The soundscape of worship at Bethesda has evolved with our pandemic protocols over the last year. We now have organ music at the 8:00 a.m. Sunday service, the organ renovation is well underway, and the choir has adapted to singing in masks indoors and outdoors.

The most important component is the return of congregational singing of hymns and service music with great energy and prayerful thought. This is where our liturgical music thrives, helping us remember texts, and binding us together as God’s community as we think and breathe in sync.

But what is coming in the year ahead? Choral and organ music has been selected from more than five centuries and continents of masterpieces, each piece reflecting on the readings of the day and the liturgical season. You can see a complete list of repertoire for the year on our website at

A few highlights include:

  • The full Bethesda Choir, with several skilled, new recruits, will sing at the 10:00 a.m. Bethesda Welcome Home service on Sunday, September 12.
  • A quartet from the Bethesda Choir will return to the 9:00 a.m. service on Sunday, September 19, and the full choir at 11:00 a.m.
  • Choral Evensong to celebrate Hal Pysher’s 33 years of ministry at Bethesda, starting with an organ recital by Michael Murray at 3:30 p.m., on Sunday, October 3.
  • The Fauré Requiem, with orchestra, for a 4:00 p.m. service to commemorate loved ones on All Saints’ Sunday, November 7.
  • Advent Lessons & Carols at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 5.
  • Christmas concert, with orchestra, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 15.
  • The return of the Boar’s Head Festival on January 8–9.

Dr. Stuart Forster
Associate for Music and Liturgy, Organist, and Choirmaster