MUSIC IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Music is an expression of our faith, our community, and our lives. It inspires and renews us. Our service is filled with hymns, psalms, and canticles, with leadership from our choir, organ, piano, handbells, and other instruments. Our choir and congregation sing much of the liturgy, drawing from a rich and varied repertoire of musical settings. Hymns come primarily from the Hymnal 1982, as well as Wonder, Love and Praise, Lift Every Voice and Sing, and other liturgical resources. The congregation worships fully, participating musically throughout the service, supported by our choir.
Music in The Episcopal Church can be as diverse as its worship services. Although final authority over the music used in an Episcopal service is "the duty of every Minister" (Canon 24, Section 1), our hymnal draws all Episcopalians together musically in the same way that the Book of Common Prayer draws us together in prayer and liturgy.
Most recently revised in 1982, The Hymnal of The Episcopal Church offers 720 hymns in addition to liturgical music. While some of the hymns date back to monastic chants, the hymnal offers more modern music as well.
"The Hymnal 1982 retains the best of the past and sets forth many riches of our own time. [The Standing Commission on Church Music] looked for theological orthodoxy, poetic beauty, and integrity of meaning. At the same time, the Commission was especially concerned that the hymnody affirm 'the participation of all in the Body of Christ the Church, while recognizing our diverse natures of children of God.' … Texts and music which reflect the pluralistic nature of the Church have been included, affording the use of Native American, Afro-American, Hispanic, and Asian material" (Preface, The Hymnal 1982, Church Pension Fund, 1985). - From The Episcopal Church website.