In the spring of 2020, the sudden restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic caused many congregations to look for new ways to worship. To help those looking to move their worship online, a team of people representing the Moravian Music Foundation, Board of Cooperative Ministries, Moravian Church Without Walls, Interprovincial Board of Communications and a number of congregations worked quickly to provide a broad range of resources to meet those changing needs.
As restrictions continue to ease and things are opening more (at least for the time being!), those resources remain available and ready for use, and more are continually being added. For example, Moravians can find more than 75 hymn recordings, 120-plus hymn texts and a variety of new Moravian music available to play or download for use in services.
While some of the hymns available come from previously recorded sources from the Moravian Music Foundation, many others were newly recorded by choirs and singers in Northern and Southern Province churches. All hymns posted on Moravian.org are public domain and are available for use by Moravian congregations and agencies.
In addition, the IBOC made available all of the liturgies from the Moravian Book of Worship that contain public domain hymns in both Microsoft Word and PDF formats. This makes it easier for congregations looking to share words and music during their online services and can be useful when developing materials for in-person worship, too. Additional liturgies contributed by Moravian pastors and others are also available.
(Note that copyright restrictions limit our ability to post materials containing material copyrighted by others than the Moravian Church of public domain. These materials are available electronically from the IBOC for those who have the appropriate licenses. Contact [email protected] for additional information on these materials.)
Those looking for Moravian-specific images and presentation backgrounds for their services can also find them on Moravian.org. Many of the images available come from the IBOC’s image library and are for congregational use, and more will be made available in the future.
In the fall of 2020, an interprovincial team assembled www.moravianchristmas.org to offer Advent, Christmas and Epiphany-specific materials. Initially developed as a short-term project, these materials proved useful for the 2021 holiday season and will remain available as needed for the future.
The pandemic caused many to re-think how we do worship. It also provided the impetus to find new ways to make both existing and new resources as accessible and useful as possible.
While we are hopeful that more and more churches return to in-person worship, we also know that many congregations will continue their online outreach efforts and we are glad we have these resources available.