Are your Sunday worship services predictable?
If your worship services are anything like the ones at my church, you probably follow one of the hymnal’s communion settings, you probably have a choir or a cantor lead the opening liturgy, and you probably have lay assistants help the pastor(s) lead worship. This is how it is at my church, but the other Sunday an unexpected and new thing happened at worship, and it was great! It was something I have never seen before (and I have been to a lot of church services in my lifetime and in a variety of settings). I wonder if you have ever experienced what I recently did.
At my church, when our senior choir is not present for worship, a cantor will lead the congregation in the opening liturgy. This includes singing the introduction to “This is the Feast” and chanting the Psalm responsively with the congregation. There is a small group of people who have volunteered to be scheduled to chant at non choir services, but the other Sunday someone new was up front to chant, and you won’t believe who!
Now, I am being a bit misleading when I write, “someone new” was up front. That phrase indicates a single person. Yes, a single person was listed in the bulletin as being the cantor for the service, but in reality there were three people: the scheduled cantor, his wife, and their little baby!
Imagine how brave this young couple was! They were up front in the choir area off to the side of the chancel, with their less-than-a-year-old baby, and the couple chanted together, all while the mother held the music and the father held the baby, with the baby facing forward mind you! The baby was as good as could be, never making a sound. It was a beautiful sight, this young family of three at the microphone stand. As a former cantor myself, I know it’s not easy to stand up front the first time. I admired their bravery to include their baby. It was unexpected, and it was great! It was truly a sight to behold!
Kris Brugamyer, a member of the churchwide executive board, lives in Dickinson, N.D.