MUSIC NOTES for August
For Zion’s 200th anniversary I am try to get a listing of our congregational favorite Hymn tunes and texts. Please write out some your favorite hymns and place in box at back of the church. The hymns do not have to be from our Hymnal. If you would like to share why they are important to you, please write that in or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-471-4947.
As musicians, we are called to enhance the life of the congregation through music. We do this in many ways, but none is more vital than through congregational singing. When we sing together, we are expressing who we are, and this expression may well be described as the “heartbeat” of our congregational life together. I will take the hymns of our congregation and tell their stories and add them to our service in unique ways.
“Special thanks to the choir for beautifying our worship today.” What a nice thing to say! Choir members are pleased when someone compliments them. But is adding beauty the primary objective of Zion’s choirs? Actually, the choir has other functions that are equally if not more important. The music of the choir should not be less than beautiful, but it should also be more.
When we gather for public worship, we worship our Savior by proclaiming the good news about Jesus. This is the great commission Jesus gave his people, and we show how much Jesus is worth to us when we carry out his commission. We do some of this work ourselves also in worship, when we confess our sins, when we speak the Creed, and when we sing Christian hymns, we are retelling the story of God’s love.
The choir assists the members as they proclaim the gospel in worship. The choir assists the members by supplying rehearsed voices to help worshipers sing new and difficult songs and hymns. The choir heightens the joy of hymn singing by offering special settings of stanzas. The choir enhances the Scripture readings as it adds beauty and variety to the psalms and scripture verses that punctuate the lessons. The choir often sings an anthem and, as it does, it proclaims the good news just as all members do in singing hymns. You’ll often notice that the choir anthem amplifies the worship theme of a particular Sunday, as its text matches the focus of the lessons and sermon. If the choir’s only task were to beautify the service, the words would hardly be important. But the choir’s ministry is more than that. The choir also proclaims the gospel and helps others to do so. In fact, that is the choir’s primary purpose in worship. The next time you want to compliment a member of our church choir, why not say, “Thank you for helping me worship today and for strengthening my faith.”