter, published by Flammer HP-5190  (M). This tune is also set for organ in "O Worship the King" by Raymond H. Haan, published by Broadman 4570-42  (E-M).
- "Morning Has Broken" (BUNESSAN) can be found as a partita for organ by John Behnke titled "Praise and Thanksgiving," published by Concordia 97-7014 . This melody is also set for 3-5 octaves handbells by Anna Laura Page, published by Jeffers JH S9190  (M). If you prefer a piano setting, Jan Sanborn has a fine arrangement in "Piano Music for the Care of the Soul," published by Ron Harris RHP0403  (M).
- The anthem "Sing to the Glory of God" by Francis Patrick O'Brien is arranged for SATB voices and is published by GIA G-3773  (E-M).
- "Do You Know Your Shepherd's Voice?" by Suzanne Lord is a two-part anthem published by Choristers Guild CGA673 , very effective with children's voices.
- The unison/two-part anthem "Tell Me More" by Henry Hinnant is also published by Choristers Guild CGA 699  (E-M).
- Michael Jothen's "We Are Children of Our God" is a unison/two-part anthem published by Choristers Guild CGA731 . The refrain of this anthem can also be sung congregationally.
- The SATB anthem "May the Lord Bless You" by Judy Hunnicutt is published by Lorenz S349  (E). A portion of this anthem is published in the children's hymnal Songs for LiFE (80).
- Both postlude suggestions convey the quiet of the close of a day. "Reflection on 'St. Clement' " by Malcolm C. Wilson is arranged for 3-5 octaves handbell choir and published by Jeffers Handbell Supply JH A9230  (L.3). The organ arrangement of this same melody by Michael Burkhardt is found in "Seven Hymn Improvisations and Free Accompaniments," set 1, published by Morningstar MSM-10-847  (E).
- Since this service intends for our worship and our hearts to be shaped by our professions from the Apostles' Creed, we suggest that each of the professions in bold print be read in unison by the congregation.
- The service includes five readings from Psalms, in addition to an evening prayer from Psalm 19. These may be selections from the passage rather than the entire passage. We suggest that lay persons lead in each of these, a different person for each reading. You may want to consider reading these passages from The Message by Eugene Peterson, Psalms Now by Leslie Brandt, or Psalms for Teens by Eldon Weisheit.
- Transitional narratives are important in this service so that worshipers will identify the movement through the day represented in this service. We have included scripts for these narratives only as suggestions. You may wish to craft your own.
- For a service such as this, it is ideal for multiple musical groups to be involved. Be careful to provide space for them, and make arrangements so that movements do not disrupt the flow of the service.
- This service illustrates flow and integration. It may and should be a service that progresses unannounced, without verbal transitions except for the narratives that are indicated.