“Silent” Night at the Chapel

The Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU is fortunate to be blessed with a really awesome building with a great location.  We are further blessed to have a wonderful pipe organ on loan from the music department at Fairmont State University.  The organ was going to be put into storage, but an arrangement was made where the organ would be actively “stored” at the chapel where it could be maintained, played and most importantly, appreciated.  Going even one step further, we are especially blessed to have a local organist who comes in to play said organ for our weekly service.

In my time at WVU, I can hardly remember a time that Robert, our organist, was not able to make it to play for the service.  As I walked into the chapel this evening though, Chaplain Reigel informed me that our service would be a cappella, that our accompanist was unable to join us.

I’m a musician, and I have great reverence for the power of music, especially sacred music.  When it comes to church music, I think the organ is a beautiful instrument that really brings a lot to it.

But not having an organ for a full church service?

It was actually pretty cool.  In some small way, I felt more in-tune (no pun intended) with the music, more in touch with the lyrics of the hymns.

Am I ready to say that every church needs to let its organ start collecting dust and go without? Of course not, but every once and a while, it can be a really interesting experience.

And I can’t help but think of one of my favorite hymns, and how its origins just might be traced back to a similar (albeit more catastrophic) lack of organ accompaniment.

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Posted on December 11, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. A capella music is beautiful in worship. My seminary, particularly on hymns with wonderful vocal harmony parts, will frequently have the music drop out for a verse and let the community sing their hearts out by themselves. I’m glad you enjoyed the experience!

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