Whether on vinyl, CD or iTunes, recorded music is all around. We’re surrounded by recorded music – in cafes and restaurants, hotel lobbies, shops and garages – and there is a richness of music in society. But does recorded or automated music have a place in Church?
Many of us have encountered the Organist who is – as that joke suggests – less inclined to be open to suggestion than the Terrorist. But many of us have encountered musicians who have deepened and enhanced our worship in a way that has helped us come closer to the divine. The sensitivity of a musician in an act of worship can provide opportunity to encounter God and for a congregation to join in the praise of heaven.
Live music is, fortunately, live and active in many Churches. However, a number of Churches, Congregations, Ministers and Lay Preachers are coming to terms with the need to use Digital Hymnals or CDs (such as Kevin Mayhew’s ‘No Organist? No Problem!’ series). This brings with it a number of issues and concerns, as well as number of opportunities.
What are your experiences of these alternatives to live music? Do you find they work to support congregational worship? Have you joined the choir of heaven when you’ve sung along to a recorded CD or Hymnal? What alternatives could struggling congregations and Ministers consider?