What kind of music do we sing at CTK?
In general, the music wants to reflect the Mass itself. Because a Charismatic Episcopal Church Mass embraces both the ancient and modern, the music will try and do so as well. At CTK, we lean more toward contemporary Christian music, songs you would usually hear on Christian radio/media. We also incorporate traditional hymns, both ancient and modern liturgical music, and even occasional folk songs from around the world. The equal emphasis on Sacramental/Liturgical, Biblical/Evangelical, and Spirit-filled/Charismatic worship is called “Convergence Worship.” From a musical standpoint, the blend of music that reflects this is often called “Blended Worship,” nowadays.
Why are some songs the same each week while some are different?
In the Liturgy itself, there are sections called the “Proper,” sections that change week to week (ex: prayer of the day – the Collect, Scripture readings, homily, etc..) and the “Ordinary,” sections that remain the same each week (ex: Confession/Absolution, the Creed, the Eucharistic Mass, etc…). For music, it’s very reflective of that. The “Proper” with music includes songs that change each week, such as the Processional song, Praise set, Eucharist music, and Recessional. These songs generally reflect the particular day and/or season, especially the Scripture readings. The “Ordinary” with music includes the same refrains sung each week, often called Liturgical Music, or Mass Settings. These include the Gloria or Kyrie, Gospel Acclamation, Sanctus (Holy), and Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). Sometimes we sing other refrains, depending on the season, and we also included an Offertory and Children’s dismissal song in this category. These are treated differently from regular songs; these are meant to become “Spiritual muscle memory.” Now, the frequency of changing the musical settings to these refrains differs from church to church, some changing them out almost every week and some not for several years. We at CTK are somewhere in the middle; changing the musical settings a couple of times each year to reflect the season, but still giving them plenty of time to sink in. We take some liberties, especially around Christmas, where we interchange these settings with songs and carols that still reflect the liturgical moment. More to come on this topic!
How is the music selected?
First and foremost, prayer. There is also a considerable amount of time given to researching/meditating on the Scripture readings and Collect for that particular Mass, as well as overall themes for the current liturgical season. Practicality also plays a factor, where it sometimes is based on the musicians who are available or not and the amount of rehearsal time for something new. If it’s a newer piece of music, we usually keep it in a heavy rotation so that it quickly becomes more familiar. The director of music puts the music together each week based on all the above, also attempting to include song suggestions by the music team and parishioners.
Can I give song suggestions?
Of course! You can tell me in person or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s usually not a matter of “if” we can do a song, but “when” it would be most appropriate, factoring in the church year and music team practicality. The music ministry is much more open to doing songs “as well as” what we have been doing, as opposed to “in lieu of” what we have been doing. Again, the music is deliberately what is. The challenge of a blended style of music is that there is going to be something that probably isn’t your cup of tea, whereas hopefully there is also something that really speaks to you. Never rule the Spirit out to move through something you didn’t foresee, even through a style of music/song you don’t particularly care for; that is actually a pivotal moment in my own Christian walk. There is plenty of room at the table for everyone! Praise God!
What are the music groups at CTK?
Currently, there is a main group of musicians called the Sunday Music Team. This is a group of both instrumentalists and vocalists who lead everyone through the music sections of worship. These people are on a rotation based on willingness and availability, usually having two rehearsals: Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. There is also the CTK Kids music program, with the flagship event twice a month (on Tuesday afternoons) called CTK Kids Music and Pizza. They also rehearse for ten minutes right after Sunday School. For special occasions, people are free to do something different, such as a solo. Looking ahead, there will be more opportunities for adults to gather to sing something more “choral.” The goal is having more opportunities for both contemporary praise music and traditional music.
How can I participate in the music ministry?
Please let me know! Call me, email me, throw something at me! Whether it’s singing, playing an instrument, or something behind the scenes, there is something for you! Production is also a huge need right now, see Kaylyn Libolt or Matthew Bantel. The best way to support this ministry is to COME – come to Mass, come to events, help others to do the same! Bring friends and family – we are all in this together!
Psalm 27:4 “One thing…”