Happy New Year to my fellow readers of the Forum.
I just got back from a months long vaccation in Kerala. I was catching up with the messages when the issue of church music came to light. I had the opportunity to visit many of our churches and holy shrines in Kerala and attended the Holy Qurbana there. Our music by far is matchless in melody, meaning and its capability to be used for meditation. I have to say that the churches that I visited all had choirs and the choral music, needless to say needs some attention. I was somewhat disappointed after listening to the choral music which could be described as---
1. Modernized to fit the change of times
2. Partipants in the choir are very talented, and trained, who are able to combine rhythm and melody quite well.
3. The use of electronic organs are fine which adds to the richness of the church music.
4. What I felt was negative was the amplification of the sound that was at times unbearable and takes your focus away from the Qurbana. It seems that participants in the choir do not have this feedback from the congregation that the music is amplified too loud and needs to be adjusted. We have to realize that the function of the church choir is to help the songs be melodious at the same time encourage the congregation to take part in it. The entire congregation should be able to participate and not to stand as spectators watching a show or concert. It is sad to say that I felt this experience in some of the churches in Kerala, where the music was too loud and overwhelming. I am sure that this could be easily rectified.
DR Thomas Varghese,
St Ignatiuos Church, Dallas-Texas
Member ID # 0993