Page 44 - Voice for Life Yellow Workbook
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                                 Choir in context
Human life is full of patterns, regular habits and routines. This can sometimes be i oppressive, but routines also help us build and run our lives. Think about some of
Topic 3: Thinking about regular services
  the routines in your own life and how they bring structure to it.
Worship employs time-honoured structures and patterns which become familiar over time. Every act of Christian worship contains some basic elements: welcome (Greeting); the reading of scripture (Ministry of the Word); prayers (Intercession); and sending out (Dismissal). There are often other elements too, such as hymns, anthems, communion and a sermon. For this topic, you are required to look at the structure of individual services (and how music forms a part of them) and use your findings to develop a service plan (Order of Service) of your own.
 First, think about some regular services – either ones you attend for worship or ones in which your choir takes part, or both. You could look at several different types of service (for example, Morning prayer, Evening prayer or Eucharist/Communion/ Mass) or choose one particular type and study a few examples of it. Look at the prayer book for the services you are describing.
Often the books only contain a few words and instructions, but in actual worship a lot more happens beyond this. Think about the various elements of worship: readings, prayers, blessings, acclamations, actions, music and so on. What gives each individual service its character? Describe each one on a separate piece of paper, referring to the points below.
• List the parts of the service in order, one after the other.
• For each part, say: what is happening; whereabouts in the church;
who is involved; and which text or music is used (if any).
When you have described at least four services in this way, think about the general
questions below and write your answers on a separate sheet.
• What elements were common to all the services?
• What patterns or structures were common to all?
• Were there any big differences between the services?
• Were there any distinctive or unusual elements?
• What was the particular role of the music in each service?
 Now devise a short regular service of your own for one of these occasions: Advent; the Baptism of Christ; a Sunday in Lent; the day of Pentecost; or (if applicable) the Patronal Festival of your own church. Use a service book to help you with the basic structure, and add in the other elements yourself. For these you will need to look in the Bible, hymn books and other music resources, prayer or service books, collections of poetry and so on.
As you collect your ideas, you may also find it useful to talk to your choir trainer or other members of the choir or church. Use the worksheet opposite. If you like, take copies so that you can try this activity more than once.
     44 Module E: Choir in context

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