February 15, the last Sunday before Lent: we sang a boisterous Handel anthem from his Chandos Anthem No. 8 and Bruckner's powerful Locus iste to celebrate our beautiful sanctuary's 40th anniversary.
February 17, Shrove Tuesday: In the parish hall, we let our hair down for a few songs by the master of American music, Irving Berlin.
and we capped it off with a chorus of "God Bless America".
February 18, Ash Wednesday: The tone of the liturgy changes dramatically, of course, and we sang (among other works), a setting of Agnus Dei by the Renaissance composer Thomas Morley.
Of course, this contrast is the nature of Lent and our lectionary, but it highlights music's role in our church: I love that we can elevate both the celebratory and contemplative in our worship.