Author Topic: Singing in Church  (Read 5149 times)

J. Thomas Shelley

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4421
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2020, 10:05:06 PM »
This was the first Sunday of a "soft rollout" of the Greek Metropolis of Pittsburgh's "The Road Ahead:  Yellow Phase".

We could have had up to 25 people in the Nave and 25 in the hall.

We had 8 people...all in the Nave.

Chanting/singing as usual, minimalist choir of two, "socially distanced" near the cantor's stand so that I could help them and keep them--literally--on the same page.   

Orthodox Great Feasts (today was Pentecost) have beaucoup variables which are substituted for the "Ordinary" of the Liturgy,.
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Jim Butler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2162
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2020, 10:36:53 AM »
Well, when Beloved Spouse and I "attend" worship on television, I literally have tears in my eyes as I quietly sing along with the hymns and when I look at videos of groups I have sung with.
But, believing what I understand is responsible "science" (Oh No! Not Science!) I do not think I would want to be singing in church right now. Maybe later. Maybe the scientists will discover some new information. I hope so. I'm listening. And we can watch all those places that are singing to see what happens in those communities three or four weeks from now.

Charles, do you follow science or "what I understand is responsible 'science'"? (Why the scare quotes around science?)

Which do you define as "responsible 'science'": The CDC guidelines which recommend masks be worn or the WHO guidelines which say they are only necessary if you are caring for a COVID patient?

Which "science" is "responsible": The CDC guidelines that said SARS-CoV-2 is spread by surfaces, The CDC guidelines that said SARS-CoV-2 is not spread by surfaces, or The CDC guidelines that said SARS-CoV-2 might be spread by surfaces? (They said all three in the same week.)

I don't know if you realize it, but there are conflicting studies on whether or not singing will aid in spreading the virus. So, which is "responsible 'science'"?

I should also note that "science" can only give facts and data; it cannot make moral judgments. Science can create weaponry; science cannot decide when or if such weaponry should be deployed. Science can say how a virus may be spread; it cannot say--as many medical professionals did last week--that racism is a greater problem so go ahead and protest.

Unlike your arm chair quarterbacking, I actually have to make judgments. I have no desire to put my people in jeopardy. I want them to be safe. But it is not as easy as following the "science"--even if I consider it "responsible" (I still want you to define that term).
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15508
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Colorin
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2020, 10:41:17 AM »
jebutler and tutti
I am very near the point where - on a number of matters here - I just don't care anymore. Do whatever the heck you want to do; believe whomever you want to believe; pick your scientist; I don't care if it's Dr. Fauci, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, or Dr. Strangelove.
You don't have to try and convince me you are right or that I am wrong. I see no point in expressing why I would do what I might do or why I might do it.
Because, that's where we are here, every dude and dudette on his or her own.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist  Writer for many church publications.

peterm

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2020, 10:56:56 AM »
My country church returned to in person worship on May 17.  We chant the liturgy, but only sing one hymn right at the end of worship.  We will do the same thing at the town church with the addition of me singing the other hymns so they go over the radio broadcast.
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Jeremy Loesch

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2255
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2020, 11:02:19 AM »
Since you asked, Steven...we've had two weekends of worship services (Feasts of Pentecost and Trinity).  We have spoken the liturgy (Div. Service 1 and 3 respectively) and have sung hymns.  I've seen all the reports that everyone else has- singing will kill people, singing won't do a darn thing- so I am left where I started of not knowing what to do.  So I aimed for a half-measure of speaking the service and singing the hymns. 

We have expanded our services from 2 to 3 to keep services below 40.  It has worked well.  One thing I have noticed is that very few people sing the distribution hymns.  My hunch is that the people were watching the new process of how we did communion rather than singing the hymns, and that's fine.  (We put out a YouTube video so people could have some time for preparation.) 

In suburban KC we are going to be allowed 50% of fire code capacity, so we are going to continue physical spacing but go back to our two services at 8 and 10:30.  Services will still be streamed.  For two Sundays, we had over 80 in the 3 services.  We'll eventually go back to singing the whole service but I can't pinpoint a date.  (I would say we worshiped 80 because I know that would have been wrong, especially on Trinity Sunday.  At an Ohio District mission and evangelism conference in the early 2000s a pastor was talking about worshiping over 200.  I put a look of amazement on my face and blurted out excitedly, "That's great!  What a stunning amount of idolatry!"  He said, "What?!"  I said, "What?"  I somehow never got invitations from the district to attend anymore mission and evangelism conferences.  8)  )

Best wishes Steven (and everyone else) as you lead your churches back to worshiping together. 

