Saturday, February 1, 2014


Singing. It’s empowering. It’s comforting. It drives us forward. It distracts us. It fills the air. It creates joy. It is to express lament. It is a joyful noise. It builds relationships. It is a tool for teaching. It is a gift from God. Singing.

We sing Sunday mornings. Church is filled with loud bold voices that echo through the building. No organ or piano. No guitars or drums. Just the rich voices of praise, the clapping of hands, occasional blowing of whistles or thumping on hymnals.

We sing in the streets. I sing with my friends. They teach me hand clap games and the chants that go with them.

My aunt sings when she cleans. She fills the hallway with song as she sweeps and mops.

Continuous songs are sung during funerals. Songs of lamentation ring in the air. Hundreds of voices express pain and sorrow. It is loud. It is shared. It is community. It is comforting.

We sing before and after almost everything in church or at church events. We sing when people are processing. We sing after they have sung an item, a musical offering. We sing in the down time or rotation of speakers or presenters. We sing because that is what we do.

We sing to carry on. When my mama and aunt prepare our meat, which means killing the chickens to prepare our meal, my aunt sings.

My mom and I sing in the car. Sometimes the songs carry us into dancing.

At events we sing. Long events that last hours seem shorter with the infusion of song after every speaker. We stand and dance. Stretch our legs and use our voice. Clap and stomp.

Song is used all the time and in many ways. I thank God for the beautiful gift of song. 

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