These servant leaders wear cassocks

As they say, I am constantly preaching to the choir. I try not to, but I tend to get excited about what I do and what we’re doing.

One of my beloved mentors always said, “Remember that they come to choir rehearsal to sing and to not hear you talk.” Bless my heart.

When you sing in a church choir, you take on the mantle of a servant leader. The choir serves as one corporate servant leader in the service, leading the hymns and service music, Psalm for the day and spoken parts of the liturgy (creed, prayers, etc.). And because of our selections this fall, the cantor (a member of the choir) leads the sung Psalm and Fraction Anthem at the Breaking of the Bread.

We also preach these same things to our children’s choirs at Holy Communion, which is why the Royal School of Church Music choral training system, Voice for Life, is so perfect for Episcopal parishes. Our children need to understand that they take on specific leadership roles when they sing for the liturgy. I am constantly grateful that Dr. Koziel backs me up on this.

Having said all of the above, because we all love the liturgy - and choir members love singing in the choir - each of has our favorite hymns and anthems. Indeed, I love hearing from parishioners about their favorites …

…which is one of the reasons we publish a Service Music List each choir season.

The 2018-19 Service Music List (PDF version) is now available for viewing and downloading from the music page on the parish website (; pull down from Worship to the Music page, and the scroll down slightly to click on the link).

Copies of the booklet are also available in the narthex and in the rack by the elevator. 

Many choir members right-click on the link to save electronic copies to their devices. Besides all service music for the choir season, the booklet lists the big music events, choral evensongs and rehearsal schedules.

The beautiful cover this year is an icon of St. Thomas the Apostle, patron saint of construction workers. (Cute, yes?) Our friends at the Orthodox Church in America headquarters in Boston granted us kind permission to use this icon, as they have done on previous occasions with other saints. 

Use your personal copy of The Hymnal 1982 at home (every Episcopal home should have one, along with the Book of Common Prayer) with the Service Music List. You can look up when we are singing your favorite hymn. And we will see you in church!

Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at 09:24