Monday, July 3, 2017

When Your Church Is Overamplified

I've joked, but only half jokingly, that my current church will turn me into a Quaker.  There's something about our occasionally over-amplified sanctuary that makes the idea of sitting together in silence incredibly appealing.

Yesterday we got to church, and although I usually go to the interactive service in the hall, I decided to sit in the sanctuary and do some meditative drawing while the choir rehearsed.  But after 20 minutes, I had a ringing headache.  I'm not sure whether someone had adjusted the controls on our various microphones and speakers or whether I was just in a sensitive state. 

I mentioned it to the choir, who made adjustments.  But by then, it was too late.  It took hours for my headache to go away--hours and aspirin when I got home. 

I suggested that at some point, they try an unamplified approach.  The woman who plays the flute said, "But then you couldn't hear us."

I suspect that we could.  Maybe people would actually quiet down when the choir was performing.  Maybe with the choir unamplified, the rest of us in the congregation would feel the need to sing.

By the end of yesterday's service, I was yearning for a very quiet, unamplified, contemplative service--preferably held in a cool, dark sanctuary.

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