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Prayer before rehearsal?


Folks,

I'm considering asking the church choir what they think about
prayer before rehearsal. They're kind of a rowdy bunch, and
we've already lost one person who thought it was more a
preparation for worship, etc. I'm as guilty as anyone. But
I'd like some input. How many of you have prayer before
rehearsal? How about in the UCC? Would you use a set
prayer, and if so, what? Or should I just stress greater
professionalism and not bring the issue up?

Thanks

Brent Peterson
Organist and Director of Music
First Congregational Church
Tempe, Arizona

on December 18, 1997 7:23pm
In my UCC Church, I don't do prayers before rehearsal, just choral
warmups. But I do END every rehearsal with "Voice Still And Small" by John
Corrado (no. 391 in the current Unitarian Hymnal). '...calming my fears,
quenching my tears, through all the years, singing.'

Judith Conrad, Clavichord Player (jconrad(a)sunspot.tiac.net)
Director of Fall River Fipple Fluters
Church Musician at First Congregational Church, Bristol, R. I.
Piano and Harpsichord Tuner-Technician

on December 18, 1997 9:34pm


BRENT.

> I'm considering asking the church choir what they think about
> prayer before rehearsal. They're kind of a rowdy bunch, and
> we've already lost one person who thought it was more a
> preparation for worship, etc. I'm as guilty as anyone. But
> I'd like some input. How many of you have prayer before
> rehearsal? How about in the UCC? Would you use a set
> prayer, and if so, what? Or should I just stress greater
> professionalism and not bring the issue up?

I don't even ask my choir. We not only have prayer, but also a half-hour
Bible study before we start rehearsing. In most cases, we seek out what
the Bible has to say about praise, worship, serving the Lord, and other
topics that are germaine to the life of the choir. My choir loves it, and
feels (in their own words) "pumped up and ready to sing."

I don't understand what "greater professionalism" has to do with serving
the Lord. It is my understanding that the church choir is not involved in
entertaiment, but rather in worship.

Bob Engle
Honolulu.

on December 19, 1997 4:32am
I> BRENT.

> I'm considering asking the church choir what they think about
> prayer before rehearsal. They're kind of a rowdy bunch, and
> we've already lost one person who thought it was more a
> preparation for worship, etc. I'm as guilty as anyone. But
> I'd like some input. How many of you have prayer before
> rehearsal? How about in the UCC? Would you use a set
> prayer, and if so, what? Or should I just stress greater
> professionalism and not bring the issue up?

Well in an ideal rehearsal I start with a simple sung invocation of the
Spirit - Veni Sancte Spiritus (Taize), Spirit of the Living God - something
like that. Towards the back end of the rehearsal when we start getting to
the music for that Sunday, we have someone read one of Sundays readings
before each piece. We then close rehearsal with intercessory prayer and an
Our Father. The group's size is 19. The benefits have been that although
there is a lot of cutting up during rehearsal, there are reminders of what
we're all about and the intercessory prayer is a wonderful way to build
community as the singers prayer for each others' concerns.

Elyn Macek
Cathedral of Christ the King
Atlanta, GA

--
Do not hit reply button.
send email to macek at mindspring dot com
on December 19, 1997 5:04am
At the risk of sounding like a heretic,
I'm not sure your can or *should* try to
impose prayer at a choir rehearsal if
its a "rowdy" bunch that does not see the
need/connection for devotional time.

I have worked with UCC choirs on an interim basis
and no prayers were mentioned as being a part of
their regular rehearsal. I have been other places
where devotional/prayer time was a **very** important
part of their weekly rehearsal.

I'm with a loveable, but rowdy bunch right now, and while
we don't have a "formal" devotion time, I do try to slip
in some of my thinking about musical selections, and
why I've chosen a particular piece for a particular Sunday;
to put it in context. It has helped them to focus a bit more
about their role in worship, and that's probably as close as
we'll get.

