How Music Helps Us Worship

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.     Colossians 3:16

Scripture is full of song. From the entire book of Psalms to the angel chorus that proclaimed the birth of the Christ child; from the song of Hannah to the song of Mary;  from the song of Zechariah to the song of Simeon and the songs of Paul and Silas sung in a prison cell, faith inspires song and song inspires faith. 

Why did they sing and why do we sing?

  • Because music can comfort us in ways words cannot.
  • Because music can challenge us in ways words cannot.
  • Because God commands our praises and expects us to respond with song.
  • Because God knows we need to sing in order to believe.
  • Because music joins us with the company of heaven where God's creatures sing day and night without ceasing: "Holy, holy, holy , the Lord God the Almighty: who was and is and is to come." (Revelation 4:8)

At Seneca Presbyterian, we strive to include the full expression of musical styles in our worship, from traditional to contemporary; from classical to modern; from hymns old to hymns new; with different voices and different rhythms and different languages.  In God's house we sing the songs of all God's people, because in God's house, it's not about us. It's about God. 

How We Make Music

The music of worship is the sung prayers and praise of the people, but at Seneca Presbyterian others help us to sing our praises. Four unique sources of that support are highlighted below.  You can hear recordings of our chancel choir, band and hand bell choir here

  • The Chancel Choir

    Our Chancel Choir shares in the leadership of the traditional (11:00) worship service as well as other special services throughout the year. It is made up of volunteers who enjoy singing together as well as sharing their gifts with the congregation for the glory of God. The choir is under the direction of Rosalie Hovencamp, our Director of Music. They rehearse at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, with a warm-up and review on Sunday mornings. Anyone interested in joining  this vital ministry will be warmly received! 

  • The Band

    Our band provides musical leadership for the contemporary (9:00) worship service.  It includes guitarists, small percussion, and a vocalist. Currently the band rehearses prior to the 9:00 service on Sunday mornings.  Other instrumentalists are welcome to join, as well as other vocalists. Any band member would love to speak with you about how to volunteer! 

  • The Hand Bell Choir

    Seneca Presbyterian Church has been blessed with a hand bell choir for more than thirty years! Our five octaves of White Chapel Bells are supplemented by three octaves of Malmark chimes. The combination creates a glorious sound.  Under the direction of Rosalie Hovencamp, the bells "ring" during the 11:00 service about 6-8 times during the academic year (September-May).  They rehearse weekly (Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m.) during that same time period. This choir is made up of volunteers with varied experience ringing bells. The veterans are glad to teach the rookies! 

  • The Pipe Organ

    Worship at Seneca Presbyterian has been blessed with the music of a pipe organ since not long after our current sanctuary was completed in 1917. That first organ was built by the M.P.  Moller Company and occupied the wall behind the choir loft. 

    In 1962, when the education wing was added to the church property, the sanctuary chancel area was also renovated.  The choir loft area was enlarged and the Greco-Roman framing added. The organ was replaced by a "Double Artiste" made again by the Moller Company.  Electronic organs were becoming popular in the sixties, but SPC resisted the trend. They  opted instead for this "one size fits all" series that allowed for a pure pipe sound at a price competitive with electronic instruments. 

    1976 brought about another renovation of the organ. It again included renovations to the chancel area that involved lowering the floor and adding the wings. The Great Division of pipes was relocated from the organ chamber behind the choir loft to their current exposed position. The Swell Division was also better situated inside the chamber. 

    You can read more about this portion of the history of our organs in a report from Robert Moffat written for the Presby Press . Click here.  Robert served as our church organist for thirty years, retiring in 2010. 

    By 2011 the organ was again in need of major repair work. We are  grateful to the A.E.  Schlueter Pipe Organ Company of Lithonia, Georgia for taking on a project of this limited scope. Rather than incurring the cost of a complete replacement, the organ was  "repristinated." It was completely removed to the Schlueter facilities. Each pipe was refurbished; the wiring was replaced; the blower motor was relocated from the damp basement; and stronger supports were constructed particularly for the exposed Great Division. Digital voices were added to supplement the sound of our "real pipes." That project was completed in early 2013,  with a dedicatory concert held in April of that year.  Specifications for our current organ can be found here