The Importance of Congregational Singing

Pam Siegler, UUCH Choir Director

As part of my music leadership credentialing program, one of the articles I get to write for our newsletter focuses on the importance of congregational singing.
Remember when we sang “Go Now in Peace” for Anne Rutledge’s going-away party and we spontaneously held hands around her and gave her our love?
Remember when we sang “Enter, Rejoice, and Come In” as we celebrated each other at the first worship service in our new church on Broadmor? It was truly a collective welcome.
Remember singing “Spirit of Life” in our Sunday service and feeling that the ‘come unto me’ was not being asked just by you but felt like a shared request empowering a community of one heart? Remember how involved and attentive the children were as we all signed the hymn with Bobby?
Remember the comfort and healing peace we’ve offered one another and the families of loved ones who have passed away through singing hymns and songs like “Precious Lord” and “Somewhere over the Rainbow”?
I think for many people singing is not their most comfortable way of expressing themselves, so when everybody comes together and sings together we are taking down each other’s walls of inhibition in order to join hearts in a common expression of faith. We are building a community by experiencing worship together, affirming shared goals, and, most importantly, enriching our individual souls.
Congregational singing is one of the aspects of worship in which all ages, ethnicities, genders, abilities, cultures, races, sexual orientations, and beliefs are equal participants. We weave our individuality into harmony with each other. We are together not just in our minds, but with our bodies, with creativity, with feeling, and with purpose. Congregational singing builds our Unitarian Universalist living tradition. Our songs reflect our diverse sources and our united principles. When we sing together we are diverse and united at the same time.