Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness. Come into his presence with singing....Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courrts with praise.
From September through July, the Grace Church choir worships through song. Under the direction of Robin French, the fifteen to twenty-five voices lead the congregation in hymns and service music, both traditional and contemporary. Anthems from Bach or John Rutter or from the gospel tradition may be accompanied on organ or piano. Instrumentalists often add to the beauty of the liturgy in preludes, postludes, and anthems. A historic Erben organ from the 1830s is still heard each Sunday for communion music.
The choir participates in the annual United Churches Christmas concert and other combined choir events in the community.
All our welcome to join in the song! Simply show up at a rehearsal on Saturday mornings at 10:00am. Our choir librarian, Dr. Joe, will have a folio ready for you!
If there are unsung heroes in our worship ministries, they are the members of the Altar Guild. Unlike the choir and instrumentalists whose voices are heard, the altar servers who are visibly present in worship, the Altar Guild work quietly behind the scenes. Their contributions to the beauty of worship are visual and sacramental. They care for the linens, the vestments, banners, and hangings and assure that the church is dressed in its proper colors and moods for each liturgical season. They polish the brass and silver altarware and keep the candles burning. They make certain the communion wine is in supply, the bread is thawed, and the water is blessed. And they equip the clergy, the lectors and altar servers with everything they need to carry out each of their ministries--each item in its proper place.
Altar Guild members are assigned in teams of two who each serve one Sunday each month. One member is responsible for the altar flowers that parishioners give in memory or in honor of family and friends. Another member serves as wedding and funeral coordinator to assist the clergy and the family with arrangements for the service.
On most Sundays, the Altar Party consists of an acolyte, a chalicist, and one or two clergy. The acolyte both leads the entering, gospel, and retiring processions bearing the cross and assists the clergy at the altar during the Eucharist. The chalicist bears the gospel book in procession, leads the Prayers of the People along with the lector, and serves the wine at the Eucharist.
On Feast Days and other special services, there may be additional acolytes who bear the altar torches and/or banners, and a thurifer and boat girl or boy who carry the incense and assist the priest in censing the altar and worshipers.
Lectors read the lessons from the Hebrew Scriptures and the Epistle each week and lead the congregation in reciting or singing the Psalm. They are visual and aural reminders of the ministry of all the baptized, thus they come out from the congregation to the lectern to read. The lector for each Sunday joins the Altar Party for prayer and is part of the entering procession.
vestry coordinator, greeters, and congregation
Two individuals will be found in the Narthex prior to worship. One member of the Vestry is there to distribute bulletins to worshipers and to assist with any special needs. The coordinator also assigns people to bear the gifts of bread, wine, and the collection to the altar at the offertory. The Vestry Coordinator will ring the church bell to signal the beginning of the service--or invite eager children to take on this important task. He/she will receive the collection and help people to the altar for communion.
A greeter is assigned to welcome people and to attend to the needs of visitors and newcomers, including inviting and accompanying them to the coffee hour after worship.
wednesday morning worship
The weekly service at 7:30 am on Wednesdays, generally consists of spoken Eucharist three weeks each month and Morning Prayer once each month. Readings and homilies recognize those saints and witnesses included in Lessor Feasts and Fasts or Great Clouds of Witnesses. These services are organized by those who regularly attend with members rotating the duties of reader and intercessor. Once each month, a lay person offers the homily. One person serves as sacristan to assist the priest at the Eucharist.