Monday, May 12, 2008

not singing...

I'm stuck! I find that there are loads of people having a whine about singing in corporate worship gatherings, but I've still yet to find a solid reason why we should NOT sing at all in said gatherings! Interestingly, I've not found anything in any book about whether or not to sing, all I have found is the usual stream of comments about the choices we make in our music, hymns vs. song etc.

So...if you have a good reason why we should NOT sing at all please tell me! I don't want to hear about the types of song that we sing congregationally, that's a matter of personal taste and can be dealt with through a better choice of material.

I want to hear about those who think that it's a culturally irrelevant thing to do...and why you think that. My bias is so ingrained that I'm finding it difficult to work out why people would want to abandon this practice.

I promise I won't go on the attack...I just want to hear the other side of the argument!

R x


Lucy said...

I personally enjoy singing as part of worship, and it seems to have been part of Christian practise since the very early days when they 'sang Psalms and spiritual songs' to each other. I think culturally some people find it difficult to sing 'congregationally' these days if this is something they are unused to doing in their normal lives. It feels alien and rather daunting. I have a (Christian) friend who is very self conscious about singing in church and wishes there was less of it, and another (not-quite-there-yet) friend who struggles whenever he feels he should sing. But I also have a friend who was first attracted to church because of the singing, and then became a Christian.
I don't think there is a "reason" as such not to sing. Perhaps simply a need for sensitivity and balance in how we use music in our churches - knowing that not everyone finds it easy - and getting rid of the idea that singing is the one way we worship God, instead of a 24/7 activity.

I haven't really answered your question, I'm just waffling away at you - sorry!!

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Song together is something done in unison, so it enhances the communal aspect, and it is artistic support. It is also material effort, for spiritual gain. That's anthropology.

tim bulkeley said...

I'm afraid I wouldn't argue that we should not sing at all in corporate worship.

But I would claim we sing too much - where I come from "worship" practically means singing, like "gay" practically means homosexual (I'm too old for it to mean sad). There is far more to worship than singing and far far more than praise alone.

I would also claim that "we" don't sing enough, too often it becomes primarily a performance sung by the "worship team" with others joining in a bit if they have heard the song often enough...

Sorry this is rather late, but I only today stumbled on your blog :(

tim bulkeley said...

PS those two gripes together mean I'd love to have an occasional moratorium on singing, maybe allow it twice a month, or alternate months, till we relearn to worship more fully and richly.

Does that "count"?