If it's a need being expressed by one of the choir members, why
not have them raise the issue before the choir? If it's a clergy
issue (all church gatherings should begin with prayer), then
perhaps the pastor should step in to introduce it to them. Otherwise,
if they're rowdy, but singing well, building up community counts
in my book!

Lynn Payette
Trinity Episcopal Church
Wheaton, IL
on December 19, 1997 5:56am
We typically don't have a prayer before rehearsal, but our choir director
always has one at the end. He also has one before we enter the Sanctuary for
Church services.

====John Davis appdad(a)aol.com

on December 19, 1997 6:15am
Brent;

I've led prayer before rehearsal for a number of years. I never asked
anyone wether they wanted to do it or not, I simply began rehearsal with
prayer. I also closed rehearsal with prayer. After a while I would
call on a member to pray at the beginning and the end of rehearsal. I
never got any flack for it!! - I did, howver bring up the reason at a
choir retreat some years ago and people understood that we were
preparing to lead the congregation in praise to God and that we needed
his help to get it right.

Adrian
Christ Church Cathedral (Anglican)
Nassau, Bahamas

Picander wrote:

> Folks,

> I'm considering asking the church choir what they think about
> prayer before rehearsal. They're kind of a rowdy bunch, and
> we've already lost one person who thought it was more a
> preparation for worship, etc. I'm as guilty as anyone. But
> I'd like some input. How many of you have prayer before
> rehearsal? How about in the UCC? Would you use a set
> prayer, and if so, what? Or should I just stress greater
> professionalism and not bring the issue up?

> Thanks

> Brent Peterson
> Organist and Director of Music
> First Congregational Church
> Tempe, Arizona



on December 19, 1997 6:17am
choraltalk(a)lists.colorado.edu wrote:

> Folks,

> I'm considering asking the church choir what they think about
> prayer before rehearsal. They're kind of a rowdy bunch, and
> we've already lost one person who thought it was more a
> preparation for worship, etc. I'm as guilty as anyone. But
> I'd like some input. How many of you have prayer before
> rehearsal? How about in the UCC? Would you use a set
> prayer, and if so, what? Or should I just stress greater
> professionalism and not bring the issue up?

> Thanks

> Brent Peterson
> Organist and Director of Music
> First Congregational Church
> Tempe, Arizona

Brent-
We always pray at the end of rehearsal, but they understand why we are
there. Mine can be a pretty rowdy group, but when it's time to work,
they work. And besides, isn't part of what we do to create fellowship?
The beginning of rehearsal is a good time to set mood, and I would just
go ahead and do it, and not ask them. If you are considered the
spiritual leader of the group, just go ahead and do it!
Peace,
Gregory Pysh
First Presbyterian
Midland TX

on December 19, 1997 12:36pm
Prayer is an integral part of our church choir rehearsal. I decided
from the start that this has to be more than another "performing"
ensemble, and this was one way to do it. For the first year, I led an
opening prayer each week. We have gotten to the point now (we're in our
5th year) where we can ask a person just before practice to lead it that
night--no set prayer--just whatever that person wants to pray.
Sometimes we follow opening prayer with a devotion or scripture reading
that applies to this week's anthem. We always close with the Lord's
Prayer.

Paul Langholz
langfam(a)netins.net
on December 19, 1997 1:45pm
In the church choir I direct (Congregational and Baptist), and in the
church choir I sang in before taking this position, a member of the choir
each rehearsal presents a short devotion. Maybe a reflection or
meditation, maybe a prayer, usually a hymn (thus helps with warm-up).
Members volunteer in advance, so one (nearly always) knows who's
responsible for this week's devotions.
-- DFB.
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Donald F. Burrill, Professor Emeritus 416-923-6641 ext 2460
The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Toronto, Canada M5S 1V6 dburrill(a)oise.utoronto.ca
184 Nashua Road, Bedford, NH 03110 603-471-7128 dburrill(a)user.xtdl.com
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