This is a Sunday so epic, it'll need 2 posts to cover it.
Today is a 3-church-Sunday. We usually try to do 2 churches a Sunday, but it's a great challenge to have 3 different worship services in one day. When we have multiple events in one day, I usually try to repeat a few songs to ease up on preparation, but each of today's services is so unique that we'll literally perform 30 different songs today!
We started at St. Philip's with a Country Mass. The brainchild of music director, Doug Cowling, this service married country melodies with an Anglican liturgy. Doug creatively set the Gloria to "Streets of Laredo," the Sanctus to "Aura Lee," and the psalm to Lenard Cohen's "Hallelujah." One hymn was set to "House of the Rising Sun," featuring Rev. Al Budzin on saxophone!
Gerald and I chose a mix of Gospel hymns and Gerald's original country songs for prelude, postlude, and Communion music. The choir sang on the congregational songs, and it was awesome to have their sound behind us.
Rev. Al is leaving for a sabbatical, so to close the service Doug chose "Happy Trails." Yes, as a closing hymn! Well, if you're going to do "Happy Trails" in church, you've got to go all the way. I sang the intro, and as Gerald played a quick turnaround, I and the choir all pulled out cowboy hats and plunked them on our heads! Gerald's was Johnny Cash black; mine was pink, of course! The congregation loved it! They laughed and sang and took photos.
The reaction to the service was wonderful! We may have led the music, but I need to give Doug so much of the credit for his creative planning. We've already been invited back, which is awesome.
And now, for a quick rest before service #2...