Friday, November 2, 2012

Reformation Sunday

This Sunday, many of us will be celebrating the Lutheran Reformation. We praise and thank God for the work he did through his servant, Martin Luther. Reformation is a festival filled with special focuses that bring about special music. Martin Luther wrote, “Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through Music.”

I am privileged and honored to serve as a church musician on a weekly basis.  Luther worked hard throughout his life to develop the lost practice of congregational singing during the Service. To this very day we sing many of those sturdy, Lutheran hymns - full of Law and Gospel - written and sung by our forebears in the faith.  In this context, leading God’s people in song is an important role, whether there are 50 or 500 people sitting in the pews. St. Matthew tells us, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Resources vary from congregation to congregation but it is important to use the gifts God has given us to their full potential when they are present! Consider getting a brass group together for a hymn, or a quartet to sing a few selections during the Distribution of the Sacrament. It does not have to be a big production but something different can go a long way. I live by the philosophy that every Sunday should be treated as a “small Easter”. Yes, we do have our more solemn times during the church year. However, the congregation has called musicians to give it their best each Sunday. Out of thankfulness to God we do this! Indeed, A Mighty Fortress is Our God.

Blessings to all as you enjoy the gifts that God has given us during this special time of the church year.

About the Author

My name is David Porth and I currently live in New Ulm, MN. My hometown is Jackson, WI which is located about 30 miles north of Milwaukee. All my life I have adored the music of the Lutheran Church. At the present I am in my Junior Year at Martin Luther College in New Ulm and am pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Music.  My goal is to be a Lutheran Elementary School teacher as well as Music Director for the congregation. Upon graduation from MLC I plan to attend Concordia University – Wisconsin to obtain a Master’s in Church Music Degree with an Organ Emphasis. I have been privileged to play in WELS congregations as far as Eagle River, Alaska and all the way to Long Valley, New Jersey. The organ bench is my favorite place to be and I plan to be praising God in this way as long as I am able.

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