Friday, May 22, 2009

Professional Singing and the Church

At my other blog, I wrote about the e-mail I got, inviting me to a benefit concert, which would "Sing for the Cure." How could I object to that? At my other blog, I wrote about the concert from the view of creativity encouraged or dampened.

Then I started thinking about how seldom we sing together anymore. Part of it is economic; if we're working several jobs, we're not going to come home and play our instruments and sing. We're going to come home and sleep. Part of it, though, is that we've increasingly become consumers, and passive consumers at that.

That's one thing I've always treasured about church, at least the churches I've attended. There's no expectation of talent. Even in the choir, choir directors are expected to utilize the gifts of everyone who is interested.

I've heard of a disturbing trend in some churches. Some churches have moved to having professional singers or groups. They sing all the music, while the congregation respectfully listens. Just what we need, more passive consumption--and in church, of all places.

Now, I do wish the Lutheran church would integrate some other art forms as thoroughly as it has integrated music into its worship experiences. When I first went to Mepkin Abbey, I was amazed at how the worship space changed, from different flower arrangements, to different art moved around the chancel. There seemed to be a commitment to a wide variety of art forms to both enhance the worship experience and to be the worship experience.

Most churches, at least Lutheran ones, are probably open to the idea of incorporating more art. But the ones that I've been part of are waiting for direction: for artists to step forward, for volunteers.

I'm interested in the intersections between spirituality and creativity. I suspect I'll blog more about this as the days go on.


Mrs. M said...

I read this earlier today, you might appreciate it:

Kristin said...

What a great post! Thanks for the recommendation.