Saint Augustine, the fifth century theologian and bishop of the Roman city of Hippo in North Africa, is credited with saying, “A person who sings prays twice.” Congregational singing has always been a part of Christian worship and today a church service is one of the few places where your will find public singing at all. Not everyone is great singer but song shapes us and is indeed a gift to those who desire to pray more.
I find singing to be freeing. In college my best friend and I would drive home from college for holidays listening to soundtracks from favorite musicals. We would drive from Oklahoma to Texas belting every single word of the cast recording of Les Miserables. We knew all the words (and numbers, 24601), every intonation, and the pathos of every character. I doubt that we could remember two hours worth of lyrics if we just studied the liner notes from the album. But because we sang and repeated them often, we internalized every word.
We would like to give Restoration the gift of internalizing the prayers in our liturgy by putting more of them to song. As we sing some of the significant prayers that we usually speak together, we hope that they will offer each of us greater freedom and honesty as we pray. And over time, these songs will come from the heart and enter into each of our daily patterns of prayer.
This week we will be learning a song of confession that will give us the gift of praying and singing those sacred words together. Our hope is that you will take the song into your week, listen to it in your home, and teach the words to your children so that they can participate too. The song will help you in making confession a heartfelt daily practice and prepare you for the moment in our service when we all join together in admitting that we are in need of God’s help and grace.
Here is the “Confession” that Chris will teach us on Sunday in worship. I encourage you to listen to it and begin to learn it. Let the words sink in deep and internalize them.