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A course on hymnology and liturgy will be offered this spring as part of the sacred music concentration, offered by East Central University’s Department of Music on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-11:50 a.m. in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center, beginning Jan. 11.

The course will provide an overview of the history and functions of hymns throughout the ages as well as a study of their literary and theological significance, according to W.T. Skye Garcia, coordinator of the ECU Sacred Music Program and instructor for the class.

The class will deal considerably with issues of definition such as: Is music sacred because of the faith of the composer? Is it sacred because of the content of the sung words? Is it sacred because of its function? Is it sacred because of the faith of the listeners?

The concept of liturgy in worship and its historical development, including the history of Contemporary Christian Music, will also be explored.

Also included in the course is a day trip to the St. Gregory’s Monastery in Shawnee, including a personal visit with a resident Benedictine monk and observance of the Order’s Divine Office of Vespers.

Class members will also receive instruction on writing their own devotional poetry and hymns. The course will conclude with a panel discussion of issues in contemporary church music, presented by professional church musicians from Ada and the surrounding area.

Garcia, a member of the ECU faculty since 1986, is an internationally recognized composer with graduate music degrees from Hardin Simmons University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Students or community members interested in enrolling or auditing the hymnology and liturgy course may contact Garcia at or by calling 580-559-5479 for enrollment assistance. 


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