"When In Our Music God Is Glorified"

Choral singing has been one of the most visible forms of building a community through music. Whether singing in a church choir, school choir, or community chorus, the social interaction and community spirit that is developed by singing together is rarely surpassed. Many of us start off singing together for the first time in kindergarten and continue singing throughout our young academic lives, grade school through college. When we are lucky enough to experience choral music in our religious lives, we discover how powerful music can be, transcending many boundaries and uniting sacred text with music. How many times does a familiar text take on new meaning and depth when experienced through music?

We have a strong history of choral music in our liturgies here at Holy Comforter. For many years, John F. Ohl served as choirmaster. A renowned musicologist who served on the musicology faculty at Northwestern University, Dr. Ohl was co-editor of Masterpieces of Music Before 1750: An Anthology of Musical Examples from Gregorian Chant to J. S. Bach. This textbook was first published in 1951 and served as a popular text for many students of music history, including myself. While early music had a very treasured place in the choral repertoire found in the liturgies at Holy Comforter during Dr. Ohl's tenure, our current choral repertoire extends to the late 20th century, encompassing a span of over 500 years.

If you asked a choir member today what is most meaningful to them about singing in the choir, you would find many answers. Several answers would naturally include the love of music and the love of singing. But, two of the more striking aspects of singing in the choir remain the sense of involvement in our liturgies and the sense of community developed by singing together. We are always looking for more singers to join the choir. You don't need to have prior knowledge of music or experience singing in choirs - that's what rehearsals are for! Since we are very visible in front, it is very obvious when our numbers slip ever so slightly. We want to look and sound full! If you are interested in joining the choir, please call the church office and ask to speak to me.

When in our music God is glorified, and adoration leaves no room for pride,
it is as though the whole creation cried Alleluia!

How often, making music, we have found a new dimension in the world of sound,
as worship moved us to a more profound Alleluia!

So has the Church, in liturgy and song, in faith and love, through centuries of wrong,
borne witness to the truth in every tongue, Alleluia!

And did not Jesus sing a psalm that night when utmost evil strove against the Light?
Then let us sing, for whom he won the fight, Alleluia!

Let every instrument be tuned for praise! Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise!
And may God give us faith to sing always Alleluia!
-F. Pratt Green (1903-2000)
Hymn 420, Hymnal 1982


Derek E. Nickels