Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Five time again...

As posted by me (MB)at RevGals today: Music is a part of the human experience, and part of religious traditions the world over. It is evocative and stirring, and many forms of worship are incomplete without it.

Our title comes from a quote popularly attributed to St. Augustine: "He who sings prays twice." A little Googling, however, indicates that Augustine didn't say exactly that. In fact, what he said just doesn't fit well onto a t-shirt. So we'll stick with what we have.

"Singing reduces stress and increases healthy breathing and emotional expression. Singing taps into a deep, age-old power available to all of us. When we find our voice, we find ourselves. Today, sing like you mean it." And let's talk about the role music plays in your life and worship.

1. Do you like to sing / listen to others sing?
Yes and every way I can think of to say yes!. It is part of my life and breath. It is as necessary to me as breath itself. I spent my life singing mostly alto, until a wise choir director asked me why I was doing that, as I was a soprano in his opinion. I told him I thought I had to be an alto because my cousin was and I did as much as I could to emulate her. That day I became an official soprano.

2) Did you grow up with music in worship, or come to it later in life? Tell us about it, and how that has changed in your experience.
Early on, going to the Episcopal church, I learned about music and singing. The sad part of that church was that I could only sing loudly when the choir was right beside me in the aisle. I longed for a place to sing at the top of my lungs. But I loved the settings of the prayers and the scripture and found later when I began to study the Bible seriously that I already knew lots of the passages because I grew up singing them. When the Fisherfolk music (from Redeemer, Houston) came on the scene, I enbraced it enthusiastically. We took guitar lessons (had to get 3/4 size guitars for Nancy and Mary Beth, they were so small. But we all played and sang for the services. Funny story abvout that - you know how many of us never think we are ready. One Sunday my priest informed me I was playing for the service the next week. I protested that I was only sure of the G and D chords. He told me that was fine - that he had backup teenagers coming for a few weeks and whenever they played a G or a D I was to play. It worked, Soon, I didn't need the teens.

3) Some people find worship incomplete without music; others would just as soon not have it. Where do you fall?
Probably with the first group. I love the intimacy of compline, but I really need music to have a full worship experience.

4) Do you prefer traditional music in worship, or contemporary?
I love it all, except for the ultra modern screaming sort which some people call music and I call noise. We have a lot of contemporary music as our main musician/leader plays guitar. We do have a pianist and an organ when we can find someone to play it. Henry would just as soon tackle something from the hymn book as a newer piece. I was so into the Fisherfolk music that I resisted the newer models but have learned to worship with them also. DH and I spent a number of years singing with the Sacred Harp group where we lived and thoroughly enjoyed this - we don't have a group in San Angelo or we would be still going. There is a totally different experience. I recommend you try it, if possible. You will either love it or hate it. A friend once said it sounded Elizabethan to her.???

5) What's your go-to music ... when you need solace or want to express joy?
I don't know how to post music, but the old hymns have a high place for me as do the old southern hymns. When I am in the car alone, I am always singing,usually as loudly as possible. I have been lost at time, when I am lost in my music but I always find my way home. I directed a group of girls who did Christian musicals for many years, and we all learned a lot beside music here. But the music was great. As a child of about 10 years I used to go to our church, climb the steeple and play the chimes. I played all the hymns, made occasional mistakes, but not too many - and this music went all over the town. The miracle is that no one ever came and said "Little girl, you are not allowed to be up here playing with the chimes -go home immediately!" No one ever came at all. How very freeing.
We have 40 music channel options on our TV and DH usally chooses classical music, to which I sing along. My dad taught me to sing opera when we were out fishing. We didn't catch too much but we had fun. Can you tell that music is essential for my very life?


Mary Beth said...

oooh, Sacred Harp! I forgot to include that! :)

Wendy said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful play. I am going to have to look up Fisherfolk and Sacred Harp.

MJ said...

Wendy,sacred harp is also called shaped note singing. Very nice. Fisherfolk music is still available - ask Mary Beth for the address.

Barbara B said...

What a blessing your singing and music ministry has been through all your years in various churches in Florida and Texas.