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.