PRLC’s Chancel Choir sings at Christmas Eve last year
Working in music at Phinney is an honor and a blessing. Staff colleagues who care about worship, liturgy and music, dedicated volunteers who give of their time and ability week after week, and a congregation that praises God in songs old and new all contribute to a vibrant environment for our worship together.
Most Sundays at the 11:00 service, the Chancel Choir contributes its voice to our worship. At a recent rehearsal, I asked Chancel Choir members to write a sentence or two about why they sing in choir and what they see as the role of the choir in worship. Many mentioned not only a personal love of singing, but also the deeper spiritual experience of singing to worship God and the power of singing together with brothers and sisters in Christ. Worshiping God through music in community with others is profound and sustaining.
“I love to sing and love the sense of community that choir offers.”
“Singing feels great. It lifts my spirits.”
“Choir gives me a sense of belonging, feeling at the heart of worship.”
“Besides being fun and a learning experience, it’s spiritual.”
“Singing is my truest worship . . . I feel closest to God particularly when I’m singing in harmony with others.”
“I find solace in the beautiful and simple act of singing. Being in choir has been full of spiritual healing. On days when I can’t make myself pray, at least I can sing.”
Chancel Choir members take very seriously the role of leading and enabling congregational song. Many said they worship more fully because of this role and responsibility.
Choir is “a chance for regular people to make beautiful music and help lead worship.”
“ . . a way to serve our parish and enhance worship.”
“Choir adds another level to worship. It is amazing to sing to God with others.”
“Words express ideas but music expresses feelings. Singing turns ideas into emotions allowing . . . an emotional connection to the liturgy and sacrament.”
“The choir’s role is to highlight or elaborate on the text mentioned, the scriptures, ideas . . . It is wonderful to hear that someone was moved by a piece we did in worship or that it had some impact.”
I am continually humbled and blessed by the ongoing dedication of the members of Chancel Choir. I am moved and inspired by the sincerity and deep faith present in each voice and on each face.
One choir member quoted hymns to express himself:
“I sing because I’m happy. How can I keep from singing?”
Amen to that.
~ Beth Ann Bonnecroy
Director of the Chancel and Handbell Choirs