Singing The Liturgy

I found out something impressive about my editor this morning.

He is a liturgist at his church.

This didn’t really surprise me, since he has a pretty good voice, but what did surprise me is that he actually does sing the liturgy. I told him I thought that was pretty brave, and he seemed surprised, like he thought it wasn’t really that big of a deal.

I don’t get stage fright, and I love public speaking, but I do not like singing alone or in a very small group in public, because I know my voice is not good.

Doing the liturgy in particular is very hard for a couple reasons: first, it’s usually sung at least partly without accompaniment, meaning that you have to be able to stay on key all by yourself; second, almost everyone knows how it’s supposed to sound, so you can’t just make something up and pretend like that’s the way it’s supposed to be; and third, churches often have a big crowd, and though friendly, it can be scary to try to sing in front of your friends, family, old teachers, and random people who know you.

In short: If you know someone who sings the liturgy in your church, take a minute to thank them for their bravery, skill or talent.

2 Responses

  1. Adam Cuerden

    There’s a way to get over that fright: Go to regular Gilbert andSullivan meetups where everyone sings throuh operas together, and sign up for a role. Everyone knows what it sounds like, and some of it can be quite fiddly – think “I am the very model of a modern Major-General” (Which I’ve done), “Poor Wan’ring One (which I haven’t) or “This Helmet, I suppose” (Second in the trio sections, not Arac’s solos).

    Of course, I grew up singing in chorus: Having Handel’s Hallelujah chorus rehearsed so many times to get the newcomers up to speed that you could do it ‘from memory’, and your outlook on what’s difficult is forever broken. What do I think is difficult? This: It’s a tenor song! It’s a bass song! It’s a song for some ridiculous freak of nature!

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