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  • Writer's pictureHazel Somerville

The Purpose of Preludes & Postludes

Have you every wondered about the role of solo organ music in worship? What is the purpose of preludes and postludes?

There are many answers to these questions and the thoughts would be different in different denomination and styles of worship, but let’s consider what a few answers might be for the role of solo organ music at Good Shepherd.

Music before a service can help gather people together as they enter into worship. Some use this time for reflection and prayer. Music is chosen based on seasons of the church year, the emphasis in the lessons of the day, or to establish a contemplative or joyous atmosphere for the service.

The purpose of a postlude is a little harder to define. Some think of it as the signal that the service is over. Others think of it as a final prayer offered with joy and jubilation and want to listen quietly and attentively.

We can accommodate all by an old fashioned Episcopal compromise. Those who like to linger and listen can enjoy the postlude first and then start their greetings and conversations as they head toward the coffee hour. Those who need to leave or want to socialize earlier have the opportunity to immediately go to coffee hour as the postlude begins. All of our music making is intended as an offering to God and enhancement of worship.

Hazel Somerville

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