A community of colourful strains

Consolation, joy, strength: these are just a few of the feelings often elicited by the evocative scores of sacred music. And they become even more colourful when the many different styles of international melodies are added into the mix. In this sense the New Apostolic Church is indeed a community of song and music.

Music is a universal language that touches the soul and, as such, can also serve to proclaim the gospel. It expresses praise and thanks to God and underlines the dignity and holiness of worship. It is a way of professing one’s faith without even speaking a single word.

At home in divine service

Music has a firm place in the liturgy of the New Apostolic Church: it sets the mood for the sermon. It encourages introspection before the pronouncement of the forgiveness of sins. And it enables the faithful to express their joy and gratitude in celebrating Holy Communion.

Music is a congregational affair: the collective hymn sung by the congregation is a fundamental component of divine service. Usually there is a mixed choir that sings in four-part harmony. And often there are also instrumental pieces to be heard.

Committed volunteers

Choral music is performed by a broad spectrum of participants, ranging from children’s choirs and youth choirs to male choirs and seniors’ choirs. Special choirs are not unusual even for funeral services and interments. Ensembles with sophisticated pieces of music are often formed beyond the congregational level. These include, for example, chamber choirs and symphony orchestras.

Like their members, the leaders of these choirs and ensembles are often laypeople who do their work on a voluntary basis. Expert advisers are there to support them. They provide training, support in questions of copyright and performance law and, for example, also provide assistance in planning public concerts.

A colourful array of styles

A variety of different musical literature is sung and played, ranging from classical works and generally familiar hymns to gospels and regional traditional music.

The Church has a tradition of composing its own musical literature—especially choral works—that dates back to the late nineteenth century. For some years now, this art form has been flourishing in countries such as Germany and South Africa, among others, as most recently demonstrated by the performance of the lavish pop oratorio I AM.