Sunday, March 15, 2009


A definitive interpretation of the complete service

SoN 28451


Either the 1964 edition of THE METHODIST HYMNAL No. 830 or the pamphlet, CHORAL EDITION THE LORD'S SUPPER, (enclosed with record album) has the text music, and instructions needed for group or individual use of the recording. On Side 1 of the recording the service is read and sung in its entirety, accompanied by narration of the rubrics (instructions) found in italic print in the service. Alternate musical settings and three communion hymns are recorded on Side 2.

A rationale for celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion is set forth in the communion on Worship's introduction to the authorized service, found in the Commission's report to the 1964 General Conference: "...the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is the continuous rite, oft repeated, which renews faith in the believer, unites him in a spiritual bond both to God in heaven and to all other believers on earth, and nourishes him with the things of the Spirit, so that he is enabled to grow in grace toward the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. In all probability this...sacrament was observed every Sunday in the Primitive Church. It was so much a part of corporate worship that no service was complete without it. To its inspiration we owe the great liturgies of Christendom...

"...the Articles of Religion teach that when we receive the elements in faith, 'the bread which we break is a partaking of the blood of Christ.' Yet the body and blood of Christ are not physically or materially present. 'The body of Christ is given. taken, and eaten in the Supper only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the means whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.' This Sacrament is an outward sign, a demonstrative act, of the worshiper's inner faith and confidence in God. Consequently, all that takes place in the service confirms in deed and word what we believe...The order is a complete service of worship. It is not something added to a regular order of morning worship, nor is it a truncated variant, the elements of which are, in psychological progression, different from what takes place in any other service. It begins in praise and confession and proceeds, act by act, through all the stages of public worship, concluding with dedication and blessing."(1)

1 From the Report of The Commission on Worship to the General Conference of The Methodist Church, 1964. Copyright 1964 by The Board of Publication of The Methodist Church, Inc. ALl rights reserved. Used by permission.


With the printed order of the service in front of you, follow the recording, side 1. From your point of view--minister, musician, or member of the congregation--envision yourself in a worship setting, a part of a real service. As the recording is played, make notations or underline acts, words or phrases that may cause some problem in execution. Replay particular sections for clarification and restudy.

You are not ready to involve a larger group--the choir, communion stewards, or official board. Provide copies of the service for all. Block out on a chalk board the various sections of the service and offer a brief explanation for each ministerial or congregational act. Play side 1 of recording for the group. Immediately follow with a reading through by the group, stopping for questions or clarification of pronunciation and syllabic accent. Disregard the music for the present. Point out (and, if you're a minister, remember that the English language is accentual rather than quantitative (as in Latin) and is dependent for it expressive meaning upon the contrast of accented and unaccented syllables. Another important detail is the rendering of long sentences. Divide them into separate phrases. Punctuation marks are not always accurate guides in determining the length of a phrase. The sense, or meaning, is paramount and at times transcends punctuation. Above all, work for a living representation (meaning, "to present again") and avoid all temptations either to dramatize or simply to verbalize the service.

A full congregational rehearsal is the final step before using the service. Use the recording or a portion of the congregation, including the choir, to illustrate good principles of speech rhythm and diction. Go through the service section by section, alternating the small group with the congregation. An entire morning or evening worship service should be allowed for rehearsal, the minister commenting and instructing as the service progresses. AN alternative is a congregational rehearsal just prior to the service itself.

The choir, as a leader of worship, is primary in this service (and in all worship), since its participation and leadership is crucial in maintaining vitality and meaning to both the spoken and sung word. Remember, though, that the music of the service, as well as the text printed in bold type, is for congregational use and should never be considered the exclusive property of the choir.

The director of music should study carefully the "instructions on chanting" No. 662 in the hymnal. This authorized service contains both Anglican chant and plainsong settings. Attention should be given to the detailed instructions before listening to the musical settings. 1) Read the words in unision until all speak with the same speed and inflection. 2) Learn the music by humming or singing on a single vowel sound (ah or oh). 3) Read the words again while the piano or organ provides the musical setting. 4) Combine the words with the chant music. For more effective leading of the congregation, the Anglican chants should first be learned with everyone singing the soprano line. After several services, the choir and congregation may then sing the usual four parts if desired.


GLORY BE TO GOD ON HIGH (Gloria in Excelsis) is a doxology in three parts. Beginning with the "Song of the Angels" (Luke 2:14) sung at Christ's birth by the heavenly host, it proceeds through ascriptions of praise to God the glorious, heavenly Father, Jesus Christ the Son, the Lamb of God that takest away the sins of the world. Then follows a prayer for mercy and a final burst of praise directed to the three persons of the Trinity. The full text probably dates from the fifth century.

