To sing is to pray twice

Malang To sing is to pray twice. I have seen credit for that line given to both St. Augustine and Martin Luther. I recently read a blog by Caitlin Marchand who identifies herself as a “Catholic Blogger” who wrote that Augustine wasn’t completely sold on the value of song and that he doesn’t lift up “song” in his Confessions. She writes: “While I like the sentiment behind the line it never struck me as particularly Augustinian.” 

I personally think the quote sounds more like Luther. After all, Luther was a prolific hymnodist (he wrote 36 hymns) who regarded music, especially hymns as important means for the development of faith. I am among the many who love to sing hymns, and where better than church surrounded by other voices does one do that? 

You may recall that in earlier reflections I wrote about using hymns as prayers and have quoted several hymn texts over the course of this Covid-19 pandemic. It is with heavy heart then, that I  prepare you for the new reality of going back to in-person church. There will initially be no congregational singing and that could last for at least 6 months. The reason is because the physical act of singing causes viral droplets to be propelled into the air. There is no vaccine for Covid-19 and the pandemic is not over even though some of the restrictions are being lifted. 

Obviously once a date for resuming in-person worship is determined we will share the guidelines that will be established by our council along with ELCA and synodical assistance. 

At that point it will be up to each individual to determine whether or not they are ready. We will continue to provide video for those more comfortable continuing to physical distance for the time being. 

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.
  Psalm 40:3

Therefore I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praises to your name. psalm 18:49

Let us pray:

O Lord, hear our prayers rising up from the depths of our souls in words and song, through tears and melodies unspoken. Each of us walks with heaviness of heart these days but our trust remains in you. Help us to sing with the angels and to recall the oft repeated words “Do not be afraid.” We pray in faith and trust through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen. 

The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier