THE HARP IN HOLY SCRIPTURE....The harp is one of the most ancient musical instruments. In Genesis chapter 9 it is said that Jubal was the first musician and that he played the "organ" and the "harp". Though the instruments he played were very different than their modern counterparts, he was the first of many people who would use instrumental music in the praise and worship of the true God. The harp was used in the worship of the Jewish people at the temple in Jerusalem. David played the harp for King Saul to bring him comfort in times of emotional distress. It is the first Biblical reference to harp music therapy. David also composed many of the beautiful psalms as he did the work of a shepherd. Later as the King of Israel he surely found great delight in the music of the harp and comfort in its celestial sounds. Later during the Babylonian Captivity the captors of the Jewish people demanded, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion". Dispirited they instead "hung their harps" in the willow trees. Their joy was renewed, however, when God allowed a remnant to return to the Holy Land of Israel. There the sounds of the harp filled the rebuilt temple.
Though the New Testament does not refer to the use of the harp in worship, the many references in the book of Psalms are convincing evidence of its continued use by the first Christians. The Book of Psalms was the songbook of Israel and also of the New Testament Christians. The book of Revelation includes several references to the harp and speaks of the believers in heaven having harps to praise the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Through faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God you too may be sure of eternity spent in heaven praising the Savior to the sound of the harp. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16)
It gives me great joy to be a "pastoral harpist", a Christian pastor who plays the harp. In the tradition of King David I seek to praise and glorify God through the use of the harp, piano, and vocal music in my ministry as a Lutheran pastor. I enjoy playing the harp and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with individuals and groups. I am available to provide music and inspirational programs for church groups, community organizations, retirement communities, and other organizations. I also frequently play the harp at the hospice, hospital, sick bed, or the home of the shut-in. See the list of available Programs for the Harp on a later page of this site.
The harp also adds great joy, elegance, and beauty to many social occasions including weddings, banquets, parties, programs, and worship services. I welcome the opportunity to play for your special event.
My personal mission statement: It is my aim in life and Lutheran ministry to share the joy in word and song of knowing Jesus Christ the Son of God as my Savior and Lord.
Pastor Bill & Susan Reister with the Salvi Orchestra pedal harp and the Triplett Eclipse 38 string Celtic lever harp.
Celestial Strings and Ceremonies is the ministry of Rev. William Reister an ordained Lutheran minister and harpist who lives in Jacksonville, Florida. The elegant sounds of the harp and inspiring words join to make a truly memorable wedding ceremony, worship service, funeral, or memorial service.
Celestial Strings provides the heavenly sounds of the harp for your special event. Each year Pastor Bill plays the pedal or lever harp for dozens of weddings, banquets, programs, parties, worship services, community events, and memorial occasions. Amplification is provided for indoor events with a top of the line Bose amplifier. A battery powered Roland amplifier is provided for outdoor events. In addition to the great sounds of the harp, piano, organ, or keyboard, vocal music is available. Mrs. Susan Reister is an accomplished church musician and will be pleased to play the piano or organ, if available, or provide music on one of her professional keyboards. Pastor Bill is a trained vocalist and is available to provide vocal music for your event. He frequently sings as he accompanies himself on the harp. He also often plays the harp for the weddings which he officiates.
Celestial Ceremonies provides memorable Christian wedding services or civil ceremonies. Pastor Bill will work with you to create the wedding service of your dreams. He will be pleased to meet with you in person or provide wedding resources for your review via email, if you prefer. He also offers free pre-marriage counseling in person or online. The funeral or memorial service is also an important time in life and Pastor Bill will be pleased to lead a service in memory of your loved one. Harp or keyboard music would be an elegant addition for the funeral, memorial, or graveside service. As an ordained Lutheran minister with more than 30 years experience, Pastor Bill will be pleased to meet with your family during your time of grief to encourage you with the Christian Gospel and to plan the service for your dear departed. He has been the Pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Florida since 1991.
Please call 904-608-9174 or e-mail Pastor Bill at RevBillReister@aol.com for more information or to schedule your event.