Thursday, 12 January 2012

Fortissimo!

On Sunday I sat just in front of four wonderful singers!  It was our monthly Parade Service so the Girls’ Brigade was occupying the row near me with the youngest girls from the Explorer Group at the very front.  Some, I understand, have just learnt to read so at this service, especially during a couple of contemporary songs, they looked up, read the words on the screen and seemed to sing their hearts out – fortissimo!  It was a great sound full of enthusiasm and brought a lump to my throat.

Over Christmas we watched a compilation programme about the Military Wives choir under the baton of the indefatigable Gareth Malone.  It was heart-warming to see their progress from a group of untried and unconfident singers to a coherent choir able to sing in honour of their husbands at The Royal Albert Hall in front of The Queen.  Music can be a great force for good.

Christians have been singing the Good News for thousands of years and hymns have been particularly important to non-liturgical traditions like ours because they often contain some of our best cherished creedal statements.  Much of what we believe was probably first communicated to us through song!

So I’m a great believer in hymns (and good songs!).  A hymn can do so much: praise God, tell His worth, help us confess our frailty and need, spur us on to service and encourage our prayers and faith.  Actually I simply can’t imagine worship without hymns and hearty singing.  So thank you girls – those six and seven year olds – for praising God so enthusiastically in song last Sunday!
This Saturday we look forward to the first Men’s Breakfast with former Mayor of Yeovil and Chairman of The South Somerset Council Mr Ian Martin.

With best wishes,

Ian

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