One of the items I’ve started doing for the Cathedral is including information about music in the bulletin every week. As these notes also reflect my thoughts and vision of church music, I thought I’d start posting them on my website for a larger audience than those that show up in the pews here in Baltimore. I may go back and add the two I’ve previously done, but here is the post for this weekend.
During the season of Lent it is common practice to give something up. In the past, I’ve given up chocolate or alcohol. I know people that give up smoking, drinking soda, or dessert. While I applaud everyone’s efforts, I’d like to recommend that rather than give something up for Lent, you consider doing something more: adopt a practice that will deepen your faith.
Now of course, because I’m the cathedral musician, I’m going to make some musical suggestions for your Lenten practice. Come join one of the choirs. Many products come with a guarantee or trial period. Come sing with the Contemporary or Cathedral Choirs for Lent. It can be your forty-day trial period. If at the end of the season, you decide the group is not for you, that’s okay. If you enjoy it, then we certainly won’t kick you out after Easter!
If you don’t have time to join the choir, how about choosing to open the hymnal and sing. Today is my father’s birthday, so I’ll remind you that he has a problem carrying a tune in a bucket, but he still sings when at church. Even if you feel like you have a voice like my father’s, how about making it a Lenten practice to open the hymnal. If the Holy Spirit moves you to sing, then join in, but at least read the words as others are singing them.
Music is meant to be an integral part of our liturgical celebration. During this approaching season of Lent, rather than giving up something, won’t you consider adding a little more music to your prayer life? God gave you your voice. Be sure to use it to sing God’s praise.