Over at LDS blogs, there’s a blog entry about music as a form of worship. I’m on board with this. I wish everyone would sing and drown out the organ. Instead we often get the “Mormon Mumble”.
This article sparks two memories in my mind.
The first happened as I came into the MTC. Every night, all of us that were on a single floor of the dorm at the MTC would gather for what we called “Floor Prayer”. We would sing a hymn (in Spanish, ‘cause that’s what we were all studying), and all kneel in prayer. We were all enthused and eager to learn. For many of us, being focused on the Gospel all day was a very new thing, so spirits were high.
So, when we sang, it rang through the halls. I had never before heard hymns sung that way. It grabbed me and lifted me up in a way that I’d never known hymns could do. It was truly the first time I’d ever experienced music AS WORSHIP, rather than just another phase of a meeting. It was an ear-opening experience.
Another experience happened many years later. We had been invited to attend a non-denominational Christian Sunday worship service with some friends. We did, and on the surface, we had a great time. It’s interesting, but at the time, that meeting served to strengthen my own testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the Priesthood, but that’s a topic for another blog day.
One thing I noticed, however, is that everyone sang. When I say that, I mean EVERYONE sang, and sang with gusto. When the time came in the service to open up their songbooks, everyone stood and sang out. Nobody seemed to care how well they sang, they just all raised their voices. I was suddenly jealous. I wished that we could muster that kind of enthusiasm while we’re corralling the kids and reading our lesson manuals.
I’ve noticed, over the years, that the more involved the congregation is in the singing, the more they are involved in the meeting. If more ward music directors and bishops understood that, sacrament meeting would start really making a difference in people’s lives.