Music in the Episcopal church can be as diverse as its worship services. Although final authority over the music used in an Episcopal service is “the duty of every Minister” (Canon 24, Section 1), our hymnal draws all Episcopalians together musically in the same way that the Book of Common Prayer draws us together in prayer and liturgy.
Most recently revised in 1982, The Hymnal of the Episcopal Church offers 720 hymns in addition to liturgical music. While some of the hymns date back to monastic chants, the hymnal offers more modern music as well.
As Episcopalians, we have a musical heritage that is one of the world’s richest and most deeply spiritual. For 1500 years, Anglican church music has sought to witness the Christian faith in authenticity and truth. Our music is not a homogeneous product, but an extremely diverse and multi-layered art form that celebrates and encompasses many different traditions. You might be interested when singing hymns to read the small print below each one and note the many and varied sources of the poetry and music.
Julie Byrum, Organist
Julie’s Journey in Music:
“My mother was my first piano teacher. She taught me the basics and then signed me up with a private teacher in Beavercreek, OH (where I lived) at the age of seven. I cannot say I enjoyed the discipline of practice, but I did like the challenge of figuring out the song and being able to play it. At around the age of eight, my mother took me to see my first musical, “Oliver”. I loved it and my mother bought me the music book of the theme songs from the musical. I learned them on my own. “Where is Love” was my favorite song. I would sing and play it.
At around age twelve, my mother had heard of another teacher from Kettering, OH. She had a degree from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Mrs. Lehman. She became my new instructor.
I was involved in two recitals a year, solo and ensemble, and national auditions. This advanced and strengthened my skill. She inspired me to want to become a private piano instructor. I now teach at Ward School of Music and privately.
I studied at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, Schoolcraft Community College and Eastern Michigan University. I have accompanied high school and middle school choirs. I have sung “Too Hot to Handel”, a jazz version of the Messiah, with The Rackham Symphony Choral group at the Opera House in Detroit.
I have taught myself the organ at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and I presently accompany there on Sunday mornings with the organ and piano.”