“Praise God with strings and pipe!” – Psalm 150:4b (CEB)
“O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” – Psalm 95:1 NRSV
One of the best parts of leading worship last Sunday was being in a congregation that knows how to sing! It was a small group (just eleven not counting the guest pianist, her family, my husband and me), but they knew how to make beautiful, joyful noise.
“O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.” – Psalm 96:1 NRSV
This week I provide Pulpit Supply (lead worship and preach) in another small congregation. Having been there before I know they have amazing instrumental musicians and solid singers among their membership. It’s too bad their numbers have dwindled and the choir has been disbanded. But we’ll still make joyful music!
On an entirely different note (pun not intended but noticed), here’s part of a paragraph from the book I’m currently reading.
“This is our role: To weave together those disparate energies. To manipulate and mitigate and, through the prism of our awareness, produce a singular force that cannot be denied. To make of cacophony, symphony. …”
– N. K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky (Series: The Broken Earth, Book Three), http://www.orbitbooks.net, 2017.
Our role: “to make of cacophony, symphony.” Such a rich image! Especially since Jemisin is not writing about musicians.
Whatever the cacophony of your life, may you discover a joyful noise, a song, a symphony. May you sing.
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.”
– Psalm 100:1 NRSV
John (my husband) sings with the Magnificat Choir of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Catholic parish. They led the music at the 10:30 a.m. Mass yesterday, so I worshiped there. The music was beautiful, joyful noise unto the Lord.
My favorite hymn of the day was Ubi Caritas. Here are the refrain and the first two (of five) verses.
*Ubi caritas est vera, est vera;
Deus ibi est, Deus ibi est.
The love of Christ joins us together.
Let us rejoice in him,
and in our love and care for all
now love God in return.
In true communion let us gather.
May all divisions cease
and in their place be Christ the Lord,
our risen Prince of Peace.
*Where there is true charity, God is present.
Text and Music by Bob Hurd, based on Ubi Caritas, 9th century.
But that wasn’t the only music of the day!
The joy culminated with The Pines of Rome by Respighi played by the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. They let out all the stops; it seemed every member of the orchestra was on stage. (Except the regular Concertmaster. I’m guessing he had a family obligation not be missed, something like a college graduation.)
In the final movement, six additional musicians appeared. They were at the edge of the audience, 25 rows up, each juggling an instrument, music, and a music stand with its own miniature light. Though they were as unobtrusive as possible, those of us above the 25th row couldn’t help but notice. The three on the right turned on their lights. As they lifted their instruments – a trombone and two trumpets – the three on the left – another trombone and two more trumpets – turned on their lights. Soon all had joined the orchestra in playing grand, glorious music.
May you have a song in your heart,
a smile on your lips,
and nothing but joy at your fingertips!
– Irish Blessing