Monday, March 06, 2017

Singing the Faith: Day 1

Day 1 :  Introduction

“Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.”
Psalm 150.6

Singing is an ancient practice. Humanity sang before it could speak; we made tunes long before we made words. It isn’t just humans who sing. Birds and animals sing to signal to each other, to create bonds, as warnings and for comfort.

It should be no surprise, then, that singing has been so important a part of worship in every faith.

In this series of reflections, linked to our Lent course at Seal Church, we will think a little about the hymns we sing and how they express and shape our faith.

The first week’s reflections will help us trace the development of church music. Subsequent weeks will focus on a particular type of hymn

In the Bible singing was a regular part of worship and community life. Miriam sang to celebrate the freedom of her people from Egypt. David sang to soothe King Saul. There was singing in the Temple and in the synagogue, and the early Christians carried on the tradition.

Most of these reflections will include a hymn to reflect on, but I wanted to begin at the beginning, with a taste of what the music of Jesus’ time might have sounded like.

The clip below shows a Syriac monk singing in the Coptic monastery of Jerusalem. He is singing in Aramaic, the language Jesus would have spoken and his chant is probably not very different from that of the early church and the Jewish synagogue worship which it succeeded.

·         What does music mean to you? Is it important – if so, why?

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