At a Sunday church service, you’ll find music and singing that support the inspiration of the service and the message of the sermon. There's a prelude (eight or nine minutes long), three hymns, a solo, music during the offertory, and a postlude (six or seven minutes long). A Wednesday testimony meeting includes a prelude, three hymns, and a postlude. Each service or meeting is proceeded by chiming. You are invited to any service to enjoy the music.
Organ and concerts
The organ provides a significant portion of the music at church services. The Church also hosts occasional organ concerts throughout the year (see calendar). Some of them feature Bryan Ashley, organist for The Mother Church.
The organ, built by the Aeolian-Skinner Company of Boston, is one of the largest in the world; it covers eight divisions and has a total of 13,295 pipes. The largest pipe is 32 feet high, and the shortest is only half an inch high. The organ is played from a four-keyboard console located in front of the platform.
Each Sunday church service includes a solo. The words and music are selected by the soloist to support the spiritual meaning of the sermon. The solo may be contemporary or classical and may be accompanied by the organ, the keyboard, the piano, or other instruments.
The Mother Church has had bells in the Church’s towers for well over a century. A chime of fifteen tubular bells, founded by the United States Tubular Bell Company of Methuen, Massachusetts, was installed in the bell tower of the Original Edifice of The Mother Church in 1894. A decade later, in 1906, a chime of eleven bells (later expanded to thirteen), founded by the Meneely Bell Company of Troy, New York, was installed in the cupola of the Extension of The Mother Church. This set was used until 1984, when a new chime of eighteen bells, founded by Royal Eijsbouts of Asten, in the Netherlands, was installed in the bell tower of the Original Edifice.
The bells are played by musicians who are members of The Mother Church and volunteer their services. You can hear chiming ringing out over the Plaza at the following times:
- 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Sundays, for 15-20 minutes before church services (there are no evening services in July and August)
- 11:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, for 15-20 minutes before testimony meetings
- Summer Friday evening concerts in July
- Special concerts, as announced (see calendar)