As usual on every Sunday morning, I found my way to my favourite pew -- the choir's seat. I knelt down, thanked the Heavenly Father for the opportunity to attend this gathering of His people, then scanned through the song list and got the pages bookmarked, and got ready for the Entrance Hymn.
At 7.30am sharp, the priest signaled from the main door to the Commentator sitting right next to me, to start the introduction. The Entrance hymn was announced, the Choirmaster banged on the piano, the choir sang as the congregation followed. As always, I was busy making sure I
got the alto part correct so I did not notice anything. At the Lord Have Mercy, I just realised that something was wrong with the new projector and the choirmaster's son was doing his best to fix the problem. While I was singing Lord Have Mercy, my eyes fell upon the congregation. To my
surprise, they seemed so lost without the projector, but worse still, their mouths were CLOSED.
I wondered, was the choir singing so badly that the congregation could not follow, or they totally cannot do without the projector? We have been singing the Lord Have Mercy tune every Mass, so no matter what happened the congregation should know the lyrics (which is only the repetition of 'Lord have mercy' and 'Christ have mercy'). Even without the piano (or guitar or any musical instruments as accompaniment), the Mass tunes should not be a problem at all. But too bad, it is a problem in the local churches -- congregations do not sing.
As God's children, we are not supposed to be afraid when it comes to singing during Mass, or any time for the Lord's glory. Even if we are not familiar with the hymns, we still should try and sing along. There is nothing to fear. God's spirit in us will guide us, as long as we are willing to open our mouth and sing with our hearts. So said St.Augustine, 'Singing is praying twice'.
Perhaps some will complain that they do not have a good voice. Well, do you think everyone who is singing in the choir has good voice? No, not really. One good choir does not depend on the individual voices, or else it should not be called a choir. Instead it is the many individuals who
sing in one voice that makes the choir. So, not having a good voice is not a good excuse.
When we sing, we are not singing for ourselves, nor are we singing for the other brothers and sisters; we are singing exclusively for GOD. God and God ONLY. So do not bother at how you are going to sound. The only thing that matters to Him is that we sing with a sincere heart.
If you call yourself a child of God, then don't hesitate to sing His songs. You will find it easy to master the songs. ;)
Psalm 47:1 Clap your hands all you people, and shout to God with joy!