Really? Are you kidding?
When I tell my family the number of hours necessary to prepare for a worship service, their response is normally "Really, dad? Are you kidding?"
Pastor Chas and I start our service planning with the Lectionary for the Sunday. In the back of our hymnal is the three year cycle of the Lectionary with the Biblical reading for each Sunday of the year. From these readings, Pastor Chas selects readings that form the basis of his sermon. I search for music that supports the message, theme and mood. There are normally ten places for music in a service including prelude, three hymns, three responses, choir anthem, offertory, and postlude. Considerable time is spent selecting appropriate music. Pastor Chas and I talk to make sure that the service has a good flow and appropriate feel.
Planning of the services is one of the most difficult parts of being a director of music and organist. I also spend at least two hours every day preparing organ and piano music.
We do this so that your worship experience is meaningful. We strive to offer our finest praise to God. Soli Deo Gloria, to God alone be the glory.