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY (Sanctus) is based upon Isaiah 6:3b and other Jewish texts; it undoubtedly came into very early use by Christians.

O LAMB OF GOD (Agnus Dei) is derived from John the Baptist's greeting: "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). Seventh-century practice called for the Agnus Dei to be sung by congregation and clergy at the time the bread was broken.

LORD, HAVE MERCY (Kyrie) is of ancient Greek origin. It came into Western use along with the Christe Eleison (Christ, Have Mercy) at the time of Gregory. Later usage called for a nine-fold Kyrie, or three renderings of each of the three portions of the text.

LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS (Sursum Corda) is a dialogue between priest and people, dating from about the third century.

THE LORD'S PRAYER (Pater Noster), the most uttered of all Christian prayers, was given to the disciples by Jesus.


The traditional Scottish chant, "Glory Be to God on High" probably evolved from seventeenth-century English adaptations of plainsong in harmonized form.

John Merbecke, c. 1510-c-1585 adapted plainsong melodies for use with the English texts of sixteenth-century prayer books.

Philip R. Dietterich is a minister of music, First Methodist Church, Westfield, New Jersey. Mr. Dietterich holds degrees in music and theology from Ohio Wesleyan University and Boston University of Theology. His musical setting (Nos. 1a through 1-e*) of The Lord's Supper was chosen from many manuscripts submitted to the hymnal revision committee. It is the first full musical setting of the Communion Service to appear in an American Methodist hymnal.

Setting No. 3 of the Kyrie dates from the German Mass, published by Martin Luther in 1526. It is based upon Gregorian Psalm Tone 1.

John Cambidge, 1735-1799, composer of "Lift Up Your Hearts," No. 6, was for many years organist at York Minister Cathedral.

Lowell Mason, 1792-1872, probably adapted the Gregorian Psalm Tone I for No. 8, a setting of The Lord's Prayer. A similarity to the hymn tune "Hamburg" can be observed.

*refers to Choral Edition of the Lord's Supper


Choir: Selected members of the National Fellowship of Methodist Musicians attending the NaFOMM, 1965 Biennial Convocation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Liturgist: J. Edward Moyer, professor of church music and speech, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D. C.
Choir Director: Philip R. Diettrich, Minister of Music, First Methodist Church, Westfield, New Jersey.
Organist: Robert A. Schilling, Minister of Music, North Methodist Church, Indianapolis, Indiana.


Ritual for The Sacrament of The Lord's Supper or Holy Communion from The Book of Worship. Copyright 1964-65 by the Board of Publication of The Methodist Church.
Communion Service in E Minor, Copyright 1964 by Abingdon Press.
Hymn-tune "Kingdom", Copyright 1960 by Abingdon Press
Hymn-tune "Sri-Lampang", The Methodist Hymnal (1964)

Produced by Graded Press, the curriculum publishing department, The Methodist Publishing House.
Prepared by the Editorial Division, The General Board of Education, The Methodist Church.
cover design by NANCY BOZEMAN


The Complete Ritual



Communion Service in E Minor by Philip E. Dietterich
Glory Be to God on High
Lord, Have Mercy Upon Us
Lift Up Your Heart
Holy, Holy, Holy
O Lamb of God

Additional Music Settings
Lord, Have Mercy Upon Us- Merbecke
Lord, Have Mercy Upon Us- (Ninefold) - Merbecke
Lord, Have Mercy Upon Us- Lutheran Service of 1526
Glory Be to God on High- Merbecke
Lift Up Your Hearts
Lift Up Your Hearts- Camidge
Holy, Holy, Holy- Anonymous
The Lord's Prayer- Gregorian

Three Communal Hymns
For the Bread Which Thou Hast Broken- Benson/Copes
Bread of the World in Mercy Broken- Heber/Thai Folk Hymn
Deck Thyself, My Soul, With Gladness- Franck-Winkworth/Cruger


Editor's note: Hi, it's Sunday and you're about to be indoctrinated. Well, by one thing or another, that is. You have no choice. A lake of fire or a fire by the lake, one will shepherd you home to be the diet of the worms. Have you been saved? Well, this audio recording has been and it's a sterling example of the MP3 in medium range fidelity. Please leave a few shekels in the plate being passed around, would ye?

1 comment:

Dirk Bill said...

Well, I married a Catholic, so I really need to hear this. But there are no links.

Another spoken word gem!

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