In previous weeks, I have given some reasons to consider joining a church choir. Today, I will excerpt heavily from a 9/23/14 article by Jonathan Aigner that was included in a “Ponder Anew” blog. His article is entitled “9 Reasons to Keep the Church Choir Alive” and represents a lot of what we try to accomplish at All Saints’. Six of his reasons seem most relevant.
- Choirs support good congregational singing. … A choir demonstrates that the voice of the congregation is primary, not secondary.
- Their visual presence is an encouragement to the congregation. … We are there to be together, to worship God with each other, to be community.
- Choirs make a broader repertoire available for a worship service.
- They can offer more difficult and complex music than is possible for the greater congregation. Besides leading in times of corporate singing, since choirs have the benefit of outside rehearsal time, they can offer up musical praises on behalf of the congregation that would otherwise not be possible. In this sense, a choir can be a preaching and praying group, proclaiming God’s self-revelation, to which the congregation can listen, meditate, and respond worshipfully in their hearts.
- Choirs help singers develop and improve their musical gifts. Christians are a singing people. … Giving children opportunities for choral education in the local church setting further primes congregations to be accepting and supportive of choral music.
- Participation in choir ministry can be an avenue for introducing outsiders to the church and the Christian faith. I’ve known many, many people who have come into a church by way of a choral ensemble, have heard the gospel, and have responded with committing their life to Christ. Or, as was the case in my life, choirs can help keep people connected to the faith. I was all but ready to leave the organized church as a teenager, but a move to a new congregation and finding love and acceptance in the choir loft kept me engaged, and ultimately set the stage for me to recognize my calling into vocational church work.
Also important to keep in mind is that in striving to accomplish all of the above, we manage to have FUN in the process! The choirs are open and accepting groups, and new members are always welcome. Please speak to me at any time if you want to know more. The door is always open. Maggie Marshall, Minister of Music.