Augsburg Fortress

Assembly Required, Set 3: Service Music for Choir and Assembly | Music for Holy Communion

Assembly Required, Set 3: Service Music for Choir and Assembly | Music for Holy Communion

Assembly Required is a series of collections for worship, calling for the participation of the choir as well as the worshiping assembly. The music in this third set is a new and very accessible setting of the musical sections of the Holy Communion service, with accompaniment for organ or other keyboard instrument. Reproducible parts for the assembly are included in the publication.

This series lifts up an important but often neglected role for the choir, leading the ritual song of the whole assembly. Leadership is provided by choir or cantor with the end of enabling all worshipers to join in the song.
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  • Publisher Augsburg Fortress
  • ISBN 9781451485745
  • Format Sheet Music
  • Dimensions 7 x 10.25
  • Pages 32
  • Season/Occasion Communion
  • Difficulty Medium-Difficult
  • Publication Date June 9, 2014

Composer Commentary

The composer of this liturgy, Kenneth DeJong (de-young), wrote this setting for his congregation in Bellevue, Washington, where he served as music director and organist from 1987 to 2012. It was when visiting clergy and worshipers asked about how to use it in their churches that he agreed to submit it for publication. Among its features:

The congregation knows when and what to sing (believed to be key elements in whether people participate). Each element is preceded by a brief introduction, giving key center, tempo, and a hint of the congregation’s melody to be sung—“joyfully,” the composer adds.

Each element is based on unity and development, using repetition and sequence, the repetition of a phrase or melody at a different pitch level. It gives the music easy accessibility to participants in their first experience singing the music.

First and last elements (“Kyrie” and “Thankful Hearts”) are set in duple meters. The offering song (“Now We Offer”) is in 3/4 meter. All others are set in 6/8 meter, giving a common rhythmic pulse and tempo.

The setting may be led with organ and was conceived that way; pedal notes are generally stems-down in the bass clef. It works well with piano alone, or with piano, bass, and drums, with the bass player reading the stems-down notes. 

Skilled vocal leadership is not required—but a worshiping assembly is! Only the “Glory to God” calls for a cantor or choir leadership, with the assembly singing the common refrain.