Lift Up the Gates Eternal


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Performance Notes:

Joy and excitement are contagious when congregations get drawn into singing a tune such as promised ONE, an Israeli folk melody. In The Presbyterian Hymnal (177) Psalm 24 is set to this tune. (In many other hymnals "The King of Glory" is set to this tune.)

Many congregations will already know this tune. For those that do not, a soloist can lead the first presentation. Indicate that the congregation is to join the soloist on a repetition of the refrain before the first verse and again after each of the succeeding extended verses. (Point out to the congregation that the refrain is sung only after the verses ending with an R.) Piano and/or guitar accompaniment is recommended.

The second week the congregation will be ready to sing without a soloist. Add some of the suggested easy-to-learn handbell or percussion ostinati found on page 23.

The instrumentalists can lead a gradual accelerando throughout to heighten the energy and enthusiasm of the singing. Additional percussion, presentation suggestions, and the little descant ending for the final refrain are also found in the Psalter Hymnal and Songs for LiFE.

For another week, divide the congregation for antiphonal singing, perhaps by center aisle: One side of the aisle sings the first phrase of each verse, and the other side answers. Each couplet divides conceptually, and the antiphonal style echoes the couplet style of the psalm. Everyone sings on the refrain, perhaps once again with a bit of percussion.

Shirley McRae has arranged PROMISED ONE in a small collection of unison anthems for children's choir with Orff instrumentation and presentation suggestions ("Lift Up Your Voices," CGA622). The text in this setting is the text from the Psalter Hymnal, but the Orff, obligato, and movement suggestions can be used with either text.

The content of the psalm and the mood of the setting make this hymn appropriate for a season of Thanksgiving. The refrain also can be carried into the Advent season as a congregational opening, or sung with the Advent candle lighting or as a congregational response.



Psalm 24
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