“O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Prayer for Church Musicians and Artists, Book of Common Prayer, 1979
Music is an integral part of worship at Church of the Angels – at the 10:15 AM service, the organ and choir lead the congregation in hymns, psalms, and chants. We regularly sing four to five hymns at the average service, plus sung psalms from time to time. If you like to sing (and also if you just like to listen), you will find at Church of the Angels a welcoming, singing congregation. The church is home to the the Frank Roosevelt Organ, Opus #433, an important instrument that provides a snapshot in the history of the evolution of the organ.
The choir's mission is twofold: to support a singing congregation, and also to offer to God our best efforts in singing anthems to illuminate God's Word. We rehearse at 9 AM on Sundays, with occasional extra rehearsals to prepare for occasions such as Evensongs, Christmas Eve, and Easter Vigil. And while we do work hard preparing our music, we do have plenty of fun!
What We Sing
We sing music of all periods ranging from medieval all the way to brand-new compositions, some even written by the Music Director. Reflecting our Anglican heritage, we have a special affinity for music of the Renaissance-Tudor period, and we also like doing chant in English and occasionally Latin.
The choir does occasional Evensongs, the Anglican sung service of evening prayer. If you have never been to this service, the contemplative mix of music together with the light of the setting sun through the stained-glass window makes Evensong a memorable experience as well as a prayerful way to end the day.
Christmas Eve is always a festive (and busy!) time at Church of the Angels. At the evening service, the first part of the liturgy is given over to a series of readings, carols, and anthems reflecting on the meaning of the Christmas holiday. The choir's offertory anthem often features a Renaissance ensemble as well as trumpets to add a festive note to the hymns. We end the service by a procession outside to the angel in front of the church while singing “Silent Night”.
We do a full Easter Vigil service on Easter morning with nine lessons – the Exsultet chant that begins the service starts before dawn, with a new fire kindled in the darkness. We sing an anthem or hymn as a response to each lesson, in addition to the offertory anthem and special Communion music. By the time the lessons are complete, the sunlightbursts through the stained-glass window as the congregation shouts “The Lord is risen indeed!”. Trumpet descants add a triumphant note to the celebration, and the choir takes a breather before the 10:15AM service by feasting on a catered breakfast.
Joining the Choir
Our only requirement is that you should be able to read music as we have a limited rehearsal schedule. We welcome singers of all voices. please contact Jim Stanley to discuss joining the choir.
Concerts at Church of the Angels
Church of the Angels is an intimate setting for concerts. The Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble presents a series of concerts at the church. Anyone interested in performing at the church may contact Jim Stanley for more information. A list of upcoming concerts can be found here.