Many people today feel that the concept of the church choir is outdated. They prefer rock music and songs with meaningless words. If we look at the history and purpose of the church choir, we will find that this ought not to be the case. The church choir has its origins in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. The first church choir was appointed by King David during his reign. These choirs were far more serious than the ones we have today.
According to Dr Bruce Leafbald, a Professor of Church Music and Worship at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth Texas, music also had another vital role in the Old Testament. In our modern days, the arts are separated so that poetry and music are distinct. But in the Old Testament time, however, the two were never separate. Any poetry that was ever presented was presented as a song.
At the Infant Jesus Church in Dombivili, Mumbai, the youth and adults sing hymns in diverse languages for the different languages masses. Here masses are celebrated in English, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani, Tamil and Malayalam. The English choirs are usually combined during Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter vigil, Christmas and New Year masses.
The singing and melodious music by adults and the youngsters brings life to each of the masses, making the parishioners engrossed in the spiritual world completely set apart from their usual daily life chorus. The hard work and efforts taken by each choir member is commendable and is reflected in their singing that every hymn sung during the mass, keeps your foot tapping to the floor. The youngsters are gifted with amazing talent and are an asset to the church. Saint Augustine is often quoted as having said, “He, who sings, prays twice.” The Latin cited for this is: “Qui bene cantat bis orat”.