We rejoice in many special services throughout the year. Many of them follow the church calendar and revolve around liturgical seasons in the life of the church. Westminster’s special services and worship traditions offer unique opportunities for musical participation as well.
Our annual Lovefeast, presented by the Youth of Westminster on the afternoon of the first Sunday of Advent, is a musical feast. Thanks to the participation of singers from our Chancel Choir and the wider church community, the Lovefeast holds special meaning and deep joy for all participants. Our Lovefeast Choir meets in a series of separate rehearsals (unconnected to regular choir rehearsals) to prepare for the occasion. What a wonderful opportunity to sing Christmas music that warms our hearts! For singers who cannot find the time to join the Chancel Choir on a regular basis, here is a very gratifying seasonal opportunity to participate.
Our Chancel Choir presents special Advent Lessons & Carols programs during Sunday morning worship on the 2nd or 3rd Sunday of Advent each year. These programs include choral anthems as well as favorite Advent/Christmas hymns, drawing the congregation into a beautiful musical world during this very special time of year. Again, for singers who don’t have time to join the Chancel Choir on a regular basis, here is another seasonal opportunity to participate, since we generally have very specific rehearsal times scheduled for this music.
Ash Wednesday at Westminster is a richly symbolic event, marking the beginning of our Lenten journey. After a church-wide pancake supper, worshipers move to the sanctuary for a touching, multi-dimensional service filled with music, scripture, and prayer.
Westminster’s somber Maundy Thursday service is widely cited as the most profoundly meaningful worship event of the year. Through a progressive and unforgettable series of readings, anthems, and hymns, worshipers are made ever more aware of the darkness of Christ’s suffering and death as lights are dimmed and candles are extinguished. Leaving the sanctuary in rare silence and utter darkness, sorrowful hearts wait for the hope and joy of Easter morning.
Easter services at Westminster are spectacular events filled with exuberant music for brass, choir, and congregation. Brass players and choral singers graciously and joyfully participate in both morning worship services as the community rejoices in the resurrection of our Lord! The contrast between this morning and the Maundy Thursday service, musically and otherwise, could not be greater.
Our Chancel Choir’s interactive spring program is held in the Music Room on the first Sunday evening in May. Our themed programs are designed to delight, inform, and inspire. The beautifully resonant Music Room fills everyone present with remarkable life and energy, welcoming audiences into the choir’s home space. Our audiences interact with the choir throughout, joining in making a joyful noise through hymns and anthems. This approach fosters a beautiful sense of fun-filled community as Westminster’s fellowship is enriched through music.
Weddings and memorial services at Westminster provide many opportunities to demonstrate just how varied and meaningful our rich traditions of sacred music can be. In weddings and memorial services, as in all services at Westminster, the focus is on worship. To that end, we always aim to include music that is uplifting, comforting, and appropriate for the worship of God, both in times of joy and in times of sorrow.