Our traditions in worship

Worship at Vienna Baptist is grounded in liturgical tradition. Through the use familiar hymns, we remember and honor the faith of our past. Through the introduction of new hymns and songs, we recognize that God is still speaking to us. The Chancel Choir participates each week in worship by sharing the gift of music with the congregation. The Chancel Choir repertoire varies greatly in style and period, performing music from the Renaissance to the present. Our pipe organ, a 27 rank, 2 manual organ built in 1987 by Randall Dyer, provides a solid accompaniment to congregational singing. Our choral and congregational music seek to contextualize the readings and themes of the day, as well as support the sermon lesson.

Because worship is grounded in liturgical tradition, we are able to introduce the congregation to a variety of worship styles and experiences. From dramatic presentations and readings to contemplative worship, from prayer experiences to services dedicated to music, worship at VBC appeals to a wide variety of people at all points in their faith journey.

Sunday morning worship

In the Sunday morning worship service, we follow many Christian traditions. With symbols, banners, music, Scripture readings, and sermon themes, we follow the practices of using the liturgical calendar and the Revised Common Lectionary. On the first Sunday of each month, we serve the Lord’s Supper to each other and affirm our church covenant, inviting new members to sign the Book of Covenant during the service.

We mark the seasons of the church according to the liturgical calendar. The observance of Lent includes a Tenebrae service; and our celebration of Advent concludes with two Christmas Eve services—a family-friendly service followed by a candlelight communion service. Other special services include All Saints Sunday and World Communion Sunday.

Monthly Sunday evening worship

From 1997 to 2013, VBC offered a monthly Service of Prayer for Healing and Wholeness on Sunday evenings. This service was patterned after a similar service on the Isle of Iona off the coast of Scotland, and brought elements from the Celtic Christian, Taizé, and monastic traditions. It was a quiet, reflective time of sharing our human needs while seeking God’s intervention in our lives.

Beginning in September 2013, we introduced a new style of evening service, created to speak to the current needs of VBC and the community. This monthly Vespers service replaced the Service of Prayer for Healing and Wholeness service, and was designed to provide a quiet reflective space for praying, singing, and contemplation.

Music ministry

The music ministry at VBC is active and varied, encompassing both worship and education. In worship, we sing congregational hymns from the Chalice Hymnal, which matches the theological beliefs, spiritual needs, and worship style of the congregation. We also sing hymns and songs from a rich and diverse array of other sources, which may include classic hymns, spirituals, gospel hymns, classical music, international music, contemporary hymns and songs, and decades of praise songs.

Chancel Choir. The Chancel Choir helps to lead the Sunday morning worship service. Choral selections cover a wide range of church music literature. In addition, the choir leads worship through music with special presentations at All Saints, Advent, and in the spring. The choir often welcomes guest singers and musicians from George Mason University and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Instrumental music. The 27-rank Randall Dyer pipe organ and Kimball concert grand piano provide instrumental support for Sunday worship. Additionally, VBC has five octaves of handbells with a Handbell Choir periodically helping to lead worship. Musicians from the congregation and community have provided instrumental music including flute, violin, guitar, string ensembles, harp, and marimba.

Youth music. In recent years, VBC has offered the Vienna Teen Theatre Workshop during the summer. Participants receive instruction in singing, acting, movement, and improvisation. The workshop ends with a performance for the congregation and community.

Children’s music. The children’s music program is part of the Bible study hour each week. Periodically, school-age children sing in worship or join the Chancel Choir for the anthem.