i was at a service last sunday night, celebrating a new ministry appointment of a friend of mine. the service was a tradional anglican evensong services, complete with all the traditional music.
most of the service wasn’t that bad. we came to two points in the service where it is traditional to sing these prayers (which by the way, when you understand the significance and rationale to them, it is quite beautiful). we were invited to stand and listen to the choir sing these prayers. later in the service it was explained that in order for these prayers to truly sound the way they were intended, they can only be sung by a professionally trained choir. (my interpretation: your voices suck and would cause even God’s ears to bleed, so stop unless you are willing to spend hours practicing.)
i wondered if i was simply bitter, but the people i traveled with shared a similar opinion. i can understand a concert/recital or another type of performance where you want the trained people singing and the rest listening and enjoying. but in a service of worship – to suggest that our vocal chords have not received the same blessing and therefore cannot sing? with that type of reception, i’m not surprised that anglican church congregations are rapidly shrinking.
(truthfully, the choir didn’t sound that great either.)