Soli Deo Gloria! (To God alone be the glory!) This is the inscription that J. S. Bach placed on each of his compositions and it is the prime motivation for the music ministry at Holy Family.
The music ministry at Holy Family exists to:
- Enrich and facilitate our worship services;
- Reinforce the scripture lessons of the day by presenting the texts in a musical setting;
- Provide an ethereal bridge in communing with God, and
- Lead the congregation in glorifying God.
Making sacred music is a joyful undertaking that calls for genuine dedication of both time and talent. We believe that it is our sacred duty to offer only the very best of classical and contemporary literature, while avoiding the influence of contemporary fads.
During the sung services at Holy Family, the congregation is highly participative and not an audience to be entertained. Spoken and sung liturgy, prayers, and hymns are essential avenues of expression for every Christian. With this in mind, the choir is merely an extension, albeit in a leadership role, of the congregation in offering praise to Almighty God, our only audience.
We hope that you will take the time to explore the connections offered on this site and learn more about the music ministry at Holy Family. Our prayer is that you will be blessed by what you learn and that you will join us, or offer prayer or logistical support to our ministry as we raise our praise to God.
The Parish Choir is made up of about 25 dedicated volunteers with all levels of musical experience. The choir sings at the 10:30 A.M. service every Sunday and for special services assigned throughout the liturgical year. Rehearsals are on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm and every Sunday at 9:30 am.
The Parish Folk Choir is a group of about 15 singers who provide less formal music for several services throughout the liturgical year. The Folk Choir rehearses on an ad hoc basis before each service assigned.
The Austin Organ: Holy Family is fortunate to have the only true pipe organ in Pickens County, Georgia. Our 1947 Austin Organ was generously donated at the time of the building of the current nave. The organ speaks from the level above the choir gallery and provides support and accompaniment for the choir and congregation as well as solos in the form of voluntaries.
Schulmerich Bells: Holy Family has a three-octave set of Schulmerich Handbells, given in memory of Judy Sanger and in honor of Linda Vickery. The Sanger-Vickery bells are used on special occasions to enhance the musical offering (such as during the “Gloria” in the Great Vigil of Easter. We have several handbell ringers in our parish, but we need more players.
- Holy Eucharist, Sundays at 10:30 am.
- Community Concert & Choral Evensong, Third Sunday of each month, September through May, 4:00 pm.
- Services for various feast days throughout the liturgical year.
On the third Sunday of each month at 4:00 pm (September through May), a concert of sacred music is offered, followed immediately by Evensong, led by organist/choirmaster John King Carter, the clergy, and members of the choir.
Choral Evensong is a distinctive form of Evening Prayer used by churches of the Anglican Communion. It was developed by Thomas Cranmer from medieval Latin offices of Vespers and Compline and has remained largely unchanged since 1549.
Holy Family is proud to continue this ancient tradition of prayer and praise through choral music.
The service begins with a seasonal sentence from Holy Scripture followed by short prayers sung by the Officiant and the Choir. One or more psalms or portions of psalms, which have always been the core of both Morning and Evening Prayer, follow. A reading from the Old Testament is linked to another from the New Testament by the singing of the canticle Magnificat, the Song of Mary, which gathers together the promises of the Old Testament and points to their fulfillment in the New. The canticle Nunc dimittus, the Song of Simeon, which rejoices that the coming of Christ fulfilled these promises, leads to the affirmation of our faith using the words of the Apostles’ Creed. Further prayers are followed by the singing of an anthem by the Choir. Following prayers of intercession, the congregation joins in singing the final hymn.