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Fw: polka mass

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  • Robert & Mary Lou Logan
    I found the newspaper article below in the Joplin (MO) Globe. It tells of traditional church services accented with polka music. They got the idea from
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2004
      I found the newspaper article below in the Joplin (MO) Globe.  It tells of traditional church services accented with polka music.  They got the idea from seeing such a service in Texas.  Has anyone seen a polka service or know where they might be found?  Sounds like a happy time!
      Subject: polka mass

      021008 -

      Polka accents services at church
      By Nammi Bhagvandoss
      Globe Staff Writer

      Polka Masses on Sunday at Peace Lutheran Church reminded Olga Howard of the tunes from her youth.

      “I’m German-born, and the music reminded me of my home country” said Howard, 80, who has lived since 1966 in Joplin. “I remembered all the melodies, but German words. It reminded me of my youth, and I was tempted to link arms and sway to the melody.”

      Howard was among the members and guests who attended Sunday worship services at Peace Lutheran Church featuring an accordionist who played polka tunes while the congregation sang hymns. The church also offered an Oktoberfest luncheon and sing-along celebration after the services.

      The polka services were such a hit that the church plans to offer them again next year.

      “Really it was the best it could be,” said Lana Nelson, who suggested having a polka service after seeing one in Texas. “I received many comments from people who weren’t sure if they would be affected by it, pleasantly affected by it.”

      Pastor Timothy Ohlmann reminded the congregation that the Sunday services were not performances but worship services.

      The traditional worship service was accented with music that had the flair of polka tunes.

      Johnnie Zibert of Arma, Kan., was the accordionist.

      The opening hymn, “Come Now and Worship,” was to the tune of the “Beer Barrel Polka.”

      The hymn of praise, “Amazing Grace,” had the recognizable first verse. But, seven additional verses were from other hymns such as “Joy to the World” and the song “Jesus Loves Me.” The latter was played to the tune of “Happy Wanderer.”

      The congregation also sang Psalm 103 to the tune of the “Lichtensteiner Polka”; the benediction to the tune of “Edelweiss”; and the closing hymn, “This Is God’s World After All” to the tune of “It’s a Small World After All Polka.”

      Nelson said the selection of hymns and polka tunes was the cooperative effort of Ohlmann and herself. Zibert also gave the OK. They also got ideas from church bulletins of other churches that have had polka services.

      Zibert said he played his first polka Masses on Sunday, although he has seen them at polka festivals in Kansas City, Kan., and in Pennsylvania.

      “They call it polka Mass,” Zibert said. “There are a lot of other songs that have religious words to them.”

      Years ago, people who went to large polka festivals on weekends would leave on Sunday morning to attend a church, Zibert said. Now, some polka festivals offer a polka Mass with a complete band on Sundays.

      About 30 people attended the 8 a.m. service, and about 110 attended the 10:30 a.m. service, Ohlmann said.

      Peace Lutheran Church’s polka services had been in the works for about two years.

      “We thought about having it last year, (but) we didn’t have enough room,” Ohlmann said of his church, which previously had a sanctuary and a small fellowship hall.

      From November to March, the church added four classrooms and offices, a library/meeting room, and a fellowship hall and kitchen.

      “We wanted to have the meal and everything else,” Ohlmann said of the Sunday services. “It’s kind of like if you have guests at your house. You want to welcome them properly.”

      Mary Lou

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