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Music is important to the St. Patrick’s congregation. There is a constant effort to ensure that the congregation is comfortable with the variety of styles always remaining aware of the importance of the message brought forth in our worship through music. We continued to use hymns selected from The Hymnal 1982, My Heart Sings Out, Wonder Love and Praise, and Lift Every Voice and Sing hymnals as well as Taizé and contemporary pieces. We subscribe to OneLicense and CCLI so we can use music not in our regular hymnals.
We learned 22 new hymns for regular services and 3 new Taizé songs for our bi-monthly Taizé services. The ambitious variety of new music was possible because people were willing to stay after church a few times to learn new pieces or practice pieces before the service began.
Even though the weather was very cold 10 people went Christmas caroling in the St. Patrick’s neighborhood. We received very warm responses from people who even braved the cold to stand at their doors to listen. Some sang along. The most moving experience came from a woman who commented on our Facebook page with a heartfelt thank you because our caroling lifted her family at a moment when they were grieving and needed special love. Being in the neighborhood DOES matter. Our tradition of having the congregation sing along before the beginning of our Christmas Eve Service was well received.
Music was provided for all the Sunday Services, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. St. Patrick’s “Servant Strings” played at the Brewer Ministerial Association Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service held at North Brewer/Eddington Methodist Church. We also continued our Taizé Services every other month.
Special guests joined the music group on several occasions during the year. Thank you to our soloists: Jamie Beck, Katherine Cross, and choir members: David Blethen, Della Gleason, Michael Gleason, Michelle Markie, Debbie Dinkle, and our Servant Strings. Visiting guest musicians were Ben Layman who sang for our Easter Vigil and Easter morning, Adam Theisen who substituted for Mary Ann one Sunday, Guest soloist/song leader, Tom White-hassler who joined us for two services, percussionist, Jan Matter, and Debbie Dinkle, Kelly Neptune performed Christmas Eve and Jenn Perkins who is from Holden Congregational Church and Jan Ketch and Theresa played with us at our Worship on the Waterfront.
A very special thank you to the “Servant Strings” who continue to meet weekly to learn new music, and to continue to discover a spiritual connection through music. They played most Services. They are: Ardis Mayo, Peg Olson, Mary Ann Perry, Rita Poirier, Susan Sombret and our newest member, Chris Gwinn. Most attended Diocesan Music Workshops and a special workshop led by John L. Bell of the Iona Community in Scotland. The congregation sang and heard 5 songs during Advent and Christmas that were learned at that workshop alone.
The energy, creativity, encouragement, and commitment of the entire congregation has made it very meaningful and a joy to worship at St. Patrick’s through music.
Mary Ann Perry, Music Director