Monday, 24 February 2014

Good advice: Five Ways to Improve Congregational Singing - from Keith Getty

Catholics write books about Why Catholics Can't Sing

It seems that Protestants have a better approach:  they face the same challenges, but they write articles like Five Ways to Improve Congregational Singing - and make some fantastically important points at the same time.

My favourite:
Congregational singing is a holy act,
I couldn't agree more.    Even  this traditionally oriented church-musician says that

"The unity that we experience in singing is a reflection of the reality of the Communion of our souls and those of all the hosts of heaven in One Body - The Mystical Body of Christ."
and has links to various pieces of neuro-science based research which starts to explain the biological ways in which that happens.      (Sadly in the rest of her posts basically say that chant is the only legitimate worship music, that that its best left to the specialists with the great unwashed aiming for the "interior participation".   Bleh!)

Some other great points from the original post:
... in our song worship, we have to be spiritually alive (dead people don’t sing), spiritually assisted (through the enabling of the Holy Spirit), and spiritually active (committed to daily walking with the Lord).

the language being placed in the congregation’s mouth, for that singing ultimately affects how they think, how they feel, how they pray, and how they live.

Reach across the aisle, meeting with leaders from different churches and denominations to learn about their music selections.

That last point might upset a few traditionalists - but I think that makes it even more important.   Who could seriously imagine not having Amazing Grace in the parish's list of hymns-we-know?    Despite a few theological quibbles (and even those aren't universally supported), it cuts across boundaries most effectively, and proves that we have far more in common between denominations that we have keeping us apart.

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