I know a lot of musically talented people. My church is full of musical talent, and our worship leader and pianist, Hannah, encourages many people to express their musical abilities in worship and in other venues as well. It seems to me that people within the church can find many avenues for the expression of musical art without much difficulty and usually with much encouragement from others within their particular church body.
I often wonder what non-Christians who are musically gifted or people who just enjoy singing or playing an instrument do to express themselves in this way. I’m not particularly gifted in music, but I love to sing. What would I do without the opportunity to sing every Sunday in a lovely congregational choir full of people of all ages singing together? And then there’s the singing and piano playing that goes on around my house every day. Oh, I would miss so much “art” in life if I were not a Christian. With whom do non-Christians sing?
Of course, the book also talks about introducing your children to good music: classical music and hymns. I feel I used to do this with my now-grown children, but I’ve lost the habit. Now, my older children and my teens are interested in a very eclectic mix of music, everything from Les Miz to Celtic Thunder to Switchfoot to show tunes. They sing the songs of these artists and listen to them. They don’t listen to much classical music because they prefer lyrical music, as do I.
My oldest daughter is a singer with a beautiful voice, and she recently became confirmed as a Catholic. I have several questions about and issues with that decision, but one of the minor things I’ve wondered about is whether or not she’ll have an opportunity to sing, either with a congregation or a choir or as a soloist, giving the gift of her musical ability to others and in worship to God. I don’t feel as if Catholics do much singing (corporately, in worship), but you can correct me if I’m wrong about that. Anyway, I liked the ending sentences of this chapter on music as hidden art because it applies to all of us, Catholic or Protestant, musically gifted or just average, together or alone:
“For Christians, there is no need for alcohol to release our inhibitions in music-making. The reality of the Holy Spirit should free us to joyous expression in the form of melody and song. This is what is meant to be now, and what will continue in eternity. Creative creatures on a finite level, made in the image of the Creative God.”
I like the way each of reads the same chapter on music, and rather creatively, we all go off in different directions in our thoughts about the subject. Check out the linky at Ordo Amoris.