Worship & Music Ministry

What's Going On This Month

What's up at St. Mark Lutheran Church? In addition to our Saturday and Sunday services, choir, and hand bells, we've got some special things coming up.

Yet to Come in 2017

​​​​​​​A Month of Personal Prayer

For the month of October, Worship and Music is offering an opportunity to care for each other in a prayerful way. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a blank piece of paper in your bulletin. We ask that you use that to write down anything that you are in need of prayer. No names please! Then place it in the offering plate with your gifts. We will put them in another vessel and as you depart the sanctuary we hope that you take one of these requests for prayer home with you with a commitment to pray for that concern every day. This will be repeated each week and is completely voluntary and anonymous.

Reformation Festival Worship Service

- 500th Lutheran Anniversay

On October 29, 2017, at 4:00pm, here at St. Mark, join the Hanover Conference for a special celebration commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  Come to participate in a service of hymns, special music, prayers, Holy Communion and reflections on where the church has been and where the church is going.  Our worship will be supported by a 90+ voice conference choir and The Rev. Dr. Stephen Folkemer at the organ. 

Mark Your Calendar

October 29th 4:00PM  

     - Lutheran Cluster 500th Anniversary Worship service here at St. Mark

November 22nd at 7:00PM

     - HACC community wide Thanksgiving Eve Worship service here at St. Mark.

December 24th

     - Christmas Eve Worship. Despite it being a Sunday this year, we will still

       offer a 3:30 afternoon service and the traditional 7:00pm service on

       Dec. 24th.

Ruth's Harvest and the ASPCA

Beginning November 1st, items will be collected for HACC food pantry, Ruth’s Harvest and the ASPCA. 

While food is always appreciated for all, paper products and cleaning supplies are also necessary to the pantry and animal shelter. As those great “buy one get one free” sales pop up, consider the buy one give one option. Just check the expiration dates to make sure they have some shelf life.

Service of Healing

On the fifth Sunday of a month, we hold a Service of Healing. The last Sunday Service of Healing was offered on July 30th. The service is an ongoing part of our church’s ministry of care. Those who sense the need for God’s healing in any aspect of their lives may receive the gifts of prayer and of the laying on of hands, which will be accompanied by anointing with oil. These signs, first given in baptism, tell us again that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked forever with the cross of Christ, who is health and salvation for the whole world.

This service of healing does not replace the gifts of God that come through the scientific and medicinal community, nor does it promise a cure. The church offers and celebrates God’s very real presence with strength and comfort in time of suffering. Also we lift up God’s promise of wholeness and peace, and God’s love embodied in the community of faith.

Our next Services of Healing will be on October 29th and December 31st. Please spread the word to your friends and anyone in need of spiritual care. 

Our Hymns - A Little of the Backstory

The origins for some of the Hymns scheduled for this month are presented here. Some will be sung at one of our services. Others are suggestions to be sung as a personal 'Hymn Sing' on Sunday.

Lift High the Cross (George Kitchin, 1827-1912)

Lift High the Cross is a 19th-century English Christian hymn. It was written in 1887 by George Kitchin and revised in 1916 by Michael R. Newbolt. Kitchin wrote "Lift High the Cross" in 1887, while he was the Church of England Dean of Winchester, for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. It has been suggested that the hymn was inspired by the story of Constantine the Great's conversion to Christianity after seeing a cross with "In hoc signo vinces" on it. It was intended as a festival hymn and was first performed in Winchester Cathedral. The lyrics of "Lift High the Cross" have been subject to discussion. Stanley L. Osbourne wrote that the hymn's "images are biblical, its moods expectant, its promises courageous, and its demands costly" while stating that the cross in the hymn is a symbol of the love of Jesus. However, there has been a view from Christian scholars that the hymn is an endorsement of the Gospel of John's description of the Passion (remembered on Good Friday) and focusses on the cross as a source of agony rather than as a throne of Jesus. Usage of the hymn on Easter Sunday is often contextualized as the cross being a sign of resurrection rather than of death and shame

In 1916, Newbolt revised the hymn so that it was in twelve couplets and it was printed in the 1916 Supplement to Hymns Ancient and Modern. In that same revision, "Lift High the Cross" was set to the tune of "Crucifer" by Sydney Nicholson. The hymn is often sung during Lent or Holy Week but is also used as a processional hymn or recessional hymn before or after a church service.

