The early service (8 a.m.) on Sunday mornings generally contains no music or singing with the exception of Easter Day. The later Sunday morning service (10:15 a.m. during the program year and 9:30 a.m. during the summer months) always includes music with hymns and other music for the congregation to sing. During the program year our choir offers a special anthem and often helps lead the singing of psalms and other parts of the service. All voices and levels of singing proficiency are welcome in the choir, and if you can’t read music we’ll teach you!
Many of the selections used in worship are from The Hymnal 1982, the official hymnbook of the Episcopal Church, which is a treasure-trove of hymns used by Christians. Other appropriate sources are utilized including the best of contemporary worship music and styles. Our approach is to not offer all of one type or another, but to blend together the different styles that speak to the diverse musical tastes of those who worship here.
The size and configuration of the worship space at St. James’ Church does not lend itself to the installation of a pipe organ, but one of the features of the Ahlborn-Galanti electronic organ purchased in 2007 is its realistic reproduction of the sound that is generated through live pipes. Located in the balcony at the back of the church, the instrument offers the additional features of non-organ accompaniments such as piano and harpsichord, as well as a variety of other sounds including brass, woodwind and percussion. It can also be programmed to provide music when the organist is not at the keyboard, allowing, for example, the playing of music or songs as the organist joins us downstairs to receive the bread and wine of the Holy Eucharist.
At special times during the year additional instrumentalists might be used, such us violinists, trumpeters and French horn. And on occasion Father Jim will lead a musical selection using a guitar, banjo, mandolin or who knows what? He might even pull a harmonica out of his pocket.