Harrisburg First SDA Church

Music Guidelines and Responsibilities

Updated: February 6, 2024


 Music Guidelines

Guideline Biblical Support
Words clearly heard and 
understood ​by worshipers
“I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.”
I Cor. 14:15
"Must have a spiritual message, 
​not just repetitive phrases"
“But when you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do.”
Matt. 6:7

Should glorify God, not the presenter,
and be within the scope of the presenter’s capabilities

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live…"
Galatians 2:20
Should uplift, encourage, inspire, ​and motivate the worshipers (Special music should complement the sermon.)
“We do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.”
II Cor. 12:19
Be representative in dress – 
​modest and inoffensive to worshipers
“Glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
I Cor. 6:20
When no special music is available, 
​a congregational hymn is appropriate
"​Glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
I Cor. 6:20


Responsibilities for Music Committee Members

Thanks so much for your willingness to help! Please familiarize yourself with these responsibilities you as you plan. 

The Monthly Music Committee Coordinator will:

  • Schedule choristers to lead all music for each week in their month.  This list is detailed below in the responsibilities for song leaders.
  • Schedule people for Worship in Music (Special Music) for each week in their month and inform them of their responsibilities (detailed below).
  • Supply the information for all music they schedule by using the website form Music Schedule for as as many weeks in advance as possible.
  • When scheduling Choristers, remind them to review the responsibilities listed below.
  • When scheduling people for Worship in Music, remind them to review the responsibilities listed below.

Responsibilities for All Weekly Participants:

  • Please sit at the front of the church for quick and easy access to the platform and to avoid delaying the flow of the service.

Responsibilities for Weekly Song Leaders :

Submitting your Praise Time Songs and the Hymn of Praise (Opening Hymn):

  • Submit songs no later than the end of Tuesday each week.  This gives adequate time for the pianist to see them and request changes if needed and provides for inclusion of the songs in the printed bulletin.
  • Submit your songs by using the website form: Weekly Praise Time and Opening Song Submission 

  • Select two songs for Praise Time, one for the Opening Song, and one for the Closing Song. 
  • List the full names of all participants who will be leading songs for the week.  This is important for several reasons, but the most important one is so that AV support can set up mics properly.
  • Be sure to include which verses you will sing for each song.Select "All" if no verses will be skipped.
  • Less familiar songs are great, but not matter which songs you pick, be sure you are VERY confident in leading them. 

Lead the Following Music:

  • Lead the Praise Time songs.
  • Lead the Entry Hymn.
  • Lead the Opening Hymn after the Invocation.
  • Lead the Closing Hymn.
  • Lead the Response Hymn after the Benediction.

If you choose songs that are not in the hymnal:

  • The form provide a place to include the lyrics. 
  • It is important that you give the lyrics EXACTLY AS THEY WILL BE SUNG in text form that can be copied in to our presentation program.  Scanned images alone are not acceptable although they are welcomed as a supporting document.  They can be added as attachments.

If you are unfamiliar with the Closing Hymn, use Google Search or YouTube to make sure that you know the song in order to lead the congregation.

Other Things to Remember:

  • Please sit at the front of the church for quick and easy access to the platform.
  • Be prepared to start the song service promptly after the announcement time which begins at 10:45 am. 
  • Limit the Praise Time Songs to 8-10 minutes. 
  • The opening and closing hymns for each week as well as the praise time songs can be found in the Digital Bulletin on the church website News page.
  • A song leader needs to be confident in leading all congregational songs in a the service.  If you are unfamiliar with the hymn of praise/closing hymns, use Google Search or YouTube to make sure that you know the song in order to lead the congregation.

Responsibilities for those Providing Worship in Music 
(Special Music): 

  • If possible, obtain the sermon title/theme and coordinate your song with the subject of the sermon.
  • TIP:  The speaker for the upcoming week can usually be found in the Digital Bulletin on the church website.
  • Please be in the Sanctuary no later than 10:30 to perform a sound check.
  • For those using any technology (e.g. soundtrack, PowerPoint, video), submit it to the church audio-visual personnel no later than Wednesday prior to the planned music, although Monday is preferred.
  • If you are unable to meet that deadline, you must at least contact Technology Team at hfsda.tech@gmail.com to make arrangements by Wednesday.  

Submissions can be made by using the website form:  Weekly Special Music Information

If you have questions about our A/V capabilities, refer to our Audio Visual Capabilities page on the web site.

Responsibilities for Pianists & Organists:

The piano and organ schedule is established and updated by the musicians who play those instruments.

They are responsible for:

  • Entering their information on the volunteer schedule no later than the end of Tuesday each week.
  • They will be prepared to accompany all music including the Praise Time.