Pastors! What happened to the big choir sounds?

By: Dr. Jacqueline Simmons

Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights.  Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.  Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also established them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord. (Psalms 148)

Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights.  Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.  Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also established them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapors; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord. (Psalms 148)

Pastors, a new trend has “sneaked” upon us. It is very subtle but raging all over our country. Until a few years ago, we had church choir lofts filled with singers. Some members could actually sing and others were up there to be a part of the choir anyway. “Mr. Bob” and “Mrs. Susie almost brought the house down” every Sunday, not because they had beautiful voices, but the congregation loved their “swan songs”. The service seemed incomplete without them. The choir director and other members of the choir knew who could actually sing and who could not. But they tolerated all members because they were a part of the choir which also gave them a reason to attend church. Some choir directors could put various notes together to produce the most harmonious, melodious sounds ever emitted from the choir loft. I’ve had choir members who were so tone-deaf until I’ve asked them to work their lips only but please don’t allow any sounds to come between them. I can attest to the fact that no small singing group can compete with the “big sounds” especially when it comes to harmony. As everything else seem to be changing in this, God’s world, somebody got the not so brilliant idea to replace the big choir sounds with praise teams, thereby eliminating full member choir participation and former choir members sit in pews feeling neglected, discarded and lost. They finally wander off to other churches or remain at home. Pastors! Beware!!!