Sunday Worship on Zoom


NOTE: You can read our complete statement here, but in short, out of an abundance of caution and care for our congregation and the surrounding Palo Alto community, First Presbyterian Church will not be gathering in person until 2021 and all in-person church meetings and gatherings will be held online.

Music is an important component of Presbyterian worship services, touching our hearts and spirits in a unique way.  The worship service at First Pres usually includes organ and piano music, anthems sung by an adult choir and hymns sung by the congregation.  Occasionally classical and jazz instrumental groups accompany or replace the choir, and sometimes our children and youth get in on the act! See below for upcoming opportunities open to all.

Musical Updates

The Virtual Anthems for Christmas Eve have been chosen! We will sing two contrasting anthems: Still, Still, Still, an Austrian Carol arranged by Norman Luboff. This beautiful arrangement features four-part choir with piano accompaniment. This slower, lullaby-like anthem comprises 3 verses and is not too challenging for the singer. 

The second anthem will be African Noel, arranged by Andre J. Thomas. This is a fun, lively, and rhythmic arrangement written for a cappella choir with optional percussion. This anthem is also written for four-part choir, but there are times where the voices split. For example, the soprano line will divide into a higher melody and also a lower melody. This gives singers more options as you will be able to sing in your vocal range, higher or lower! 

To give you an idea of how the virtual anthems look, click here to view the anthem We Are Not Alone that the choir made for Homecoming Sunday. The video you will see is made up of individual recordings that singers make at home. The individual videos are then pasted together to make one collage of all the videos. It’s like magic!

This video had a number of non choir members who found the process fun and not too challenging! If you’d also like to join in singing one or both of the Christmas videos please contact Andy, You can even have a “choir buddy” who will help you along the way. Individual recordings for Still, Still, Still will begin very soon! 

Adult Choir

Main Rehearsal: Thursdays, 7-9pm, on Zoom

The choir is a dedicated group of volunteers passionate about singing and eager to make our worship services more meaningful through music. Members are also devoted to each other in fellowship. Anyone who has an eagerness to provide his or her voice in praising God is welcome to join the choir! All voices and all ages from high-school on up are welcome.

Although the choir hasn’t been meeting Sunday mornings to sing, they have continued to meet on Zoom for rehearsals and have been working on virtual choir anthems and other exciting projects!

If you are interested in joining, at any time of the year, please contact Andy, or (650)-325-5659, ext. 107.

Lent and Advent Services

During Lent and Advent we often hold a series of short musical services on a weekday evening. We meet by candlelight, sit in silence interspersed with readings and music. In Lent we use Taize music and in Advent we hold Jazz Vespers. These meditative services help us renew our strength and concentrate on the meaning of these waiting times in our liturgical year.

NOTE: These services will not take place in person in Advent 2020 and Lent 2021.