Singing is one of the constant themes of most Christian worship, and takes different forms, which often come with a story attached. We like to hear where a hymn arose from in the author’s life; what a song means to someone who has sung it all their lives, and how others link these thoughts into their own life’s journey.
In St Nicholas’ Studland a new series of evening services running once a month through spring, summer and autumn began last year under the engaging title “Pimms and Hymns”. Its first 2019 occasion was last Sunday, and we are looking forward to the summer ahead and more times of singing with refreshment afterwards filling the ancient Church of St Nicholas with the sound of familiar hymns, with prayers and readings to accompany them.
Again, last Sunday, in St Mark’s Church, a “Songs of Praise” style service in the afternoon drew a good congregation to hear why people had chosen their favourite hymn, or, as in most cases, just one of a range of favourite hymns. Thoughts ran back to childhood, or marriage, journeying or other momentous life-changing events. We all left with the encouragement to do it again, which we shall, but not for a while. One can do this too often.
The focus tomorrow moves to St Mary’s for a “Come and Sing” Choral Evensong with Dr Barry Rose as guest conductor. A more formal and exacting experience of singing, but one which underlines the importance of working at our sources of musical praise, and the sheer enjoyment that comes from doing just that! It is a wonderful opportunity, once a month, to come together and learn to sing better and together; try new music to us (which may be very old!) and praise God in song, which is what it is all about - ultimately.
Speaking of praising God. Helen and I give thanks today for the birth of a lovely little grand-daughter Robyn Alexandra. Our love and prayers are with Catriona and David and their gorgeous new baby.