All posts in "Holidays"

A Call to Worship for Independence Day


We came from all places and all peoples to gather here today. Some of us traveled across the ice, others came later in boats, still others of us waded rivers or arrived in planes. We found a land blessed. Blessed with mountains and valleys, rivers and oceans, fertile earth, wonderful woods, and promising cities. Here, A dream was born. A dream of freedom from all oppression, A dream of hope for our children, A dream of people in community under God. We have turned to nations and peoples who gave us birth: Send us the voiceless. Send us the fearful. Send us the oppressed. And so the dream continues… And so the dream of America continues… God, help us to do your work until your dreams come true… ~~~ A 21st Century Worship Resource The Rev. Nathan Decker Courtesy of GBOD.org  


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Hymn for Memorial Day


Here’s a musical setting for the classic poem “In Flander’s Fields” by John MaCrae, which lyrics are below. According to the site: Paul Fussell writes in The Great War and Modern Memory, ‘Each image accurately triggers off its expected emotional response:  We have the red flowers of traditional pastoral elegy — which go back to Milton (and beyond); the crosses which suggest the idea of Calvary and sacrifice; the sky as seen from a trench; the larks singing in the midst of the horrors and terrors of man’s greatest folly; the constrast between the song of the larks and the voice of the guns; the special significance of dawn and sunset with the anticpated echoses of Gray’s Elegy; the conception of soldiers as lovers; and the antithesis drawn between beds and graves.” Let’s not forget also that “greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. Free downloads for both medium high voice and low voice.    


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Attn: Chicago music lovers


This is a marvelous way to commemorate Holy Week: On Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at the mid-point in Holy Week, Soli Deo Gloria will launch the Chicago Bach Project with Johann Sebastian Bach’s brilliant and profoundly moving St. Matthew Passion. SDG’s Artistic Director, John Nelson, will conduct a distinguished roster of soloists, the Chicago Bach Choir & Orchestra, and Anima – Young Singers of Greater Chicago in this “Great Passion,” as the St. Matthew is known. Get tickets here.    


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Free Easter song downloads from Keith & Kristin Getty


Irish songsters Keith and Kristin Getty (In Christ Alone, The Power of the Cross) are offering free downloads in time for Passion Week rehearsals. These are terrific songs that can be adapted easily for your group or team, regardless of size or ability: ++++ The Power of the Cross Recorded by both Heather Headley and Kristyn Getty, this hymn takes us from Gethsemene to Calvary, reminding us what it meant for Christ to suffer. Download FREE MP3 | Download FREE PDF +++ Come, People of the Risen King An up-tempo call to worship, perfect for your band on Easter Sunday. Download FREE MP3 | Download FREE PDF From Keith & Kristin:  “These PDFs are freely copyable for churches with a CCLI license. Please forward to your worship team and volunteers so that they can download the MP3s also.” Consider bookmarking their site – www.gettymusic.com –  as a reliable resource for planning.


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The story of St. Valentine


(Courtesy of Lutheran Hour Ministries) In 270 A.D., marriage had been outlawed by the emperor of Rome, Claudius II. Claudius issued this decree because he thought that married men made bad soldiers since they were reluctant to be torn away from their families in the case of war. Claudius had also outlawed Christianity in this time period because he wished to be praised as the one supreme god, the Emperor of Rome. Valentine was the bishop of Interamna during this period of oppression. Valentine thought that the decrees of Rome were wrong. He believed that people should be free to love God and to marry. Valentine invited the young couples of the area to come to him. When they came, Valentine secretly performed services of matrimony and united the couples. Valentine was eventually caught and was brought before the emperor. The emperor saw that Valentine had conviction and drive that was unsurpassed among his men. Claudius tried and tried to persuade Valentine to leave Christianity, serve the Roman empire and the Roman gods. In exchange, Claudius would pardon him and make him one of his allies. St. Valentine held to his faith and did not renounce Christ. Because of this, the emperor sentenced him to a three-part execution. First, Valentine would be beaten, then stoned, and then finally, decapitated. Valentine died on February 14th, 270 A.D. While in prison, waiting for his sentence to be carried out, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, the blind Asterius. During the course of Valentine’s prison stay, a miracle occurred and Asterius regained her sight. Valentine sent her a final farewell note. He signed his last note, “From Your Valentine.” To learn how the early church started the custom of Valentine cards, click here.


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