• Trinity Voices

Singing At The Threshold 

The Rev. Morgan Allen
July 23, 2020

July 21, 2020


Singing At The Threshold 


Music in worship has the power to open us to encounter God and one another, and to change lives. As we rise to sing a hymn, we stand at a threshold. When the right conditions are present – integrity of tune and text, skilled leadership, favorable acoustics, and a willingness to enter into full, hearty participation -- then transformation, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, is possible. As in John Wesley's conversion experience, hearts are "strangely warmed."  


From Trinity Sunday through September 6, our ‘Worship from Home’ has offered us an abundance of gifts and in new ways, including hymns submitted by 93 of you for our "Favorite Hymn" initiative. Belting out our "greatest hits" from home, alongside a few lesser-known gems, we pray you are finding joy in the familiar and comfortable, as well as in the new. 


Drawing us closer to God’s kingdom on earth, the Holy One continually calls us to renew and expand the legacies we have inherited. Truly seeing one another through the lens of sacred music, old assumptions require vigilant re-examination, and during the pivotal Black Lives Matter movement that has taken hold of our nation and world, church musicians are grappling with our own culpability in the legacy of systemic racism. We are discerning how we can bring about the fundamental changes for which God hopes and our faithful hearts aspire. 


Therefore, your Trinity liturgical leadership is now assessing our music program: from the composers and compositions we select for our choirs; to the hymns we sing as a congregation; to the diversity of singers and concert audiences we attract. Aiming well beyond any tokenism, we believe a deepened commitment to include artists previously underrepresented in our worship will enrich our shared praise of God. This important labor requires both humility and resolve. 


Thanks be to God, this work is already underway. Within the past year, we have included music by Black composers in a range of styles: Carl Haywood, Joseph Jennings, David Hurd, William Dawson, Andre Thomas and William Grant Still.  We have also included women composers: Amy Beach, Eleanor Daley, Sarah MacDonald, Undine Smith Moore, June Nixon, Sarah Quartel and Judith Weir. Soon you will hear music from parishioner and composer Felicia Sandler.  


We recognize these first steps as only a start, and we know we have much work yet to do. Therefore, as all of us continue singing out from our supper tables and sofas, alike, please remain with us at this holy threshold, supporting the righteous endeavor we are undertaking with you in song and in Spirit. 


All our best, 


Marissa Hall 

Music and Worship Administrator 


Colin Lynch 

Associate Director of Music and Organist 

Richard Webster 

Director of Music and Organist