Meaning, position and purpose of church choir
Today, the singing ministry is found to have deviated from the earlier scriptural assignment. The aura of God seems to have departed from the divine worship of the Most High God. This column seeks to bring back the lost glory. For today, let us consider the meaning, position and purpose of Church Choir.
The word ‘Choir’ has several definitions. In general sense, it is simply a group or company of persons trained to sing together. It may be sacred or secular; mixed or made up of males or females alone. It could also be junior or adult choir.
Architecturally, a choir is that part of a church building appropriated or set aside for singers – chancel. Ecclesiastically, a choir is a group or company of Christian singers representing the Angelic Choir. The concern of this paper is Christian Singers. One who sings in the choir is a chorister.
Choristers are ministers of the gospel through songs. Choristers are the Levites of today, meant to perform sacred duties in the house of God (Numbers 3:6-12). Levites were members of a priestly tribe associated with the priesthood – they sang in the holy sanctuary and played different musical instruments. Numbers 3: 12b reads ‘…
Therefore, the Levites shall be mine’. Choristers are specially called by God to show forth His praise in no small measure. A true Levite of today is not a pretender, but a true child of God. Christ is the Head of the Church. The Church is the Body of Christ, while the Choir is (in this context) the NECK – linking the BODY to God. The Choir ministers directly to God, while the Preacher ministers to the congregation.
The duties of present day Levites (choristers, instrumental musicians) are sacred.
• Perform any Levitical Service: I doubt if there is any Church today or a Church Service without singers and/or instrumentalists. Their work is to perform during praise/worship, chorus sessions and whenever they are called to do so. Where there is a lively worship, the presence of God is automatically brought down.
• Gatekeeper: The gates of heaven are always open whenever there is praise, for God inhabits the praise of His people. God always descends with open heavens in order to bless His Church.
• Assist Worshippers: Wherever there is music, worshippers are in a high spirit to worship God. Therefore, instrumentalists and singers assist worshippers in worshipping God.
• Lead People in Prayer: He who sings prays twice. Music aids and leads people in prayer. The wordings of some songs are prayers in themselves. See Example:
• Instruct People in the Law: Singers instruct or preach through their songs. Some go to Church because of musical instruments, and from there, they are drawn to God.
• Keep the Store: Praise unlocks the store house of God. Singers/instrumentalists can lead you to the store. Your job is to choose what you want. The sure key to unlock the store house of God is praise.
• Care of the Sanctuary: Praise brings down the presence and Spirit of God. The presence of God expels all contrary spirits, thereby sanitising the sanctuary.
The duties of present day Levites are sacred; they are separated unto God. To restore the lost glory, true Levites today should be ones devoid of worldly sentiments, selfishness, nepotism, discrimination and moral hazards – call it repugnant and recalcitrant (negative) attitude to duty. They should be born again, controlled, governed and permeated by God’s love, where the Spirit of God pleases to dwell.
• Very Rev. (Dr.) Isaac Udoh (KCW, JP) Presbyter/Conference Music Coordinator, Methodist Church Nigeria. Presiding English Service at Groves Memorial Methodist Cathedral, Ikot Ekpene, Ikot Ekpene Diocese and currently, Head of Department of Music, University of Uyo, Uyo. Email: email@example.com Contact: 08037800907
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