In 1978 it appeared in the Lutheran Book of Worship, the hymnal for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Praise My Soul the King of Heaven (Henry F. Lyte, 1793-1847 )

In 1834, the British clergyman Henry Francis Lyte published a collection of 280 hymns based on the book of Psalms. He called it The Spirit of the Psalms because these hymns were not strictly translations (like the old psalters still in use at that time) or even paraphrases (like much of Isaac Watts’ work), but texts loosely inspired by the psalms. This hymns was included as a development of Psalm 103. There are many points of comparison.

The psalmist urges us not to forget the Lord’s benefits; Lyte lists those benefits – “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven.” And as the psalmist indicates, that “God is slow to chide,” Lyte adds that He is also “swift to bless.”

Queen Elizabeth II chose this hymns to be sung at her wedding in 1947. It is an apt song for any occasion, as we join our voices in this great “Alleluia!”

The One Year Books of Hymns

Go My Children with My Blessing (Jaroslav Vajda, 1919-2008)

In this hymn, noted Lutheran hymn writer Jaroslav Vajda crafts a blessing that is spoken to us by the triune God. With his blessing, we are at peace.


Jaroslav Vajda was an American hymnist,  born to a Lutheran pastor of Slovak descent. His father, Rev. John Vajda, was a pastor in East Chicago, Indiana at Holy Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church. This is where Jaroslav had his beginning learning from his father and his mother, Maria.

Vajda received musical training in childhood and began translating classical Slovak poetry at age eighteen. Vajda did not write his first hymn until age 49. From that time until his death in 2008 at age 89, he wrote over 200 original and translated hymns that appear worldwide in more than 65 hymnals. He also published two collections of hymn texts, numerous books, translations, and articles. Vajda served on hymnal commissions for Hymnal Supplement (1969) and Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). In recognition of his significant contributions to the world of Christian hymnody, Vajda was named a Fellow of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. He also received an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater, Concordia Seminary, in 2007.

Vajda was a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and was the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates recognizing hymnal contributions.


When Morning Guilds the Skies(Author Unknown)

An Anonymus German author wrote the fourteen stanzas of this hymns which was first printed in Katholisches Gesangbuch of Wurtzburg 1828. Only six stanzas were originally translated into English. Three of the others begin like this:

“My tongue shall never tire of chanting with the choir, may Jesus Christ be praised!”

“Be this at meals your grace, in every time and place, may Jesus Christ be Praised!”

“And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice, may Jesus Christ be praised!”

The author was pointing out that our praise to God should not be limited to church services, but should overflow into our homes and places of work.

The hymn was probably written in the lovely Franconia section of Germany, the home of fairy-tale castles, deep green forests, and lovely mountain ranges. But it matters not whether our surroundings are lovely or gloomy; Jesus Christ always deserves our praise.

The One Year Books of Hymns

Upcoming Events

Reformation Celebration Service

We are proud to announce in advance that St. Mark has been chosen to host the Reformation celebration service for the Hanover Conference.  It will be on October 29, 2017 at 4PM. 

Additionally, St. Mark is also the host for the community Thanksgiving service this year.

Organ Recital by Hanover Native Cameron Wentz

Hanover native Cameron Wentz will present an organ recital at St Mark Lutheran Church here in Hanover on Sunday, Sept 3 at 4pm.

The recital is a "send off" before Cameron leaves for the U.K. to begin his PhD at King's College London. The concert will feature a broad range of works, with a focus on contemporary composers including Mr. Wentz himself.

A free will/love offering will be taken and given to Cameron as a bit of extra support for his travels and studies.

For more information, please visit cameronwentx.com.

Join the Fun

Make Thursday night your music night​​​​​​​

Consider joining one or both of these music ministries

with instrument and/or song.

A place in the choir...

We are getting ready to rev up the old Victrola and start singing on a regular basis in the balcony or on the floor and occasionally ringing those bells and chimes. 

Don’t you want to be part of this incredible, fun ministry? It is our position that we present the word of the Lord in prayerful song to open the hearts, minds and ears of the congregation in order for them to receive the message of the day. We are just one instrument to deliver the good news of the love of Christ. The more instruments, the louder the band. The louder the band, the better they hear! 

Please consider joining us. Choir begins September 7th from 7pm-8pm. Then on September 14th, hand bells begin from 6:15pm-7:10pm and the Trinity Choir begins with their NEW TIME—7:15pm-8:15pm.

See Melinda or any member of the choirs for more information.  It could be the best hour or two you spend with us!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.