Sung Communion at Central

The following article by our Minister appeared in the circuit newsletter, we thought we’d share it here as well:

We have developed over the last few years at Central a style which makesĀ full use of the rubric of the Methodist Worship Book in the Holy CommunionĀ Ordinary 2 Service where it says ā€œ musical settings other than thoseĀ printed may be usedā€ p198 MWB. At Central we often use the David ThorneĀ St Thomas Mass setting for Holy Communion Services with a sung kyrie, Gloria,Ā Sanctus & Benedictus, Acclamation and Agnus Dei. We also often useĀ the items in the ā€œliturgical settingsā€ of Singing the Faith which have a varietyĀ of kyries, glorias, prayers settings and other short songs which can easily beĀ used as sung response for prayers.
This style may be unfamiliar to many Methodists. The Book of Offices 1936Ā made provision for the Gloria ā€œto be sung or saidā€- note the order of theĀ wording, with sung been cited first as if it was the preferred option. SettingsĀ for sung responses to the Commandments were offered in the back of MHB.
Some Methodist Churches sang Morning Prayer each week with sung Benedictus,Ā Te Deum and the appointed psalm and other churches sang the canticlesĀ and psalms to chants from the authorized hymn book or from otherĀ sources. Technically the Order of Morning Prayer was not part of the BookĀ of Offices but the service was printed with it! This oddity illuminates ourĀ inter-twined nature with the Church of England as ā€œmotherā€ where singingĀ such offices was the norm at that time. Using the authorized liturgy and additionalĀ material has always been part of the rich mix of Methodist worship.
So why not give it a go sometime? You could try something different at yourĀ church which might enrich the worship or you could join us at Central sometime and discover what we do. Methodist worship does not have to beĀ boring or monochrome! It is possible to engage the whole congregation inĀ participation other than speaking. Methodism was born in song after all.
Following on from Stainerā€™s Crucifixion being sung as part of worship onĀ Palm Sunday we will have a different form of service with musical input ledĀ by John Bradbury and some choristers on Sunday 19 June in the evening.
We hope that something a bit different from the five hymn sandwich mightĀ be part of what we offer on a quarterly basis.

Christopher Humble