TRIBUTE TO THE CHORISTERS

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I watched in dismay as a well-dressed humble young man jumped up with so much excitement in appreciation to the song rendered by the choir, giving them applause which spurred the whole gathering into a moment of ecstasy and frenzy. To me, I felt he had pushed beyond the limit and ought to have done better by showing little composure as regard his behaviour; as it would have been better if he had not let his emotions get the better of him in such a public gathering.

Just the other day in the church gathering, I saw neatly dressed young men and women crying, pouring oceans of tears from their eyes as they worshipped God while the worship session was ongoing. Well, it mattered little to me as one would expect this kind of experience during an exhilarating worship session as it is often said that worship moves God.

For a good and sound choral and song ministration, one that moves spirit and soul to occur, it is very essential that one needs to have sound and functional instruments, good instrumentalists, as well as quintessential vocalists as they all work hand in hand to ensure a smooth rendition.This more often than not is the case why choristers are always picked to lead the congregation in most of the song renditions be it worship or praise or even hymns.

I couldn’t help but ask myself this rhetorical question, is it all about the musical instruments or those mounting them or is it how good the song leader can actually lead that actually results in an adrenaline-charged ministration? Well, your guesses are as good as mine!

I attended a Sunday service in my church and at a point in the service, the generating set developed a quagmire as the technical unit hurried to get the problem fixed. Within this period, a session of worship was called; as would always be expected but damped I looked as light could not be restored in the fastest possible time at such a critical session. The whole church seemed a bit disorganized and disordered, boredom and ennui was seen on all faces in the church as the whole gathering exhibited a mood I will term to be melancholic and despondent while on the wait for a quick restore of light in other to get the sound system powered up.

One of the choristers came out to lead in the worship session and as expected, the start was full of hesitation and lack of seriousness. The issue persisted as the session progressed but after about three to four songs into the session, the atmosphere changed completely; a moment of sombreness and solemnity was found in all nooks and crannies of the church. I could see people crying, I could see some singing their voices out, I could see people rolling on the floor, the pastors, elders, the congregation were all pouring down rain of tears. The ushers were not left out, as they could not even control themselves talk more of giving control and orderliness to the church.  The choir stand was empty as almost all the choristers were wailing and rolling on the floor. One would ask about the media personnel, well, only the equipment had to performed tasks on their own as all the personnel were cut-up in this nerve-wracking moment of worship. I sensed the momentousness I never did before, I witnessed the presence of God like never before even at a time when the instruments are put to use. There was no keyboard played, no guitar nor even drums rolled but I could see the presence of God prevailing in the church. Oh! I have always longed for such a moment; oh the church has always longed for this moment! So many were healed, so many were delivered, so many were crying and rolling on the floor not because they were hurt but just because God’s awesome presence was made manifest in the church.

I couldn’t help but asked myself again, is it all about the musical instruments or those mounting them or is it how good the song leader can actually lead that actually result in an adrenaline-charged ministration?

Well, in my view, none of these really matters because without His (God’s) presence the instruments, instrumentalists and even vocalists are just instrumental to our distraction as without God all these are nothing.

Most times after service, sets of people who I may call illegal service observers/reviewers, in groups, mostly those of the same department, age bracket etc. who may sometime share the same destination to their various residential abode do what they know how best to do: Giving their thoughts on activities that got their attention during the service. One of the most vulnerable and easily if not most talked about group of people or department in the church are usually the Choristers. How this person sang with a flat key, how the soloist didn’t live up to expectations, or how the song leader sang a dull song instead of raising the rhythmic output to be high etc. One shocking thing about this group of people is that they sometime have nothing to offer as regards the successful planning and execution of a church service apart from their numerical presence; they are sometimes regarded as numbers in church as their presence adds little to the development of the church.

 Though many will argue that their observations has little or no impact in terms of correcting or bringing up ideas to change the situation or enhance performance or presentations, this set of people lay so much complaints within themselves about how the choristers are not utilizing their potentials to the optimum. They are so much interested in seeing the choristers perform to their own taste no matter what. Without any intent of self-righteousness, I will admit that I am one of them. Yes, but in my case, most of what I do is to point out what and how the choir blundered; I also give credit to them on their strengths and urge them to do more in order to have a productive and sound rendition next time.

A certain day came when I laid these complaints to the choir director and he asked me a question of which I had little or no courage uttering out answers to. He said I thought you have a voice, why have you not joined the choir? Why not become a member of the choir so as to make this corrections during rehearsals in order to save yourself the stress of complaining? Taciturn I turned as I could not imagine myself singing in the choir. After that day, I could hardly lay complaints and blames on the choir but give them credits when necessary.

Just on Saturday, June 17, 2017, in a rally in my church of which I was the moderator, the rally went very well and as we approached the climax of the event; when everyone present was enjoying the presence of God, freeing their mind, body and soul, dancing and rejoicing to the glory of God as the praise leader led in an exhilarating moment of praise, there came a moment of quiver as the praise leader handed over the microphone to me to round up the session. Without hesitation, I voiced out and continued the song which was still on, in order to round it up. But with utter dismay and disarray, came great intensity and amplitude of voice that ended up turning the moment of merriment into a moment of laughter and glee. I was shocked as to the sound produced by the speakers; to the left and right my eyes turned in search of what produced such an incessant sound characterized by all sort of cantankerous and belligerent rhythmic notes. I wondered if it really were mine or someone’s. To my surprise and shock, the sound came from me. Yes, my guts. I watched as the whole church cheered to ecstasy and the service dismissed, each person smiling at me. The rest is story. As it stands, I am shy of singing in a lonely room where I am the only occupant for fear of who might be listening. Each time I remember the incident and how I have always criticized the choristers, I bury my head ignominiously.

So here I am today with a written acclaim applauding all the choristers in the whole world; young and old. You all are legends, for all your works in the church of God, May God mightily bless and reward you in Jesus Name, Amen! You may not be told by many that your renditions have been a blessing to them but know this; to every rendition offered, it blesses the lives of people at least one. So continue your good works, and the Lord shall surely reward you abundantly.

May I use this medium to appreciate a friend who has always been a source of inspiration for me, right from when I met her, with her voice she inspires, with her words of encouragement she motivates. God bless you Ma, you really are a blessing to me and the entire generation.

I cannot end this without appreciating all the choirs in my church, The Standard Choir, the Truth Bearers, the Teens Choir, and choirs in the universe, called by God, you have all been great. More power to your elbow.

Grace to you all

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