The Music Task Force was commissioned out of the Liturgy and Common Worship Task Force, the group responsible for the Book of Common Prayer 2019. Now, the attention turns to the musicality of the Anglican tradition.
Mark Williams is the Chair of the Music Task Force. Paraphrasing his parish priest, he explained, “First, we needed a province and second we needed a prayer book and a polity. Now, we’ve got all that, so it’s time to look at the art.”
Williams serves as Pastoral Church Musician at Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia and has an extensive background across various worship styles within Anglicanism. His ministry has taken him all over the province.
“The one thing I hear over and over and over [from parish priests and musicians] is: We’ve got this prayer book, how do we put legs to it through art and music? How do we choose hymns? How do we put a praise or folk band together? How do we make a choir happen?”
To help congregations begin accomplishing these tasks, the Music Task Force has released a new website with various resources for parish priests and music worship leaders. A quick glimpse at the website reveals the various areas for which resources have been and will continue to be released, including Music Leadership Philosophy, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Psalter, Choirs, Praise Teams, Pastor and Church Musician Relationship, and more.
It is a goal of the Task Force that its resources will reach across the diversity of churchmanship and service style within the Province.
“What we are trying to do is equip low church, high church, medium church, inexperienced, and experienced; we are trying to provide resources through the gamut,” explains Williams.
Ultimately, the goal is to encourage Anglican Church in North America churches to celebrate and keep alive the long, rich history of music in Anglicanism and to build relationships amongst worship leaders within the Province. Therefore, these new resources are geared toward priests and church musicians.
“We as Anglicans have the most rich heritage of church music of any denomination in the world. In fact, we have been the envy of many church musicians and church music schools around the globe because of that rich heritage. How sad would it be for us to not pick up that mantle and carry it as Anglicans in North America?” Williams continued, “I really want our music to be high quality, whether it be contemporary or high church. I want it to be singable, something the congregations can do in their work of worship. And, I want the music to fit the liturgy, the time of year, the season. Beyond that, I’m willing to walk in any camp [of worship style and churchmanship].”
In addition to the Music Task Force, a related ministry group called the “Musicians of the Anglican Church in North America” is forming to help build community between worship leaders in the Province.
To learn more about the Music Task Force, Musicians of the Anglican Church in North America, and the resources available, visit acnamusic.org. Check out the Psalter tab for the seasonal Psalm resources released today. The Worship Planner can be found under the Hymns and Spiritual Songs tab.