If we in the Episcopal Church know how to do any one thing well it is worship. Our worship at General Convention has been a feast of worship experiences. We have heard traditional choirs and anthems, outstanding preachers (such as the Presiding Bishop, Bonnie Anderson, and Bp. Michael Curry of North Carolina) and a variety of musical expression. There has been piano, organ, brass, instrumental music and unaccompanied singing. We have used Gospel, traditional hymnody, Moravian hymns and Taize chants. Marilyn Kaiser, an Indiana University professor of Organ, has worked with many musicians to provide this musical melange we are enjoying.
Monday’s liturgy, for example, began with the Red Leaf Singers, a Native American singing and drum group from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Hymns came from Wonder, Love and Praise, Hymnal 82,. There was a Spanish alleluia verse before the Gospel. The Sanctus today from Wonder Love and Praise Sundays was from the Mass of Guadalupe. Native American flute music during communion was followed by music for psaltery and guitar.
The service ended with a Navajo Blessing.
It is part of the genius of this branch of Christianity that we allow liturgy that speaks to and from the the traditions of the community gathered for worship. And when we share it we find that we can use different types and styles within worship which speaks to different people at different levels and gathers us more completely as the people of God in worship.