Lift ev’ry voice and sing till earth and heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise high as the list’ning skies, let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us;
sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
facing the rising sun of our new day begun, let us march on till victory is won.—ELW 841
With my article this month, I want to say, “thank you.” Our congregation is filled with so many gifted musicians. And, during this time when we are unable to meet together, I think our musicians feel a bit lost. So we want to thank everyone for all they’ve given us these past months: the choir, the worship team, the bell choir, those who offer music in solos or duets, the Bethmen, and our music staff Maxine (Organ Led Worship Coordinator), Tommy (Guitar Led Worship Coordinator) and Charleynne (Organist). I also want to thank each of you that lift up your voice to sing in worship. It doesn’t matter if you have the voice of an angel or the voice only an angel can love, your voice is important.
I want to give a special thank you to the small group of choir people that gathered together during this difficult time to record portions of the liturgy and Holden Evening Prayer. We did this recording during the day and had several choir members who work, saddened that they couldn’t join us. We also gathered a group together (we always stay six feet apart!) on two occasions and recorded several hymns and worship songs that have been included in our worship videos.
I’ve gotten several messages from Maxine asking when can the choir get together and sing? The choir is “chomping at the bit” to get singing again. They are ready to share their gifts with all of us. Music is more than the songs that are sung. Music is also community. It’s social yes, but what I mean is that something greater is created when voices and instruments come together. When we create music it is felt in the depths of our soul and when the notes come together an entire new level of sound is created. It’s something you can’t replicate by yourself or even listening to a recording. It may come close but it’s never quite the same as when music is live.
What I am trying to say is that the many gifted musicians in our congregation are missing this community. They are missing coming together and creating something new together. I don’t doubt that some of you who sing from the pews feel the same way. The hope that our present isolation has brought me is the hope that comes from knowing that we will gather again to hear God’s Word proclaimed, to lift up our voices in song, and to gather at the altar to share in the Lord’s Supper. Let us march on until this hope becomes our reality.