Sunday, October 26, is Celebration Sunday, the day when we bring our gifts and give back to God in response to how we have been blessed. In today’s liturgies, we will place our estimate of giving cards in boxes as we approach the altar to receive Communion. God is never more present to us than in the bread and wine of Holy Communion, and the word “Eucharist” itself means “Thanksgiving.” It is, indeed, most appropriate that we offer our gifts to God at this most sacred moment, and we encourage those with families to lay their cards before God together.
For these fall weeks in late Pentecost season, we have been singing the words, “All things come of thee, O Lord,” as our hymn at the Offertory presentation. This new setting by Jeffrey Smith uses the exact text from the old chant that many will remember from The Hymnal 1940. This chant is actually from Smith’s Mass in E, which contains other service music that we will learn in the coming months. Smith took one musical idea and developed it into the various parts of liturgical music (Gloria, Sanctus, et. al.), which makes the mass setting wonderfully easy to sing. The choir sings the text, “Present yourselves as a living sacrifice,” between the sung congregational refrains; be sure to read the full text that they sing, which is also printed in the service leaflet.