Pull Out the Christmas Music

Dear Music Makers,

It’s time to pull out the Christmas Music!

Singers at Behold! 2013

Singers at Behold! 2013
Photo: Kaitlin Bardswich/The United Church of Canada

As you prepare for the marathon of anthems, special concerts, and carol services that is the Advent and Christmas season, we are here to help!

  • Check out the Advent Unwrapped At Church page. Pat Mayberry and David Kai have shared new music for the season. And by popular demand, we are reposting the Intercultural Hymn Festival by Bruce Harding of Evensong Music.
  •  Visit the Worship Resources section on The United Church of Canada’s website for lectionary-based hymn suggestions from Gathering, and sheet music for candle lighting and offertory music.

Don’t forget that Music United—the United Church association of musicians—is available to help.  Post your questions on the Music United Facebook page or reach out to your local convenor.

Recently I’ve heard from a few congregation who know what they would like to sing, but need help in singing it. Here are some suggestions if you are without music leadership:

If you are looking to revitalize your congregation’s singing life and have a few people to lead:

Be sure to browse Advent Unwrapped for accessible, faith-based resources to celebrate the season, and Connect with Us below to receive e-mail updates as new material is posted to this site.

Let’s get our sing on this Advent!
Alydia

People Get Ready!

Advent begins in 2018 on Sunday, December 2! How are you getting ready?

Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” is perhaps the most impactful sermon on the season of Advent that I have experienced. People get ready: hope, freedom, and redemption for all people is coming. “You don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord.”

Mayfield wrote this song in 1965, inspired by the March on Washington and drawing from the rich Black Church tradition. Like John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness, for decades people have been singing “people get ready” for the change that is about to come.

And now Advent Unwrapped is joining the chorus. Get ready, folks, Christ is coming!

This year’s materials focus on the story of Christmas, and put a fresh spin on the traditional themes of hope, peace, joy, and love:

  • Be hopeful: In God’s story, you are just right.
  • Be brave: In God’s story, everyone is special.
  • Be welcoming: In God’s story, there is always enough.
  • Be yourself: In God’s story, we all have a part.

We are developing resources for personal or family use (At Home), including an adorable new colouring story book, body prayers, and an Advent calendar; and worship resources and programming for your entire church community (At Church). An exciting new video series will retell how our favourite Christmas characters are getting ready.

“Don’t be afraid,” an angel tells each one of them. In God’s story, we can all find our way.

In the meantime, scroll to the bottom of the page to Connect with Us. Subscribe to our blog and get updates directly to your inbox. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest using the hashtag #AdventUnwrapped.

Let’s get ready for Christ(mas)!
Alydia

Alydia Smith is Program Coordinator, Worship, Music, and Spirituality for The United Church of Canada.

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