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Musically Speaking – September 10th, 2021

Sep 10, 2021

Possibility: The Loud and the Soft

Welcome back, everyone!  We are sincerely excited to be back with you all! 

Our worship theme for September is Possibility and may be the perfect focus as we embark upon hybrid worship.  Why “the loud and the soft”, you ask?  It is a metaphor describing our services.  Musically speaking, dynamics are making music loud, soft, getting louder, or getting softer.  Dynamics give music direction and meaning, they give us ways to be expressive, and they change up the flow and horizontal travel of musical phrases.  Effective use of dynamics makes music predictable but also surprising.  As we embrace hybrid worship, everything could feel new, different, even changing week to week. Our services will be alive, transformative, and dynamic.  We expect our worship will surge ahead at times only to be offset with reflective moments as you give yourself over to the worship experience.  Let me tell you more about what to expect.

First of all, only the worship team will be in the sanctuary.  This will include the church staff, the technological facilitators, a worship associate, and as many as eight choir singers.  All people present are vaccinated, safely distanced and masked.

You will be experiencing us through Zoom, but you will be present as we stream the service, in person at the church.  Almost all parts of the service will be live and we hope you will feel a special connection, as if you were there in the sanctuary.

What is new?  Reverend Sophia is with us!  The order of service has shifted a bit.  Choir singers will be part of every service, singing two hymns per service including a Hymn of the Month—this month is I’ve Got Peace Like a River and I will introduce it.  I sincerely hope you are singing along at home with us.  The choir will occasionally sing anthems.  There will also be a Meditation Hymn that will be from our hymnal, Meditation on Breathing.  With you, they will speak the Affirmation and sing the Doxology.  I do not know for sure how the choir will be spaced in the room, but I do know that it will not be as it used to be.  We plan to keep the service to 45-60 minutes long.

What is the same?  Guy will be playing on our grand piano.  Prelude this week is Guy and me playing a short Telemann piece for oboe and piano.  This will be live from church, as it used to be.  Guy will play a Musical Meditation and Postlude live.  Following Guy playing the Postlude, you will hear some recorded music as a “Post-postlude” that transitions you to chat groups, as we did all of last year.  I plan to have guest musicians this year, starting September 26th.  There will be some choir anthems that are virtual, as all our singers will be actively singing.  Singers not in the sanctuary will also be able to contribute their voices to weekly hymns. 

Joys and Sorrows will be live and virtual!  Wait and see!

We bring the Possibility of deepening our spiritual lives in our worship services because we are there with and for each other.  Our way forward is dynamic. 

May it be so.

Musical calendar:
Choir rehearsals are Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 pm in our sanctuary.  We welcome new voices to our choir!  Please contact me at if you would like to join. 
September 26th:  Our guest musician is Frank Grimes, viola. 

Charlyn Bethell
Music Director | + posts

Charlyn’s professional training has followed two paths: as a professional oboist and as a music teacher and conductor. As Music Director at First Parish, she joins these two paths of her musical life, conducting the choir, coordinating guest musicians, and performing on oboe.

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