A Beautiful Liturgy

Emilie Joelle and Rich Kirkpatrick are a daughter-father worship team based out of Southern California. With influences ranging from Gungor, The Brilliance, and Matt Maher, their sound might sound similar to The Civil Wars or even All Sons and Daughters at times. Uniquely, their songs build a bridge to liturgy. Liturgy means the work of the people. Emilie and Rich desire to make the work of the people in worship something beautiful through the songs they write and the way they lead in music ministry. Unique in modern worship is this connection to the past, translating it instead of running from it. Intergenerational expression of worship is also one of their passions.

Emilie and her father have led worship in some way together for the last eight years. Both songwriters in their own right, they never thought to collaborate until Rich was stuck on a song. That moment spurred this unique duo. The extraordinary chemistry clearly shines in this five-song project. Rich, a local church ministry veteran, combines his musical and theological experience with the young Emilie’s amazing talent with storytelling and gift for the memorable melody.

Their debut project comes from songs written in the context of their local church and from years as worship leaders. Producer Blaine Stark approached the arrangements with simplicity and timelessness–familiar sounds presented in a modern way. Their songs are tied to old hymns, liturgical themes, and yet modern.

Rich is also an author and speaker, publishing The Six Hats of the Worship Leader in 2014 and teaching at the National Worship Leader Conferences for the past few years. Emilie’s debut project, My Oh My with gifted producer Ramy Anton displayed the songwriting and vocal talent Emilie had even at 17 years of age. Beginning with Grammy nominated Sarah Kelly’s tutelage as a teen, Emilie continues to grow the songwriting craft. She is also a visual artist and graphic designer by trade. Her creation of art pieces for each song brands A Beautiful Liturgy as more than a thought and sound group, but also one that speaks to the eye.

Q – Why do vinyl?

AThe retailer amazon.com reported that one of their hottest electronic items selling this past Christmas was the old turntable. It represents a full circle. The younger set is rediscovering something valuable from the past—as clearly MP3s don’t sound as good as a vinyl LP. Beyond that, there is a family tradition. Gary Rowe, Rich’s father-in-law and Emilie’s grandfather, founded and ran Rowe’s Rare Records in San Jose, CA. We miss Gary very much—Emilie never got to meet her grandfather. But, his love for music and vinyl live on and inspired us to do a vinyl release. It will come out summer of this year.

Q – A daughter and father duo in worship leading is unique. Tell us about that.

AIn talking to an industry friend I heard him say that it isn’t weird to see a man and woman who are not a couple as worship artists, so this is even less weird. That was oddly encouraging. It is time we embraced being intergenerational in modern worship. It is one thing to talk about it. We would rather model it.

Q – Tell us about your local church.

A –  We lead at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in San Clemente, CA. It is a church of about 200 people with three styles of worship. Rich leads the “contemporary” service and serves as the accompanist for the more traditional service. We both often lead at the Sunday night service called The Pause. The Word and Table are still part of the service, of course. But, we do a time of sustained musical singing at the front end of the service. The intimate size of this service also makes it special. We love that our pastor is a fan the intergenerational thing completely and supports art and creativity.

More about Emilie

More about Rich

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What some are already saying about A Beautiful Liturgy

Artfully produced, beautifully written and contextually broad, I want to tell the world about it.  A Beautiful Liturgy is all of those things. Appropriately titled, worshipers will be haunted by the palpable differences in style, vocal inflection and writing sensibility of this father/daughter duo, and how wonderfully they are interwoven in this project. I can’t say enough about this beautifully quaint, honest, relevant and spiritually rich project.

Mark Roach
Worship Leader, Recording Artist

I love it–the foundational Truth in each of those songs is LIFE. The beautiful simplicity of “Lord Have Mercy” bring the meaning of ‘Kyrie’ alive to me.

Tom Brooks
Producer and Music Department Chair, Hope international University

I long as a worship leader, music enthusiast, and Jesus-follower to discover music which can carry my soul to a fresh dimension of beauty and emotion, while also engaging my mind with new reminders of old truths. After listening to this project, I’m grateful for a unique yet simple, if not tender, artistic expression which does both. Surprisingly, the moments captured in these recordings somehow manage to transcend the generational limits typically expected from music created with the Church in mind. A Beautiful Liturgy is a peaceful quiet among a sea of sounds.

Sam Hart
Producer, Worship Director at The Well, Fresno, CA

They say that it is important to put your best foot forward, and in the case of A Beautiful Liturgy’s upcoming EP, they did that and more.…This EP takes it’s time. It gives room to breathe and be still. It is filled with worshipful ethereal tracks that truly make for a consecrated and set apart project that points directly at Jesus.

Joel Klampert
Pastor at Ember Church, Middletown, RI

The best art is genuine and real. This project is a work of art by two genuine artists and I’m glad to see this beautiful collaboration between a father and a daughter. The writing and production compliment each other well. It’s a call to worship that can benefit the Church individually and corporately. It’s been a blessing to me in my personal time of worship and I’m excited to see how God uses this to stir the hearts of His people.

Gary Durbin
Songwriter, Worship Director at The Orchard Church, Brighton, CO

A Beautiful Liturgy unites inspiring responses of Scripture, creative ambient textures through musical prayer to captivate the heart. Let the music from this album release the echoes of your soul as you surrender honest praise to God.

 Branon Dempsey