If you participate in a service (e.g. choir/serving/organ)
, do you concentrate on the service as much?
I ask this because I sing in a church choir, and sometimes play the organ. I really love doing both, but I do find that it often means I'm not concentrating on the service at all; instead I'll be thinking about the awkward line of harmony in the next hymn. (I am relatively new to being in a choir; I'd never sung harmony before I joined.)
I have noticed that if I attend a service when I am not performing, especially if at another church, I do concentrate a lot more on what is being said.
I have also told myself that if I do really want to appreciate the service and its spirituality, perhaps following a bereavement, I might choose to sit out the choir for a few weeks.
Is it normal to feel this way? Do more experienced choristers and organists still have to devote their concentration to their music, rather than the service?
It is a different experience leading worship to being part of the congregation. I regularily lead worship and I know where in the service I can relax a bit and be part of it rather than thinking what happens next. It does get easier with practice and if singing is the way you expereince the closeness of God then it is a real joy to be part of it but sometimes it is good to just fade back into the congregation, maybe not your congregation but someone elses and enjoy not being on show for once.
It will get easier. However don't forget that the choir is a team and needs people to commit to being there regularly. (I speak as member of small church choir with some members who only come sometimes. This affects both the sound and the morale of the regulars).
I am in our church choir and find I am more alive to the service simply so I know when we are singing or not. playing the piano, keyboard or church organ must be a different matter though. It's definitely more complex than just singing....I am assuming.
Have to say though I am stressing about the Paul Inwood " we shall draw water joyfully" thanks to the huge number of flat notes within it. We are singing it tonight for the Maundy Thursday Mass.
I do sidesman/reading and don't really concentrate much, although I can join in with the singing.
I also operate the projector, and cannot take in anything at all. I have to concentrate so hard on getting the right words up at the right time.
When I am on duty, I will go to one of the other services as well.
I have just started serving and also acting as a sidesperson.
I've only served a couple of times so far, so it has been a bit nerve-wracking, but I have been able to concentrate on the service because actually the points when the servers are busy are mostly when everyone is singing, whereas we're free to concentrate on the sermon, intercessions etc. I like that the servers get to take communion with the clergy during the Agnus Dei, which is my favourite part of the service, so that feels kind of special. And I feel privileged to be a part of the service.
When I am a sidesperson it's a bit harder to concentrate, as I'm alert to people who might need something, people coming in late, or whatever. I'm also standing/sitting right at the back or off to one side. But again, I do like having a role to play.
I sing in our choir alternate weeks and definitely follow the service more closely at those times - but it may be because on the other weeks I take the DDs! Dh and I do it week and week about so we get one Sunday of good spiritual presence, one sunday of essentially crowd control... We joined the choir when we moved here, and it definitly gets easier as you become more familiar with the set parts of the service - we're Catholic and after about 6 months I knew all the Sanctus tunes they use in this congregation, for example.
Thank you everybody. As for today's Good Friday service... I was in the choir as usual and taking part in the Passion reading, but I was actually moved to tears by the sombre service, especially during the "Reproaches" hymn.
I really enjoyed the Mass on Thursday, especially the end when we sang plain chant while the Blessed Sacrament was carried into the side chapel and all the lights were turned off. Tonight we light the church with candlelight and celebrate the Easter Vigil where several adults are being baptised and making their first Hoy Communion. I was received into the Catholic church last year and it was such a special night....so looking forward to being part of the choir tonight while the new candidates are welcomed in.
That sounds beautiful Jake.
I definitely find that I have to make more effort to get into the service if I'm leading/preaching/in worship band or even doing the prayers or a reading - I still get nervous beforehand! If I intentionally switch off to worries and on to worship it is OK, and then I often feel I can join in worship in an even deeper way because of the intentionality of it, iyswim. Green is right, it gets easier with practise, and you'll prbably find being in the choir that as you all get to know how you work together you can concentrate on the service well.
Prayers for all those who have a role in Easter Day services tomorrow. May God bless your ministry richly
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