At Trinity, music is a cornerstone of worship. St. Augustine, an early Church father, once said “He who sings prays twice.” Trinity’s congregation likes to sing! We use two hymnals during the worship, the 1982 Hymnal and Lift Every Voice and Sing. We often supplement these hymnals with music from other sources, both religious and secular. You will hear old favorites, spirituals, contemporary, praise and even hip-hip, on occasion, during our service. The Trinity Choir helps to enrich our worship from early September through Trinity Sunday each year. In addition we have many instrumentalists and special events throughout the year.
Music During the Service
At Trinity, the congregation sings parts of the service each Sunday as well. The music each week is usually tied to the Lectionary for the day: you will often recognize themes of the Lessons or Gospel in the hymns. Our service begins with an opening hymn, and following the Collect for Purity, we sing a song of glory to God which may come from oneof the hymnbooks, or from the service music found at the beginning of the 1982 Hymnal (the “S”-numbered references) or from the service music found at the back of Lift Every Voice and Sing.
In between the Old Testament Lesson and the New Testament Lesson comes the Psalm. We “chant“ the Psalm: that is to say, we sing the words of the Psalm to a simple set of chords that repeat at regular intervals throughout. We also sing a refrain appropriate to the church season before and at the end of the Psalm, and sometimes at intervals, also throughout. The choir uses a cantor, an individual who leads the Psalm and directs the congregation in the chant.
After the New Testament Lesson, we sing a hymn called a “sequence hymn” as the priest moves into the midst of the congregation for the reading of the Gospel.
Following The Peace which concludes the Word of God, the choir or special musicians sing an Offertory during which time Ushers collect the congregation’s gifts and tithes. As those gifts are brought up to the Altar, the congregation and the choir sing what is often known as a doxology, which can change periodically. Many people are familiar with “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him ye creatures here below, Praise Him above Ye Heavenly Host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost”.
Singing continues throughout the The Holy Communion. Trinity often uses a South African musical setting for this portion of the service: the hymn of praise after the Preface for each Sunday , the Mystery of Faith, and the Lord’s Prayer may use similar tunes sung in a “call and response” format , harmonic and haunting. Other settings may be used as well. When all have received the Eucharist or a blessing, the congregation sings a hymn reflective of the nature of the Eucharist prior to giving thanks for that in prayer.
The music winds down, with the singing of a “Recessional” hymn as the congregation prepares to leave. And as the altar candles are snuffed out, we sing a contemporary version of God Be With You, the last hymn in Lift Every Voice and Sing: “ God be with you, God be with you, God be with you , until we meet again”.
Music that is unique to the service and not readily found in hymnals is included in the service leaflet.
The choir can always use more voices! If you can carry a tune, the choir will welcome you with open arms. Let Dr. Hyoung Huh,, our Musical Minister, know if you’d like to try making a joyful noise with the choir, or if you have other musical gifts we can weave into our service.