I love to sing. I’m a proud American of Italian decent so why wouldn’t I?
Years ago, I used to sing for a living but these days I do my singing in the shower, the car, and at Sunday Mass. I seem to be the loudest in my area each week and sometimes I get the look of embarrassment from my kids. They give me that stare like, “must you?” Well, in order for me to sing properly, I have to give it a little oomph.
Of course we all have our favorite hymns, and variations of the Gloria and Our Father. So why do they change so often. Well for starters, there’s no hard, fast rule as to which variations your music minister can play, so it really is up to he or she regarding that. They should try to be liturgically correct in their song selection based upon the readings of the day.
Song selections and variations also depend upon the season. They should change from Lent to Ordinary time to Advent and so on. In all likelihood, your music minister has got it all under control and doing a fine job.
Do you sing in church?
So how about you — are you a singer? Do you like to belt it out at Mass? Or are you one of those silent types? Do you do your best Milli Vanilli impression each week, lip-syncing and trying to fool everyone?
Let me encourage you to try and embrace your singing at Mass and make an effort to sing a little louder and let the lyrics guide you in your faith. Please don’t say “but I can’t sing.” God doesn’t care what you sound like. He only cares that you sing for His glory. Let’s be clear, the Mass is not a concert or entertainment – we go to worship and glorify God. That doesn’t mean we can’t do so in a joyful way.
What happens when we sing?
St. Augustine is often quoted as having said, “He who sings, prays twice.” The Latin cited for this is “Qui bene cantat bis orat” or “He who sings well prays twice.” Actually, this does not appear in anything of St. Augustine that has come down to us. He did write, “cantare amantis est… Singing belongs to one who loves.” I like that assertion a lot. Singing is a form of being happy or in a real good place in your life. That’s exactly what God wants for you.
So does singing make people happy or do happy people sing? I think the answer to that is “yes.” Meaning I don’t think there’s a difference, it works both ways. So if you want to be happier, start singing. If you’re happy already, sing a new song to The Lord!
Sing a new song to the LORD,
for he has done marvelous deeds.
His right hand and holy arm
have won the victory.