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Nadia Bolz-Weber @Sarcasticluther
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My Snotty Opinions About Church Music (which you should not take personally because I promise they are not about YOU) - a thread (Alternate title: Why I Hate Both Organ Music and Praise Bands
When I am in a worship service with a huge pipe organ, I note how impressive it sounds - how regal and important. I also note how I feel like it is basically bullying me the whole time.
It feels like the organ is what is musically most important and if the congregation wants to sing along, they can, but they are not needed. Plus, we can't hear each other anyhow because the organ sonically takes up the entire room.
Less important but worth mentioning: I resent having to wait until the organist has finished playing some unnecessary fancy-ass flourish between verses before we get to sing the next verse of the hymn.
Praise Bands: never been part of a church who had a rock band so this is just uncomfortable for me whenever I encounter it. Most contemporary Christian music smacks too much of sentimentality for my taste.
Standing up while you and your band play is not the same as praising God. Stop it. If you need people to love you and your music so much they stand up, earn it in local bars and clubs.
When churches only have the lyrics to a song and not the music it can suck for new people - when everyone knows the tune but me, it doesn't feel welcoming. Give me a fighting chance to sing along by printing the music.
And no, I don't technically read music, but I know that when the note goes up you sing up a little and a dot after it means its a little longer and squiggly thing means hold on a minute.
Choirs: consider only having them sing to cover action. Maybe during communion or for as long as it takes to collect the offering. Otherwise it's a performance.
Also, maybe don't remove all the good singers from the congregation and have them sit in their own place. We need them to help us find the harmonies.
Speaking of which, singing in harmony is one of the glories of human existence. Encourage it, teach it, nurture it. It's healing and creates community in a way that listening to other people play instruments can never do. #rantover
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