St. Patrick Lucan | Holy Family London
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises”
Why do we sing at Mass?
Music is powerful.
For some, singing at Mass is a joyful pastime. A delightful way to express love and gratitude to God, while surrounded by friends. For others, if we can be honest with ourselves, singing at Mass is a drudgery and something that must be done (or sat through) to get to the next part… another item on the service checklist.
A barrier to singing at Mass could be song selection, a preferred or not so preferred style, new repertoire, or insecurity about having a voice that may not be ”angelic.”
When we come to Mass on a Sunday – this is our opportunity to give thanks to God for his marvellous works and to encourage one another in the faith to keep moving towards Jesus. The majority of us belt out our favourite tunes at a concert, or in the car, but why do we feel so reserved at Mass? Could it be because we think God is tame and formal? Our God is as wild as the rainforests, deeper than any canyon, and more intricate and complex than the galaxies of the universe. And He deserves our unreserved praise.
If a new person comes to church and sees the majority standing, arms crossed, and unresponsive- what would be their motivation to stay? Ever been in a meeting where the only beat heard was from the guy tapping his toe while watching the clock? Thankfully, no one at Holy Family or St. Patrick has ever checked their watch during a service, but if they did, I wonder if a deeper encounter with Jesus – the kind that makes one lose their sense of time and space – could have a transformational impact.
A favourite hymn declares
I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free.
For his eye is on the sparrow
and I know he watches me.
(His Eye Is On The Sparrow by Civilla D. Martin)
There is a reason we sing songs to children when we want them to remember something – singing really gets the thing down into our bones. We sing because we love God and are loved by God. In sunshine or storms, His goodness and His promise of eternal life to us is something to celebrate and sing about.