One of my dear friends is the chorister for our congregation; she’s getting married to a lovely fellow down south of us, and that courtship, of necessity, takes her out of town on some weekends. And on some of those some weekends, she asks me to sub and wave my arm about in an encouraging and decorative way. And I really enjoy that, because when I’m choristating (yeah, I know it’s not a real word), and am paired up with our amazing Austrian Organist (and yes, both those words ought to be capitalized), you can pretty much count on singing ALL the verses. (Also, singing vigorously. We’re the musical equivalent of a double shot espresso.)
I have a thing for music. It’s my primary worship mode.
On top of music, I actually will confess to liking poetry. Well, some of it. Hymns, definitely. I remember that amazing day, at about 5 years old, when I realized the words in the hymnal were words I could read. That the hymns were grand poems, the written testimonies and longings of the faithful throughout history. That I had a direct connection to the writers, and to God. Those are some pretty big things to hit a tiny body. I knew, for fact and reality, that these poems were important.
That’s why I like to sing ALL the verses. Those stanzas down below the music? Those are part of the message, too… sometimes, the most important, finishing-up bits. Here’s to the poets who wrote more than four verses, whose thoughts could not be contained neatly between the clefs, whose emotions and desires and declarations spilled out beyond their music.
There’s always time to sing ALL the verses.
Happy Resurrection Day, everyone!