Music Making at Christ Lutheran Church

Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.   -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Ensemble singing or playing not only enhances our weekly worship but also provides a deeply spiritual experience for the members of the choir or band.  Making music together lifts us and connects us with others in a spirit of cooperation and shared faith.   At Christ Lutheran we strive to fill our worship services with choral, instrumental and congregational music of the highest quality in a diversity of styles.

The CLC Choir leads the music at 10:00 am services and rehearses most Thursday evenings 7:45 to 9:15pm, September to June. We seek to include all interested singers of high school age or older.  There is no audition and while previous singing experience is helpful, it is not required for membership.  Some of our CLC Choir members are professionally trained musicians and some participate in Boston area community choirs.  Optional sessions in vocal training and sight reading are offered each week before the regular rehearsals.  Contact Tom Berryman ( for information about the CLC Choir.

During 2017-18, our repertoire included:
Agnus Dei- Benjamin Britten
Alleluia, from Lobet den Herrn-J.S. Bach
Also, hat Gott die Welt geliebt-Heinrich Schütz
A Repeating Alleluia- Calvin Hampton
Before the marvel of this night-Carl Schalk
Begone, Satan-Jan Bender
Behold a Host- Bradley Ellingboe
Children of the heavenly father-Paul Sjolund
Christ is with me- Gerald Coleman
Christ the Lord is risen-Alice Parker
Climb to the top of the highest mountain-Carolyn Jennings
Come, I pray thee-Franklin Ashdown
Come, let us eat-Billema Kwillia/arr. Jonathan Campbell
Come Sunday- Duke Ellington
Come now, Savior of the nations-Michael Burkhardt
Come, thou fount of every blessing-Alice Parker
Consecration-Alice Parker
Cornerstone-Shawn Kirchner
Erschallet, ihr Lieder-J.S. Bach
Esto les digo-Kinley Lange
From my heart springs a song-Joel Martinson
Giv mig ej glans-Jean Sibelius
Grant us thy peace-Felix Mendelssohn
Sheep may safely graze-J.S. Bach
Hear me, Redeemer-Henry Mollicone
Holy Manna-Frank Pesci
How lovely shines the morningstar-Hugo Distler
I believe this is Jesus-Undine Smith Moore
If ye love me-David H. White
Ionian Psalter-Peter Hallock
Jesu, joy of man’s desiring-J.S. Bach
Jesu, meine Freude-J.S. Bach
Jesus Christ, our blessed Savior-Paul Bunjes
Jesus, gentle savior-Elliott Levine
Jesus, lover of my soul-Emma Lou Diemer
Jesus, Sun of Life-G.F. Handel
Lay up for yourselves-Ned Rorem
Lift up your heads-Peter Niedmann
Lord, here am I-Stephen Paulus
Lord Jesus, think on me-Derek Healey
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis-Michael Praetorius
Excerpts from The Melodious Accord Hymnal-Alice Parker
Noel, we sing-D’Aquin/DeCormier
O Lord of light-Michael Schwandt
O sons and daughters-Anne Krentz Organ
O Yule full of gladness-Carolyn Jennings
Of the Land and Seasons (a liturgy in Appalachian style)-Stephen and Beth Folkemer
Our Lord is risen with flag unfurled-Hugo Distler
Rise, Shine!-Dale Wood
Strengthen for service-Leo Nestor
Sure Foundation-Mark Hayes
Thou shalt know him when he comes-Mark Sirett
Total Praise-Richard Smallwood
Ubi caritas et amor-Ola Gjeilo
Vad ljus över griften-trad. Swedish
Wachet auf-J.S. Bach
Wash me throughly-David Childs
Wana Baraka- Shawn Kirchner
We all believe-Robert J. Weaver and William A. Pasch
We are a garden-Alice Parker
What can it mean that Jesus is arisen-Robert Weaver and William A. Pasch
What child is this-Paul Halley
When I survey the wondrous cross-Henry Mollicone

The World Band is an ad-hoc ensemble that was formed to accompany our newer hymns that originated in folk traditions from countries outside of Europe.  Band members are ages 14 and up who have some musical experience and a sense of rhythm! We play small percussion (including, yes – cowbell), hand drums, stringed instruments and a few woodwinds, to create a sound that hearkens back to the traditional instruments of countries like Brazil, Nigeria, Korea, Chile and more.

In the spirit of traditional music-making, we generally do not use sheet music—instrument parts are created during two rehearsals before each service we lead. We tailor the accompaniment to the available musicians and instruments–lead sheets and part cards for guitar and percussion, and the hymnal page for those playing melody, like violin and flute. Pretty low key!

Contact Gail Weston-Roberts ( if you’re interested or have questions. At this point, all percussion instruments are supplied by the ensemble director – but if you have your own, by all means bring it!

The CLC Handbell Choir rehearses on Thursdays, at 6:45 pm, using a fine three octave set of Malmark Handbells.

-open to high school aged players and older
-some music reading familiarity is helpful
-monthly for Sunday service playing
-occasional playing in the greater Natick community
-please contact Kim Petot for more information about playing

Solo Music Making:   Members and friends of Christ Lutheran, young and old, are invited to share their talents during Sunday worship.  And during our 2017-18 season we have appreciated lots of solo and ensemble playing: cello, viola, violin, flute, clarinet, piano, trumpet, trombone, oboe, recorder, guitar, mandolin, banjo, accordion, percussion.  We not only appreciate the solo playing, but we put our instrumentalists to work in helping to lead hymns and liturgy.  Please contact Tom Berryman (  to explore opportunities.

Silent Movies, with live, improvised music

Christ Lutheran is proud to feature an annual silent movie night with Rob Humphreville, piano.  On Saturday, February 3 2018 we enjoyed the famous Charlie Chaplin film GOLD RUSH.

Of the Land and Seasons

Over the past five years, we have been regularly using OF THE LAND AND SEASONS, a folksong paraphrase setting of the Holy Communion service, three times annually:  Winter, Summer and Fall.  Published in 1990 and revised in 2013, the service was composed by Stephen Folkemer on texts by Beth Folkemer, both faculty members at the United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, PA, under the auspices of  the Seminary’s Town and Country Institute.  Even though we are a suburban congregation, Christ Lutheran celebrates and honors through this liturgy the contributions of those who plant, nurture and harvest and those who conserve and preserve the natural resources on which we all depend.

It is a real joy to be able to offer Of the Land and Seasons regularly.  We are very fortunate to have fine musicians at Christ Lutheran who are willing and able to bring this liturgy to life several times each year with guitars, banjo, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, violins, flute, accordion, clarinet!

Sing For Joy!

To reinforce our weekly scripture readings, have a listen to Sing For Joy from St. Olaf College.  The Sing For Joy radio program, produced by St. Olaf College, has a simple mission: to explore the weekly themes of Christian worship by providing the best in sacred choral music and thoughtful commentary. The musical performances eloquently “do the talking,” while the concise remarks from host Pastor Bruce Benson illuminate the meaning of the texts.