Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Memories: The Importance of Words

            I learned a lesson about the importance of words when I was a member of a Christmas choir at my hometown church, about thirty years ago.
            My hometown church had an average attendance of about 150 people (the largest church in our town). Our youth pastor, who had also been a music professor, organized a choir one Christmas (we didn’t have a choir on a regular basis) of those who wanted to sing and present a cantata (no tryouts in small churches). I was one of about fifteen who formed the group.
                                                         Bob Phillips/Dreamstime.com

            We sang mostly Christmas music we were familiar with, or so we thought. The first thing he taught us was how to breathe, so we could get the best sound out of our voices. He also instructed us how to sing particular words of songs, so that those listening would hear the words more clearly.  For example: When we sang the song, “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful,” he told us to sing the line: “Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him,” as, “Oh, come let TUS adore him.” Most of us found this humorous, but that made it memorable and we felt like we had a secret from the audience. It also made the rehearsals fun and we felt like a team.
            We sang on that Christmas Sunday to the best of our abilities and to the glory of God, remembering what we had learned.
But, I took away from that experience a truth about the power of words. We need to shape the way we speak and write so the hearer or the reader understands and enjoys our message.
Thanks, Terry, for something I remember every Christmas and in my daily work as a writer.
Don’t forget to adore Christ the Lord this Christmas.


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