Covenant CRC, Sioux Center, IA

The following service was used in the dedication of Lift Up Your Hearts at Covenant CRC, Sioux Center, IA

We Gather to Worship


Dedication of our new hymnal, Lift Up Your Hearts

This morning we celebrate the arrival of a new hymn book…. produced by Faith Alive, under the auspices of both the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America.

Remember these…(Red Book, the Blue Book, and of course the Grey Book)!  A century of music which embodies all that we believe and hold dear.  Each one gave voice to the particular character of the time in which it was developed, and endured for a good 30 years.  Now we are privileged to enjoy a new edition (expanded and improved, of course) called Lift Up Your Hearts, which will be from now on referred to as LUYH in the bulletin.

While the message of the gospel doesn’t change, the context in which we worship does. 

Most of the songs will be familiar, they have stood the test of time, and we want to hold on to the gifts of previous generations, but we also want to give voice to the prayers, praises, and laments particular to this generation.  In Lift Up Your Hearts you’ll find not only treasured hymns but also new hymns, contemporary songs, and songs from the global church.  Our grey hymnal had 641 songs, our new one has 965!  Will we sing them all?  No, but over time we will likely select a body of music from it that resonates with Covenant, just as churches did with the red book, the blue book, and the gray book.

Let’s look briefly at the Table of Contents.  You’ll notice one significant change from the three previous psalter/hymnals.  There is no collection of songs based on the Psalms at the beginning.  Instead, they have been scattered throughout in book based on their potential use for the various elements of worship.  In this hymnal there are two main groupings of songs: 


            I.          The Story of Creation and Redemption

                        These psalms and hymns tell the story of God’s work in this world.

II.        Worshiping the Triune God

The songs in this section are grouped according to the needs of typical elements of worship.


If you arrive early enough some Sunday morning, take a little time to read the preface.

You will learn something about what goes into the making of a book such as Lift Up Your Hearts.    It is the work of more than 15 editors, assistants and committee members, as well as more than 80 members of an advisory committee for advice and feedback over a period of more than 10 years.    


Prayer of Dedication

Father, thank you for this beautiful collection of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
Thank you for the gifts and efforts of all the people who have so prayerfully and thoughtfully put it together.   
When we have such an abundance of good music from which to choose, we pray, Lord,
that the offering of music in our services at Covenant will please you, and that our faith may be strengthened and nourished, just as it did for all those faithful saints over the years before us.
To that end we dedicate this book, Lift Up Your Hearts, to your glory.  Amen.

Call to Worship 

This morning we will open our service with the first song in the book, and close our service with the last song in the book…Both are the same tune, which is familiar…very familiar! and has been for centuries.  We will carry to the next generation this call to worship and doxology of praise that has sustained the church through centuries of generations.   Notice that each one is presented in 13 different languages.\

Leader:        Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice!
                   Serve him with joy, his praises tell.
                   Come now before him and rejoice!

*Hymn    LUYH  1      "All People That on Earth Do Dwell"       

*Hymn    LUYH 332    "As the Deer Pants for the Water"                                                              

God’s greeting and we greet one another

Hymn:  LUYH 537   "Open the Eyes of My Heart"                                       


Service of Reconcilation and Renewal

Knowing God requires knowing something about ourselves.
Sinners, but loved and forgiven, we celebrate Christ!
And we celebrate God’s gift of the law, to guide and guard us


Standing Before God                                                                       

Hymn:  LUYH  33   "All Have Sinned"  


Holy God, we come to you
not as those who have obtained righteousness on our own,
but as your dearly loved children,
clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
How we marvel at your love for us.
How grateful we are for the beauty of your holiness.

How astonished we are that you call us to be saints,
 your holy people.
 By the power of your Spirit,
 help us receive these gifts with joy
 and embrace our calling in Christ.  Amen.    

Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 56

Hymn:   LUYH 675    "By Grace We Have Been Saved" 


The Law: God’s Gift to Forgiven Sinners

Selected verses from Exodus 19 and  20

*Hymn:  LUYH  719  "God’s Glory Fills the Heavens" 

Blessing the Children

Hymn: LUYH  861    "In Our Lives, Lord, Be Glorified"    


Father, bless these small children gathered here as they leave for worship.
May your arms surround them as they learn to be still,
to listen for you, to know you, and to love you.  Amen     


Service of the Word

Scripture:   Ephesians 2: 11-22


*Hymn of Response:   LUYH  859   "Be Thou My Vision"                                 


Service of Thanksgiving

Hymn:   LUYH  867     "For Such a Time as This"    Stanzas 1,2,4                    

Sharing Joys and Concerns

Pastoral Prayer




*Hymn:  LUYH 965   "Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow"