The Scripture Readings this week are:
- Psalm 96 (VU p.814)
- Isaiah 42:9-13
- Psalm 98 (VU p.816)
- Colossians 3:16
Early Thoughts: Why do we sing?
If you ask many people what their favourite part of church services are they are likely to say "the music". People are far more likely to remember a hymn they really like (or really dislike) than a favourite sermon (despite what ministers might like to believe).
We sing in church because people are inherently musical, all cultures have music. We sing in church because Scripture encourages, nay commands, us to sing. We sing our joys and we sing our laments. We sing our way through the faith story -- in fact more people learn the Christmas story through carols than through reading the Scriptural text. We sing to remind us of God active in our lives, to remind us of God's hopes for the world, to remind us of our obligation to respond to God's call. For many of us music is simply part of our faith life.
Where the question gets clouded is when we ask what do we sing. Do we only sing the old favourites or preference the new songs? How do we choose what is "singable"? Well we sing both old an new (remembering that every old favourite was once a new piece. We look at the words and at the music. Sometimes we let go of an old favourite because the words don't have meaning for us anymore. Sometimes we can change the words a little bit and still sing it. Sometimes new words can be sung to familiar tunes. And of course sometimes we need to stretch ourselves a bit and learn music that is different.