Better Singing Through Love
Lots of ingredients go into good congregational singing. The music has to be singable. It has to be played or led in a way that enables it to be sung. The music should be relevant to the occasion, and the people need to want to sing.
When you attend a concert by your favorite artist, do you sing along for (at least some of) the songs? Last summer I took my niece to a concert by One Direction at M&T Bank Stadium. There were times when I’m not sure I even heard the band singing because the crowd was singing so loudly! Even though I didn’t necessarily know all the songs ahead of time, when the band encouraged people to sing, it was easy to do so. The words were easy. The melody was straightforward. Even for those like me who hadn’t heard it before, with a simple willingness to sing, it was easy to participate.
When you attend a friend’s or family member’s birthday party, do you sing happy birthday? Are you concerned about whether other people hear you sing, or are you more interested in expressing your wishes and happiness to the honoree? When the restaurant staff starts singing happy birthday to someone, do you join in? My guess is probably not because you don’t know the person. We sing happy birthday to people that we know and love.
Presumably we gather here at the Cathedral because we love God. I know all the songs may not be familiar, but with a little willingness, I believe they are all singable. I do my best to choose music relevant to the occasion and to play it in a way that will support your singing. Are you willing (even if it seems like a cross) to show your love for God by doing your part and singing? You could even demonstrate your love for your neighbor by thanking them for singing.