Before the last year, none of us could have envisaged the changes which have now become an accepted part of our everyday lives – the social distancing, the masks, the lockdowns. And of course, these changes have been reflected in our church life too.
For the short number of weeks since last March when we were physically able to meet together, the ‘new normal’ seemed far from normal and certainly very far from how we were accustomed to worship. We needed to make these changes to keep ourselves, and others, safe from illness and in most ways the level of our participation was not greatly impacted. But singing softly with masks on?
“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered.” (Psalm 71:23) and “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” (Psalm 95:1-2)
One of the many aspects of worship in Glastry that I have always enjoyed is the congregational singing. We know the descants; we can sing “It is well … with my soul” in parts; we can raise the roof with “And can it be …” – all without instruction, just a natural spiritual joy finding expression in song.
As write I don’t know when we will be allowed to sing (properly!) in church again, but the Bible’s Songbook reminds me why we need to do this:
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16)