Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Sing, Sing, Sing!
I wrote about the death of David Bowie last week and in the days since we have witnessed the outpouring of grief and reflection in response to his passing. His last album, released a couple of days before his death, bumped Adele from numero uno, which is a considerable feat. And there have been lots of tributes, including a Bowie sing-along at the Art Gallery of Ontario which took place this past Saturday night. More than 500 "choir members" sang Major Tom in three-part harmony, and they sounded pretty darn good.
Human beings have a profound desire to express themselves through music, whether in joy or grief. I read an article recently about the resurgence of community choirs as an opportunity for social interaction, and another more scholarly piece on choirs as a form of social capital. One sister-in-law recently sold her music business which taught children to sing collectively. I wrote about this a while ago, noting the irony that her programs ran out of a faltering United Church. In another day the kids would have been in congregational choirs and wouldn't have paid for it!
We sing in worship, whether it is in large gathering or small. It happens less often, but we still sing at some funerals and weddings. Sometimes we sing through the tears, and when we can't muster a song, others do so for us. Christians sing old hymns and praise songs, badly and beautifully. While music isn't listed as a spiritual gift in the 1 Corinthians passage we read on Sunday, we know it is.
Some of you sing in church and community choirs, and some of you lead them. What are your observations about music, as a spiritual gift and faith expression?
Here is the link to the AGO event. Listen up! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKg1_fKO1sY