Music and the Communion Service

For a number of years this has been the rule at our church, with marked effect on the regu­lar worshipers, and visitors have thought it worthy of description in the pages of THE MINISTRY.

By ARTHUR H. GRAUMAN, M.D., Minister of Music, North Seattle Church, Washington

Since church music should have: beauty, pathos, and power," the communion service would create one of the greatest opportunities for the selection of a music setting embodying this trio of requirements.

For a number of years this has been the rule at our church, with marked effect on the regu­lar worshipers, and visitors have thought it worthy of description in the pages of THE MINISTRY. It is therefore being described in order that it may be given a trial in other churches, whose worshipers desire a more ef­fective music medium as an aid in producing the spiritual attitude so necessary in partaking of the broken body of our Lord.

The opening hymn is introductory to the thought of the day. "Come, let us sing the song of songs— . 'Worthy the Lamb, for He was slain !' " Not a line should be omitted, for the words of Montgomery are a unit which should not be divided.

When a second hymn is used, we sing the Charles Wesley gem, "0 Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done !" When led well by choir and organist, few hearts remain untouched as they sing those lines of great beauty, full of pathos and power. The spirit of the supreme sacrifice is, therefore, more easily entered into by the worshipers.

On this day, with Christ and His sacrifice the center of interest, solos are not quite in keeping. It is better to have music by the con­gregation, or a male chorus, such as, "Go to dark Gethsemane ; . . . Learn of Jesus Christ to pray."

When the men and women are separating to partake of the ordinance of humility, our choir sings, "Behold the Lamb of God !" It reduces the usual talking and maintains the spirit of the day. As the congregation reassembles, it is effective for all to join in singing Number 475 in the Church Hymnal. If you are not fa­miliar with this excellent hymn, study its text.

"By Christ redeemed, in Christ restored,

We keep the memory adored,

And show the death of our dear Lord,

Until He come."

We are fortunate that we have an organ in our church. We have it played while the bread and wine are passed. While the bread is literally being broken by the ministers, prior to its offering to the people, we quietly play 'Break Thou the Bread of Life, Dear Lord to me." A solo stop is used, and the music is most effective if played in the tenor range.

Other hymns of similar vein are employed, until prayer is offered before serving the wine. As this is being passed to the people, we play "There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood." The meditative quiet which accompanies this ap­propriate music is an indication that the wor­shipers recognize and feel the relationship be­tween subject and symbol.

"And they sang a hymn and went out." When we are about to leave the place of com­munion, 'What is more appropriate than that we should Once more unite in singing a pledge of faith?

"Must Jesus bear the cross alone, And all the world go free?

No, there's a cross for everyone, And there's a cross for me."

Advertisement - Digital Discipleship (300x250)

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By ARTHUR H. GRAUMAN, M.D., Minister of Music, North Seattle Church, Washington

February 1948

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

In the Face of Great Obstacles

Devotional sermon, Autumn Council, Grand Rap­ids, Michigan, November, 1947.

Ellen G. White—The Human-Interest Story

Part two--a look at Mrs. White as homemaker.

The Preacher's Multiplication' Table

Recently appointed superintendent of the Mexican Union Mission.

Some Causes of Alcoholism

Part II of our look at the effects of drinking alcoholic beverages.

Music in the Smaller Church

We often read articles telling what song leaders do to make their song services at­tractive and inspirational, and these articles are very helpful. I am a young church organist with some training and Adventist musical back­ground. In this short article I should like to discuss music in the smaller churches, from the ordinary church member's viewpoint.

A Frank Discussion on Revealing Our Identity

On evangelistic objectives and techniques.

Rural and Small City Efforts

The command to us today is to go out with a compelling message, not only in the highways but also in the by­ways.

Greater Evangelism Keynote of Autumn Council

The striking words of the General Confer­ence president, in his opening address at Grand Rapids, Michigan, made all aware that the 1947 Fall Council promised something out of the ordinary.

Echoes From Kansas City Council on Evangelism

The 1946 Fall Council the General Con­ference Executive Committee was author­ized to call a special group together to study the question of how to organize our church program in order to make opportunity for more soul-winning evangelism. That com­mittee, or commission, met last October in Kansas City, Missouri.

Health Reform and Character Development

In the treatment of the sick, as well as in the maintenance of good health, a firsthand knowledge of health principles is essential. Add to this knowledge a generous portion of good sense, and you are well equipped.

Medical and Evangelistic Work

The conclusion to this two-part series.

Sabbath Evening at Loma Linda

In this eventful age youth are urged to prepare, prepare, prepare. At no other time in the history of our denomination have condi­tions been so favorable for this preparation.

Fuller Memorial Sanitarium.

The Fuller Memorial Sanitarium was established in June, 1937, as a result of a gift from the late George S. and Mary Fuller Es­tate to the Seventh-day Adventist Layman's Benevolent Association of New England.

"They Must Increase"-No. 2

Part two of our look at the world-wide psychological revolution as it relates to China.

The Yoga System of Philosophy

It may prove profitable to acquaint ourselves with the Yoga system of philosophy.

Associate Youth With Experience

To become a skilled workman in an ordinary trade, one is required to spend a stip­ulated amount of time as an apprentice. The apprenticeship is the essential part of the train­ing given, and determines the value of the workman's labor and the demand made for his services.

Season With Salt—Not Pepper

Gracious speech will not be overseasoned with verbal condiments.

Is Your Congregation Comfortable?

The mannerisms of a minister can put a congregation on edge and make people feel un­comfortable.

Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Digital Discipleship (160x600)