Our Music Traditions: Anniversary Sunday
(Posted May 4, 2018)
This Sunday is our 323rd Anniversary Sunday! There certainly are not any churches in our area that have been here as long, and have as many traditions. Today, Danbury has several churches of different cultures, each with their own type of music – very different in many ways. Although traditions are becoming rarer these days, music is one way to identify these differences.
So what are the traditions when it comes to music here at First Church? There is the Prelude – opening organ solo to set the tone, and the Postlude a closing organ selection of celebration. We still sing three hymns – a 4th is added on Communion Sunday. The Gloria Patri and Doxology are sung every Sunday as responses. There is also an anthem during the offertory.
In terms of church music, the anthems, hymns and responses are usually a blend of the old with the new. Preludes are often from composers of the Baroque Period and played on the organ, or sometimes a contemporary selection played on the piano. The Postludes are selections of different genres and played on the organ, often variations of well-known hymns. The hymn melodies can often date back to the 16th century although the words have in many instances been updated or revised using inclusive language – non gender. We continue to sing two response: Gloria Patri and the Doxology - the later with “inclusive” words.
With that said, I wish a Happy Anniversary to the First Congregational Church of Danbury! - Jim Moriarty
“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe