Preparing for Lent 3

Music resources and material for Jane Williams’ reflections have been added.

Consider using the 10 Commandments as part of your preparation for confession today (p.521 ANZPB/HKMOA) or scroll down on this page for them.

The Gospel lends itself to dramatic reading, especially if you used a male voice from the back of the assembly for the words of Jesus.

Lenten observance in churches is typically marked by the removal of decorations (flowers, banners etc.) but mere absence misses an opportunity to highlight the symbolism of the season. Dried branches, thorny bushes and stones are all appropriate enhancements. On this particular day, if you have the space, an overturned table with coins on the floor, a whip made of cords (macrame, anyone?) could be very… um… striking. For the more traditionally minded, consider one large, plain pottery vase with dried sticks and dead grasses (maize is good at this time of year in A/NZ). Go on, do something different!


Music for January 4 (and 6)

We have made the assumption that most congregations will observe Epiphany (The Visit of the Magi) on January 4, rather than having a separate celebration on January 6. However, there are some suggestions for the Second Sunday after Christmas, if you choose that set of readings instead, where the Gospel reading is from John 1.

Please click here for video, hymn, and song suggestions.

Happy new year! Why not make it a resolution to learn a few new songs and hymns this year?


A musical Christmas gift

A Christmas discovery this year, thanks to Natalie Sims, is the carol “God’s surprise” from the Iona Community.

“Who would think, despite derision,
That a child should lead the way?
God surprises earth with heaven,
Coming here on Christmas Day.”

What’s nice about this one is that, like “What child is this?” it is sung to a traditional English tune, in this case SCARLET RIBBONS (Link downloads a pdf of melody and guitar chords). I liked it so much I decided to record a sing-along track (as professionally as I could manage, decide for yourself):

It’s for those of you who are pushed for musicians at this busy time of the year. You can download a high-quality mp3 from my Soundcloud page. By the way, you can also use this arrangement to sing “What a friend we have in Jesus” at any time of the year as it’s 3 verses in 8787D!

Advent blessings!




Music for Advent 3

A list of hymns old and new, songs and video clips has been compiled for 14 December, Advent 3(B). You can find them on this page.

Thanks to Natalie Sims and Chris Harris for their considerable input.