“Put on your yarmulke, here comes Hanukkah!” I’ll be honest: Whenever I see the word Hanukkah I immediately hear the voice of Adam Sandler singing that goofy song on Saturday Night Live.
1 Peter 2:10 states, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” You no longer live in the once; you live in the now.
Without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, all human effort is 100% vain. Pack it up. Go home. Move along. Nothing to see here, folks.
The Inviting Worshiper elicits action and movement of the body but primarily of the heart and mind.
The Humble Worshiper is a faithful facilitator of a holy ebb and flow: When the human ego ebbs, the divine Spirit flows.
The Sensitive Worshiper is keenly attuned to the moving and leading of the Holy Spirit—on Sundays, as well as every other day of the week. Following the Spirit in worship isn’t just a Sunday morning phenomenon; it is a daily discipline. The fruit of truly Spirit-filled weekend worship services can be traced back to the (unglamorous and tedious) ‘seed planting’ that takes place on Tuesday mornings or Thursday evenings or some other day and time that often feels ‘less spiritual’. Vigilance is key. A sensitive minister must keep a sharp eye out for any influences that threaten to dull his awareness of, and responsiveness to, the Spirit’s activity in his life.
Another aspect of sensitivity in worship concerns musical styles/genres. A sensitive minister is acutely aware of the current context in which he serves, but he is not a slave to it. He serves the worshiping community by appreciating where they are and also challenging them to consider where they’ve been and where they’re going. He is a pacifist when it comes to ‘worship style wars’. Songs and styles are at the mercy of the essential: not what is popular but what is proper. ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve’ (Matthew 20:28)—and so it is with liturgical music. Music serves the liturgy and so serves the people of God in assisting them in prayer. If a certain song fails to assist in this singular mission, that song’s place in a congregational setting should be questioned and evaluated promptly.
The Sensitive Worshiper is vigilant and vulnerable, watchful and welcoming, mindful and malleable.
I believe reverence is absolutely essential to right worship; it is the key that unlocks the door to an encounter with the holiness, truth, beauty, love, and purpose of God.
The Orthodox Worshiper actively seeks to articulate the timeless Trinitarian truths of the Christian faith with charity and clarity.
Halfhearted worship is an oxymoron; it simply does not exist.
They were always there...
Unflinching in the face of every human experience
Ancient Hebrew poetry and prayers authored by 5 individuals & 2 families just waiting to be discovered, cherished, arranged, and sung by this modern American man. Buried beneath a pile of three millennia of other hymns and songs that have been chanted/sung by God's people through the ages, the Psalms lay dormant (at least for me) until a few years ago. I grew up reading (and even memorizing) them but only recently discovered what had been "hidden in plain sight", so to speak.
After converting to Catholicism (I was received into the Catholic Church in 2011) I became exposed to "Responsorial Psalms" being sung in the liturgy and was immediately captivated by the richness, beauty, and relevance of that tradition. Yet as a music director I noticed a conspicuous dearth of rich, beautiful, relevant musical settings to accompany the sacred texts. That led me to start writing my own arrangements to use in Mass - and led to the founding of singapsalm.com as, I hope and pray:
- A valuable resource hub for music ministers, both liturgical and non-liturgical
- A ministry of encouragement to anyone who stumbles upon this site