Congregational singing has become an option for the congregations in the divine services. To be clear, it is the intention that, where possible, in each divine service and in every congregation we would have a choir participating no matter how small. However, we know that this is not always possible and sometimes it is better to have the entire congregation as the choir, so to speak, especially where the number of voices are not available to assemble a choir.
To inspire congregation participation, especially in a midweek service, the congregation can sing one hymn/song with the choir before the divine service, even where a choir a choir is present. These selections should be announced by the choir leader or organist and then the organist leads the congregation in singing these hymns.
It goes without saying that congregational singing has become even more vital with our enriched liturgy.
- Opening Hymn
- Middle Congregation Hymn
- Hymn of Repentence
- Holy Communion Hymn(s)
- Plus further hymns/songs during the service and a Closing Hymn, where desired or needed.
Often times, vocal and instrumental soloists, small groups, prepared organ/piano selections, etc. are incorporated to created a variety and add to the divine service experience. This idea should be considered in every diving service, not only where a choir is not possible. It is important to discuss the selections with the minister before holding the service so that the message and music can be integrated.
from a letter dated December 5, 2011