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Old 08-04-2012, 01:51 AM   #1
Seisyvose

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Default How to participate in the Liturgy
Hope this doesn't seem silly, but I'm a new convert and I'm still learning

My parish doesn't seem to have a formal choir as such, and most people present join in the singing of the Liturgy. But I can't sing! Should I: (A) try to chant (B) simply speak the words or (C) listen in silence, except for the parts spoken by the entire congregation (the Creed and Confession).

(I assure you that any attempts I might make to sing would detract from the solemnity and beauty of the Liturgy).
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:11 AM   #2
Usendyduexy

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I would suggest, so long as you have an idea of the singing and can follow along then I would sing slightly until you feel you can sing out loud, as strange as that sounds by so doing you are participating in the singing and learning the words without worrying about singing out loud to the tune.

I remember my family and I being asked to join in when we went to another parish the once, the trouble we did not know most of the tunes they were singing to as it was a Russian parish (we are members of a Greek one) and most of it was in Welsh , in that case the best think to do was just keep silent.

I would also suggest focusing on one hymn such as your parish saint's troparion, when you feel you know the words and tune so that you can sing out loud then do so quietly until you are confidently enough to sing normally, once that is learnt go on to something else such as the Trisagion.

If you are worried you do not have a good voice then don't, most people think they cannot sing well when they can, just sing quietly if you are worried and you should be fine.


And remember we participate in the Liturgy by being there and concentrating, by saying amen and Lord have mercy, by making the sign of the cross, by lighting a candle, and by many other things that for most of us are more important then the singing.

In Christ.
Daniel,
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:19 AM   #3
Angelinaaiiiiiiiii

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... for this very prompt and helpful reply. I will follow your advice.

In Christ,

Cam


I would suggest, sining along slightly as strange as that sounds, by so doing ...
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
Jerwittdergut

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St Nicetus of Remesiana (4th century) has this advice for singing in Church - the last paragraph addresses those who find it hard to sing in tune.

Can any joy be greater than that of delighting ourselves with psalms and nourishing ourselves with prayer and feeding us with the lessons that are read in between? Like guests at table enjoying a variety of dishes, our soul feeds on the rich banquet of lessons and hymns.

Only, brethren, let us please God by singing with attention and a mind awake, undistracted by idle talk ... That is, we must sing with our intelligences; not only with the sound of our voice, but also with our mind. We must think about what we are singing, lest we lose the fruit of our effort by distracting talk and extraneous thoughts. The manner and melody of our singing must be suitably religious. It must not proclaim theatrical distress but rather exhibit Christian simplicity in its very musical movement. It must have nothing theatrical about it, but rather create compunction in the listeners.

Of course, you must all sing in harmony, without discordant notes. One of you should not linger unreasonably on the notes, while his neighbour goes very fast; nor should one of you sing too low while another is raising his voice. Rather, each should strive to integrate his voice within the sound of the harmonious chorus and not project it outwardly in the manner of a kithara as if to make an immodest display. No one should sing unbecomingly louder or slower than the rest, as though for vain ostentation or for want of human respect. The whole service must be carried out in the presence of God, not with a view to pleasing men. With regard to the harmony of voices we have a model and example in the three blessed youths of whom the Prophet Daniel tells us: "Then", he says, "these three, as with one mouth, praised and glorified and blessed God in the furnace, saying: 'Blessed art thou, O Lord the God of our fathers'. [Dan. 3:51-52.] You see that it was for our instruction that we are told that the three youths humbly and holily praised God with one voice. Therefore, let us all sing together, as with one voice, and let all of us modulate our voices in the same way.

If one cannot sing in tune with the others, it is better to sing in a subdued voice rather than to drown the others out. In this way one performs both one’s liturgical function without interfering with the community singing. Not everyone, of course, has a flexible and musical voice ... But if your voice is without harshness, it will be a joy to ourselves and a source of edification to those who will hear us. And God will find our united praise agreeable to Him. No one should be praying with so loud a voice as to disturb the one who is reading. And if you should happen to come in while the lesson is being read, just adore the Lord and make the sign of the cross, and then give an attentive ear to what is being read. In Xp
Rdr Alexander
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:04 PM   #5
FuXA8nQM

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Dear Dr. Williams (good Welsh name, he?),

We'll assign you the tambourine!
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:53 PM   #6
Kneefrenolf

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Hi,

My Cateracist has advised me that I can participate in the liturgy apart from communion until I am received. Though as my church has a choir so singing is not a problem, though from my experiences in other churches before my conversion if you are not confidant in your voice singing quietly is the best move.

Phoebe
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