I joined a book club that discusses theology books and there is a strong contingency that belongs to a new, hipster artsy church. I really like these people and they’ve been asking me to come to church with them since the beginning. Last Sunday I decided to go and I really liked it.
They meet in a music venue, a historic building down on the Hudson river. The sermon was really good and as I said before all the people are very cool. I liked it. But then there was the music.
I don’t know why but most churches trying to bring people in are not down with traditional hymns. I’ve hated this exodus from good music since the very beginning, since I’m a sucker for old Protestant hymns and of course the Mormon hymns that I’ve grown up with. Plus there’s a South Park in which Cartman decides to start his own Christian rock band and that has robbed me of the ability to maturely approach lyrics for this kind of music. However, I eventually decided that praise and worship music helps people connect to God so I should just let it be. Plus it mostly doesn’t concern me since I only hear it when I occasionally visit these types of churches.
Of these types of churches, this one did have the best music that I had heard and the musicians were genuinely good. It was just too damn loud. I wasn’t singing but it was so loud that I couldn’t hear the person next to me or the people behind me. I couldn’t hear anyone at all.
I remembered a sacrament meeting in which I could hear my fellow congregants. A month or so ago, I had the delicious pleasure of going to church with many of my BCC blogtastic friends. I was seated comfortably between J. Stapley and Kristine, both of whom are very good singers. I could hear Aaron in front of me and Kevin and Taryn down the way. I am not a good singer, so it may not have been so pleasant for J. and Kristine but I felt so happy sitting there, reading the music, singing along as best I could, trying to harmonize with the folks around me. There was a lyric in the sacrament hymn about repenting and being obedient. J. belted that right out and looked at me. What? Repent? I’m not sure what you’re saying J.. Still I could hear him. And I did think about it, momentarily.
I never want to tear down another church so I’m not looking for us to congratulate ourselves on how good we are, I just feel very lucky that I can hear you when I sing in church and that you can hear me. I have learned how to read music in Church, learned how to sing alto, learned how to relish really worshipful lyrics, and I’m really glad.
Listen to each other sing at church.
And now, if Kristine could just pick every hymn sung in a sacrament meeting I attend from here on out, I would be one lucky girl.