Monday, January 26, 2009

A Joyful Noise

I'm trying to figure out how I feel about the music that we currently sing in our church. I think most people my age have similar feelings. We don't want to appear old and stodgy and want to join in with new ideas, but I just don't enjoy singing at church. I don't think it's just my church, but I think it is a trend everywhere to go more toward contemporary music. And the majority of it is beautiful when sung by someone who knows the tune and has a good voice. I can carry a tune, but that's about it. If I have a hymn book and familiar song, I can blend in okay, but here's the way it goes: We stand up for "choruses." The words are displayed on a large screen, and admittedly most have beautiful messages. I try to concentrate on the words and not the fact that I have no idea what the tune is. Even after a year of singing the same songs, I still have no idea. Our music director pretty much sings a solo with the choir to back him up. The rest of us just come in at various times when we recognize portions. I don't love all the old hymns, but there's something comforting about them, the same tunes, the same words that we remember from childhood. They're tunes you can remember and sing with enthusiasm rather than standing there just mouthing words, hoping you mouth them at the right time.

I love our church, but the guys working the sound system and the audio seem to sometimes go to sleep, and we're left mouthing different words than the director. Yesterday, we had the precorded music for the first song, and when it started it was so loud it sounded like a plane was landing on the building. The lady behind me actually screamed. It's funny now, but since the majority of our congregation is over 60 (it seems) that could be dangerous. That's another reason for wondering about the choice of music. We have probably 10 children in the church, possibly that many teenagers, a few young couples, a good many middle-aged, but lots of older people. I have a feeling they would enjoy more hymns and less contemporary, but anyway...

We did have a wonderful singer and speaker yesterday, Ginger Millerman. She has the beautiful voice needed to make you love this type of music. And such a sweet speaker also. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her message.

Maybe with time, I'll get used to some of these songs and feel comfortable. Meanwhile, I look forward to Easter and Christmas and Independence Day and Thanksgiving so I can hear something familiar.


  1. That opinion has nothing to do with age. I'm in my twenties and feel exactly the same way. There is truly something comforting about hearing a familiar hymn every Sunday.

  2. Well, that's a relief that I'm not alone in feeling this way. I don't think the old hymns are going to disappear. Maybe we need to fight for them! I wonder if the children nowadays will have these same memories. You have a responsibility to keep the "real" music alive with your little boy.