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13819
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2020, 11:18:09 AM »
jebutler and tutti
I am very near the point where - on a number of matters here - I just don't care anymore. Do whatever the heck you want to do; believe whomever you want to believe; pick your scientist; I don't care if it's Dr. Fauci, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, or Dr. Strangelove.
You don't have to try and convince me you are right or that I am wrong. I see no point in expressing why I would do what I might do or why I might do it.
Because, that's where we are here, every dude and dudette on his or her own.
You may not care much about what the rest of us do but you do care enough to mock those of us who do not do as you do and excoriate us as science deniers or disdainers ("believing what I understand is responsible "science" (Oh Np-o! Not Science!)") when we do not follow the same scientific advice that you understand is responsible "science." A little less snark helps make conversations more reasonable and productive. Your disdain for those who come to different conclusions is at least as evident as the attitudes that complain about others showing.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 45568
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2020, 01:31:36 PM »
Yes, science gives conflicting reports. However, the consequences of being wrong can be quite different. Extra precautions, e.g., wearing masks, refraining from singing, might keep the virus from spreading. If those scientist are wrong, no harm done. If those who find wearing masks and singing has no affect on spreading the virus and we follow their advice, and they are wrong, there can be deadly consequences.


Believe who you want to believe, but for me and my house, we will follow the safest guidelines - even if the science will end up showing they weren't needed.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Matt Hummel

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3041
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2020, 01:49:20 PM »
OK-

Homeschool science time. Everybody get a straw, and some paper to make spitballs.

Go on outside. Now, make a spitball. Put it in one end of the straw. Blow throw the straw with the same force as if you were speaking.
Mark how far it goes. Repeat 4 more times to get an average distance.

Repeat the process, but this time blow into it as if you were bellowing out "Holy, Holy, Holy."

Want to to guess which spitball traveled further?

And now you see the reason for restricting singing. I am very tempted to quote Jessie Pinkmann at this point, but will refrain.
Matt Hummel


“The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Coach-Rev

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 500
  • Rev. Jeff Cottingham, STS
    • View Profile
    • Trinity Lutheran Church
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2020, 02:15:57 PM »
Began again May 31, with singing, but with everything printed in bulletin and no hymnals in chairs.  Every other row of chairs is gone and 3 chairs between family units.  We sing all 4 hymns, all verses.  Communion is with prepackaged wine/wafers set out where communicants pick up their own, as they hear "the body/blood of Christ..." from myself or the PA standing at the top of the chancel steps.  No fellowship afterwards, and ushers dismiss a family at a time.  about 70 in attendance yesterday.

We do NOT require masks.  What would be the point if we did?  It would be better to continue online worship IMO.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 06:35:13 PM by Coach-Rev »
"The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

blog:  http://coach-rev.blogspot.com/
photography:  https://jeffcottingham.smugmug.com/

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13717
    • View Profile
    • Saint Peter's Lutheran Church
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2020, 04:29:37 PM »
I sang with our gathered group of 8 "I Need You to Survive" at the end of the live-stream service Sunday.  Most famously recorded by Hezekiah Walker.  Here's a version with video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0IJ0HqYY3A.  I had trouble making it through the song because it's central to our identity of care for one another and has a lot of movement and hugging of one another in the Lord's love.  And there's this empty sanctuary.  But - a lot of people contacted me afterward to say they needed that song to unite us from afar, and to keep community in Christ at the center of our witness and mission going forward.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 20266
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2020, 04:52:36 PM »
OK-

Homeschool science time. Everybody get a straw, and some paper to make spitballs.

Go on outside. Now, make a spitball. Put it in one end of the straw. Blow throw the straw with the same force as if you were speaking.
Mark how far it goes. Repeat 4 more times to get an average distance.

Repeat the process, but this time blow into it as if you were bellowing out "Holy, Holy, Holy."

Want to to guess which spitball traveled further?

And now you see the reason for restricting singing. I am very tempted to quote Jessie Pinkmann at this point, but will refrain.
I don't see the reason for restricting singing. Common sense says that if you exhibit no symptoms of being sick, you likely are not getting anyone else sick. Part of the Covid panic was the idea that large numbers of asymptomatic people were nevertheless spreading the disease to vulnerable populations. But that was mostly just a theory extrapolated from very sketchy, preliminary data and and one widespread anecdotal case in which a local outbreak was traced to a choir. No actual evidence I'm aware of contradicts the common sense approach. The scientific consensus seems to have solidified around the common sense idea that asymptomatic people are not spreading the disease to any alarming degree. Hence the taking of temperatures before entering hospitals. But anyone who knows anything about homeschool science knows that when some claim is counter-intuitive, it bears the burden of proof or must be accepted on faith in a trustworthy source. The idea that singing is dangerous lacks both of those criteria.   

Jim Butler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2162
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2020, 06:14:41 PM »
OK-

Homeschool science time. Everybody get a straw, and some paper to make spitballs.

Go on outside. Now, make a spitball. Put it in one end of the straw. Blow throw the straw with the same force as if you were speaking.
Mark how far it goes. Repeat 4 more times to get an average distance.

Repeat the process, but this time blow into it as if you were bellowing out "Holy, Holy, Holy."

