As I enjoyed the hymns of Christmas last Sunday, I realized that although I only sing them once or twice a year, I remember the words and am able to sing along. The songs are in a key that most anyone can sing, and the melody helps us remember the words.
As we leave the Christmas season, I think of “Contemporary” services I have attended at various churches over the years. The musicians are talented, but it seems the congregation almost never participates. Almost every church in every denomination that tries a “Contemporary” service makes the same mistakes. The musicians pick songs that match their vocal range and songs that are designed to be sung by an individual. I almost never find a “Contemporary” service that has been able to select songs that the average person can sing. I find most songs are set for a alto voice that is too deep for most women and too high for most men.
I have been convinced that if the historical denominations that practice the liturgical calendar could repeat the Advent/Christmas season styles of music throughout the year, it would attract many dropouts from the non-denominational world. If worship committees and musicians could find songs that match the emphasis of the liturgical calendar and are in a key that the average person could sing, I believe participation would greatly increase.
I am not a musician, and I realize my hope is easier said than done, but I still hope.