Music is a Miraculous Gift

I grew up in a singing household. My mother was the song leader at our little church in Pennsylvania and our family often sang together on a Sunday morning. Mom had many small song books and hymnals, which I still have. The hymnals from my life have been Life Songs #2, The Church Hymnal, The Mennonite Hymnal, and Hymnal: A Worship Book.

I was quite young when our church purchased The Mennonite Hymnal. In order to learn the new hymns, my mother held Wednesday evening hymn sings before the prayer meetings. The pianist would play along so the congregation could learn the harmonies (Sunday singing was acapella). When Hymnal: A Worship Book came out, my mother was very disappointed because there were no shaped notes which meant she could no longer read the music. She gave up being a song leader, but always loved singing.

Mom died of ovarian cancer in 2001. She was in Hospice care for her final months. There came a day when she was not able to communicate with us in words, but she could still sing. We piled her collection of hymnals and song books beside her bed and would take turns singing with her. She would join in with her rich alto and remembered all the words. It was remarkable and we all said mom was able to continue to sing about her faith in Jesus even when she could no longer talk about him.

I have been familiar with The Celebration Hymnal since 2008. I carried it and The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration when I worked as a Hospice chaplain because of the rich selection of hymns and songs that both contain. I have witnessed how music calms an anxious person, eases their breathing, and I have sung to many people as they stepped peacefully into eternity.

I believe strongly that the hymns and songs we sing shape our faith, therefore I carefully choose music for Sunday worship that fits into that day’s scripture and theme, which helps us harmonize our theology. Music is a miraculous gift from our Creator! The hymns and songs we sing become part of our faith DNA.

Let us continue to “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.” Psalm 149:1

I’m praying for you,

Pastor Deb