Want to to guess which spitball traveled further?

And now you see the reason for restricting singing. I am very tempted to quote Jessie Pinkmann at this point, but will refrain.
I don't see the reason for restricting singing. Common sense says that if you exhibit no symptoms of being sick, you likely are not getting anyone else sick. Part of the Covid panic was the idea that large numbers of asymptomatic people were nevertheless spreading the disease to vulnerable populations. But that was mostly just a theory extrapolated from very sketchy, preliminary data and and one widespread anecdotal case in which a local outbreak was traced to a choir. No actual evidence I'm aware of contradicts the common sense approach. The scientific consensus seems to have solidified around the common sense idea that asymptomatic people are not spreading the disease to any alarming degree. Hence the taking of temperatures before entering hospitals. But anyone who knows anything about homeschool science knows that when some claim is counter-intuitive, it bears the burden of proof or must be accepted on faith in a trustworthy source. The idea that singing is dangerous lacks both of those criteria.   

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/08/asymptomatic-coronavirus-patients-arent-spreading-new-infections-who-says.html
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13819
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2020, 06:15:34 PM »
We sang at our service Sunday, everybody was masked and socially distanced,
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

J. Thomas Shelley

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4421
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2020, 12:28:18 AM »
From the June 8 letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to the faithful of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (emphasis added)

Quote
We strongly prefer parishes to continue with practice of using two chanters chanting opposite one another on different sides of the solea to reduce the chance of spreading the virus through aerosolization. There have been competing studies on the issue of singing, so we grant our blessing to parishes in areas with decreasing numbers of new cases with large church buildings with good ventilation to use choirs of no more than six members with increased spacing between one another than the usual six feet. In all these areas that we have mentioned above, we expect our priests and parish councils to exercise their good judgment and practice all the health and safety measures dictated by their local health departments.

This letter, it should be noted, also draws two important lines of demarcation against some hostile civil authorities which, heretofore, the Hierarch directed complete obedience, again, emphasis added

First:

Quote
After a month of states reopening, the nationwide curve has remained mostly flat, and while testing has gone up, the percentages of positive tests have gone down. Instead of thanking God for the good news, we see recriminations and anger flowing from some quarters. We understand that this has been immensely hard for us to remain at home during the height of our Church year. We also understand that as the situation improved, some of our civil authorities either refused to loosen their restrictions in a commensurate way or created reopening plans that did not take the churches into equal consideration. We have been working for weeks through the Assembly of Bishops to petition those civil authorities to reconsider their unfair placement of the churches in their phased reopening plans. With this letter, we believe that any further restriction of our churches in the United States below 25% capacity is an undue burden on the exercise of our freedom of religion, and we grant our blessing to our parishes to open to this level nationwide. Let our joy this weekend of All Saints be full!

Second, but most important:

Quote
We have stated throughout these difficult days that Holy Communion is the “medicine of immortality” not a vector of disease. We have also consistently stated that our method of distributing the Holy Gifts is not open to question. With great pain and heartache, we cooperated with our civil authorities in the limiting of gatherings of the faithful, but our cooperation ends with any infringement on the traditional practices of our Faith. As we welcome you back to the churches, we call on you to draw near to receive the Holy Gifts, not with the fear of a virus, but with the fear of God, faith, and love.
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

GalRevRedux

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ***
  • Posts: 217
  • The poster formerly known as GalRev83.
    • View Profile
Re: Singing in Church
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2020, 07:26:32 AM »
OK-

Homeschool science time. Everybody get a straw, and some paper to make spitballs.

Go on outside. Now, make a spitball. Put it in one end of the straw. Blow throw the straw with the same force as if you were speaking.
Mark how far it goes. Repeat 4 more times to get an average distance.

Repeat the process, but this time blow into it as if you were bellowing out "Holy, Holy, Holy."

Want to to guess which spitball traveled further?

And now you see the reason for restricting singing. I am very tempted to quote Jessie Pinkmann at this point, but will refrain.
I don't see the reason for restricting singing. Common sense says that if you exhibit no symptoms of being sick, you likely are not getting anyone else sick. Part of the Covid panic was the idea that large numbers of asymptomatic people were nevertheless spreading the disease to vulnerable populations. But that was mostly just a theory extrapolated from very sketchy, preliminary data and and one widespread anecdotal case in which a local outbreak was traced to a choir. No actual evidence I'm aware of contradicts the common sense approach. The scientific consensus seems to have solidified around the common sense idea that asymptomatic people are not spreading the disease to any alarming degree. Hence the taking of temperatures before entering hospitals. But anyone who knows anything about homeschool science knows that when some claim is counter-intuitive, it bears the burden of proof or must be accepted on faith in a trustworthy source. The idea that singing is dangerous lacks both of those criteria.   

Jus to note , this.
https://news.yahoo.com/official-walks-back-comments-asymptomatic-160348795.html
A pastor of the North American Lutheran Church.