Category Archives: Music News & Recordings

Easter Morning Joyous Update!

“That they may all be one” was Jesus’ last prayer, and hallelujah!  We will all be one at the Sunrise Service! It looked as if the Bradford Congregational Church and Grace United Methodist Church would break tradition and worship apart, but we have worked it out so that we can be together!

The service will be at 6:00 AM at 219 Summer Street.  (Please leave the closest parking spots for those who have trouble walking.) It will be followed by Easter breakfast at 6:30 AM at Grace UMC.  Please note that revised time.

The Sunrise Service will include a “Kindling of the New Fire” ritual, the singing of “In the Bulb There Is a Flower (The Hymn of Promise)” and “Fairest Lord Jesus,” the reading of the resurrection story from Matthew and a short reflection and time of prayer, as well as the beauty of God’s creation at Easter dawn, rain or shine.

Our regular Easter service will be at 10:00 AM with the resurrection story from John and a skit for the children. It will include the singing of three of the great Easter hymns: “Alleluia! The Strife is O’er” and “Come, Ye Faithful Raise the Strain” and of course, “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.”  The choir will sing two verses of “Now the Green Blade Rises” as the Introit and Kopolyoff’s “Alleluia! Christ Is Risen” as the Anthem.  John will play three beautiful organ pieces, “The Heavens Are Telling” by B. Marcello, “Christ Lay in Death’s Strong Bands” by J. S. Bach and “Allegro Maestoso”  by G. F. Handel.

Below is an exuberant performance of the Handel John will play as we go out in joy.



Palm Sunday Choir Festival 2017

What a wonderful evening at the Palm Sunday Choir Festival last night! Here are a few photos and videos:

Bradford UCC's own John Atwood at the organ
Bradford UCC’s own John Atwood at the organ
Grace United Methodist Church Choir with their dancer
Grace United Methodist Church Choir with their dancer

“All Hail The Power of Jesus’ Name”, John Atwood, organist. Followed by a benediction by Rev. Tom Kinder.

“Komm Heiliger Geist, Herre, Gott” BWV 651a J. S. Bach, Played by church organist John Atwood. This piece is one of Bach’s great eighteen chorale preludes.

Upcoming Service Notes, Holy Week, April 9-16, 2017

Holy Week begins on Sunday, April 9th, with the Palm/Passion Sunday service at 10:00 AM and the Choir Festival at 7:00 PM.  It continues with the beautiful Maundy Thursday service on April 13th at 7:00 PM in our sanctuary and a Good Friday service on April 14th at Grace United Methodist Church at 7:00 PM.  It concludes with two services and a breakfast on Easter morning, April 16.  For more details and some Palm Sunday music and art,  Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, Holy Week, April 9-16, 2017

Service Notes, April 2, 2017, Deep in Lent

The Fifth Sunday in Lent takes us into the depths of the suffering and danger that Lent represents.  Jesus has been in the wilderness without food or water, exposed to the brutal elements, for a month. He is getting weaker and more vulnerable.  Succumbing to temptation or death is an increasing possibility.  The lectionary scripture passages have been leading us on a parallel journey toward the cross, with tension increasing around Jesus as he confronts the religious and political establishment with actions that threaten to overturn them.  They are plotting his death even as he heals and raises people from the dead and lifts the hopes of the poor and oppressed.

Next week, on April 9th, we will follow the Passion Story from Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the arrest, betrayal, desertion and crucifixion on Good Friday.  Here in the depths of Lent with all that coming ahead, Easter can seem impossible. How can the light shine in this darkness without the darkness overcoming it?  The amazing thing is that even asking that question can raise a small, fragile but defiant candle in our hearts. Continue reading Service Notes, April 2, 2017, Deep in Lent

Holy Week 2017 Services

Please mark your calendars and extend invitations to family, friends and neighbors to these services.

Palm/Passion Sunday, April 9th at 10:00 AM, a profoundly moving service that begins with jubilant children distributing palms and then travels with its readings and hymns all the way through the week to Gethsemane, the cross and the tomb.

Palm Sunday evening, April 9th at 7:00 PM, we will continue a tradition of 51 years and host the annual Palm Sunday Choir Festival for area choral groups and musicians. Choirs from Bradford and surrounding towns will present anthems, our own John Atwood will play the prelude and postlude and you will have five glorious opportunities to sing hymns. All donations go to the work of the Inter Church Council.

Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service, April 13th at 7:00 PM in our sanctuary–this service rivals Christmas Eve in drama and beauty, with beloved hymns, readings and candlelight. It is a joint service with Grace Methodist.

Easter Sunrise Outdoor Service, April 16th at 6:00 AM at 219 Summer Street, the home of the Buttons–a little singing, a little reading and reflecting, and a whole great big vista of God’s resurrecting Creation!

Easter Service, April 16th at 10:00 AM in the sanctuary, full of the traditional joyous readings and music.