Apart from one brief window around Christmas time, communal singing in worship has been off limits throughout the pandemic, but finally there is some movement in the right direction! As well as being allowed to field a ‘small choir’ (whatever that might exactly mean…) indoors, we can now enjoy communal singing outdoors.
Having trialled this on Palm Sunday as part of our procession, there will be plenty of singing on Easter Day, with 3 hymns at the 8am Churches Together Service in the churchyard and a sing of some Easter favourites outside after the 9.30am service. I look forward to enjoying a good sing with you! It’s nearly a year since I wrote to you saying that was what I was really looking forward to being able to do again. I’m not sure any of us expected such a long wait.
For me, singing is at the heart of my Christian journey. Singing in the choir as a child was what brought me into the life of the church. Being immersed in hymns and anthems and the musical setting of the Eucharist meant that I learned my Christian faith by musical osmosis (a good job I think as I never went to Sunday school!). And music, especially choral music, touches my soul and feeds my spirituality – as much I think through the connection it brings to the people I sing with as to the sense of God’s own presence. After all, we see God in the face of Jesus, but we are called to find the face of Jesus in our neighbour.
So, I for one am delighted that singing is coming back, even in this limited way. It will be a joy to be able to sing some Easter hymns as a congregation. I’m therefore encouraging you to stay for a few minutes after the 9.30am service this Sunday, come outside and sing!
Our new, monthly ‘Church in the Wild’ service launches this Sunday too. There are refreshments from 10.30am for people coming to this, but if you are at the 9.30am you are welcome to have refreshments to take away. We still need to maintain distancing and ask you to make your way home/into the village garden once you’ve got your refreshments, but it will give us a bit of an opportunity for fellowship between the two services.
Please do pray for this new service – the people who are leading, helping and organising and those who will come. We hope that it will help people who would appreciate a more informal approach to connect and grow in their faith.
With my love and prayers for you,
All Saints Vicarage,
Thursday 1st April 2021