Last Sunday morning we attended the service at the Chapel of the Resurrection, having attended the Bach Collegium Japan’s performance of the Mass in B Minor the night before. We were quite surprised to see that the configuration of the building had changed, with the pews facing a small altar near the back. Apparently a crew had gotten there at 6 am to move all the pews from the concert configuration.
Ah, we at LCH are familiar with pew-moving, as our building was remodeled in 1973 to be more flexible and it seems like our pews are moved every week! In fact it was last Lent that Pastor Jeff came up with the idea of facing all the pews towards the crucifixion window. Everyone therefore had their backs to the choir and the organ. And of course, we turn all the pews to face the organ for concerts and organ recitals.
Anyway, getting back to the Sunday service at Valporaiso, we entered the building to see our friend, Dr. Lorraine Brugh, rehearsing the choir up in the gallery. We were given a large worship booklet, plus a smaller bulletin (sound familiar?!) and I was surprised to see that their bulletin was similar in format to the one I designed for LCH — on a legal-size sheet of paper with a “flap” listing today’s hymns and readings.
The opening hymn was ELW 530, “Here, o Lord, your servants gather,” whose tune name is Tokyo. This Japanese hymn was lovely, accompanied only by flute and percussion, with a nod towards the Japanese visitors from the night before.
We knew that they were going to do Psalm 121 from the Ionian Psalter because we had sent the music ahead. For the offertory anthem, the choir performed “Sicut Moses serpentem” by Heinrich Schütz (which the LCH Choir has also done on several occasions). About a dozen of the students from the choir played two solo pieces on handbells which were very sensitively and well-done. Dr. Brugh played the “Prelude in E-flat” by Bach as the postlude. Yup, everyone applauded afterwards.
We gave the Chapel Choir a big box of Hawaiian chocolate macadamia nut candy which they devoured when the service was over.