Experience Maundy Thursday and Good Friday through music

This year, on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, we take a deep dive into worship enriched by three specific musical traditions: jazz, shape-note hymn singing, and African-American spirituals.

Maundy Thursday

On Maundy Thursday (March 29) at 7:30pm, as we remember Jesus' gift of Holy Communion and his example of servant leadership through footwashing, we'll get to hear musical reflections in high-quality jazz. Our own Craig Fraedrich has created some new arrangements especially for this service, taking classic hymns like "Amazing Grace" and "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded" and reimagining them for a professional jazz combo. If you didn't make it to our Advent Jazz Vespers service in December, just ask someone who was there and they will assure you: this is a can't-miss worship opportunity, and a great evening to invite a friend to church!

A review of Craig's latest album All Through the Night sums up his music and playing this way:

"Fraedrich is one of those players known by those in the know as a swinging, technically superior, jazz artist."

For a taste of Craig's work with outstanding vocalist Christal Rheams (who also joins us on Maundy Thursday!), take a listen to the album (Spotify | YouTubeApple Music) or support the musicians and buy a copy (CD | iTunes | Amazon)!

Good Friday

Detail from a page from an early edition of  The Sacred Harp , a shape-note hymnal. Source: The Library of Congress (   loc.gov/item/ihas.200038829 ).

Detail from a page from an early edition of The Sacred Harp, a shape-note hymnal. Source: The Library of Congress (loc.gov/item/ihas.200038829).

On Good Friday (March 30) at 7:30 p.m., we'll remember Christ's Passion with a service of early American hymnody, featuring our Choir and Orchestra musicians. Our service follows the ancient practice of tenebrae ("darkness"), the successive extinguishing of candles at the end of Holy Week.

Many of our most beloved hymn tunes in America today sprung from the practices of shape-note singing and African-American spirituals. If you've ever sung "Amazing Grace," "What Wondrous Love Is This," "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need," "Let Us Break Bread Together," or "Were You There?" in our Lutheran hymnals, you've participated in these musical traditions! You're the latest among generations of Americans who learned to read music notation and/or remember melodies while learning the stories of the Bible to these same melodies. Click here to learn more about the history and significance of shape-note singing and African-American spirituals.

And don't forget: we actually have three services on Good Friday to fit almost any schedule: 12 noon (traditional), 6:30 p.m. (especially for young children and their families) and 7:30 p.m.!

Our Children's Service at 6:30 p.m. is a 30 minute Good Friday service geared towards toddler through elementary school kids and their families. Wiggles are welcome and kids will have the chance to worship with their whole bodies and learn the story of Jesus' death and resurrection in an interactive way. Together we will hear the story, pray, sing and reflect on what it means that Jesus died for us. Dinner will be served prior to the service at 5:45 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and a freewill offering will be taken during dinner.

I hope you'll join us for these meaningful worship services as we mark the sacred days of Holy Week, journeying together to the cross, with the hope of resurrection on the horizon!

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David Chávez
Music & Worship Minister

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