Our new Singing Group has been meeting for about five or six months now. We gather every two weeks, on the first and third Thursdays of the month, at the Rectory. We practice the hymns that will be sung at our worship services that coming Sunday, and we learn some new songs too.
We are not a choir. We are not professionals. That doesn't matter. It is simply good to get together and sing. Lifting a "joyful noise unto the Lord" (Psalm 100) is a way to lift our own spirits also. The aim is to learn new hymns, new ways of singing old familiar hymns, and to have people scattered throughout our parishes who can and will support our congregational singing. I have noticed since arriving here that singing is an important part in the life of our parishes and in the Church of Ireland as a whole.
Recently I read an article by Keith Getty about congregational singing. Keith Getty is the co-author, with Simon Townend, of the hymn "In Christ Alone," as well as many others. He and his wife, Kristyn Getty, are well-known musical artists. They are from Northern Ireland but now live in Nashville, Tennessee.
The article is called "Keith Getty on why what your congregation sings THIS SUNDAY matters." Follow this link to read the article. I highly recommend the article to you.
The Gettys are initiating a two-year focus on congregational singing, beginning with a conference in Nashville in September 2017 called, simply, "Sing!" Kirk and I hope to attend this conference so we can learn how to give even more support to our singing here.