Sunday, April 17, 2011

To applaud or not to applaud...

This song was performed this morning at church by our music team. Excellently sung and played, I should add. It was sung as an item to help us reflect as we prepare to celebrate Easter.

We don't have these kinds of performances every week in our services, but we have had one or two of them lately. They are always helpful. Today the words of the song were put up on the screen behind the singers. This was really good. It helped me think about the words and their meaning.

What I feel less comfortable with is the round of applause that happens at the end of a performance item. To me, this feels distracting. After an item/performance in church, I like to just quietly think about the words of the song and enjoy the fact that it was performed well. Others like to express their appreciation for the performance by clapping. I get both viewpoints. I would applaud any other musical performance outside of church without any qualms whatsoever. But doing that in church feels a bit different for some reason.

I think I fall into the quiet reflective camp because I was brought up in (generally) fairly conservative churches. There were a couple of more charismatic Uniting Churches that I ventured into and I was never comfortable when hands were raised, let alone when people started dancing into the aisles. I felt like I wanted to run away when I saw that happening. And then I married a guy who came from a church where only Psalms were sung and no instruments were ever used. So we both needed to shift positions to where we were both comfortable musically. Presbyterianism ended up being a good middle musical ground for us.

So I didn't clap this morning, but I really enjoyed the performance. The song is pretty catchy too. Maybe we'll all learn to sing it sometime.

No comments: