Amid the challenges and divisions of recent days, many people have noted that scripture and sacrament are unifying factors of our church. As a liturgi-geek extraordinaire I wish more people would take notice of music as well.
On Sunday, we gathered to sing the same text and tunes as every other Sunday this summer. ELCA churches across the country were singing the "ordinary" parts of the service: kyrie, gloria, sanctus, and agnus. The familiar texts unite us and reinforce the core tenets of our faith.
I couldn't help but notice the particular strength and enthusiasm of the singing during our communion hymn: "How Great Thou Art." It was great to hear voices unite on such a favorite old hymn. I hope everyone enjoyed singing it and that the sense of timeless community was as strong as I sensed it to be from the organ bench.
To put a spin on an old cliche: the congregation that sings together, stays together.
I also want to thank Mary for singing this past Sunday. It was great to hear some Bach and have an opportunity to accompany on the harpsichord as a change of pace.