Pre-Service Hymns Sung at Colorado Church

Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden, CO, start each Sunday with 10 minutes of Morningsong—a hymn sing just before the official start of the service. The practice started with one or two hymns and now is up to three.

Minister of Music Keith Arnold says Morningsong is used to teach new hymns, sing rounds, and to “gather energy” for the service. Requests are also taken.

Arnold said, “We have found that many folks show up faithfully ten minutes before the service because they love to sing. A scant number (maybe two) of our members faithfully wait outside the sanctuary until Morningsong is over since they wish we didn’t sing so much!”

The song period also serves to get people into the sanctuary so that the service that follows can start on time. “We did find that it took nearly a year for folks to understand the idea of Morningsong, so it’s probably a good idea not to give up if folks don’t seem to attend at first,” said Arnold. The hymn sing is listed in the order of service as “Morningsong, an informal gathering for hymn singing.”

About the Author

  • Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.

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