1. It actually is legal in this country for the congregation to sing along with the hymns in a church service.
(We weren’t sure if you were aware of this, so we thought we’d let you know.)
Seriously. The hymns won’t bite you. We promise. Help us out a little bit and sing along.
2. Yes, in case you were wondering, singing while processing does take some getting used to.
Or, should I say, singing the right notes and the right words while processing, fully vested, possibly in high heels, carrying a hymnal and a folder, staying in step with the person you’re processing with, staying the appropriate distance behind the person processing in front of you, remembering to bow, not dropping anything when you bow, not dropping anything period… you get the picture.
3. Just because we make a particular section of a piece sound easy doesn’t mean that it actually was easy.
More likely, it means that we rehearsed those six or seven words so many times that the entire English language had ceased to have any meaning to us by the time you actually heard us sing it in the service.
4. They’re not robes, they’re vestments.
Specifically, the white thing is called a cotta and the darker-colored thing underneath is called a cassock. Those are vestments. A robe is what your grandmother puts on top of her nightgown to answer the door.
And while we’re on the subject…
5. Yes, we do get hot in them.
The altitude of the gallery + being fully vested + being in close quarters = roughly the temperature of Satan’s armpits by the time we’ve said “and also with you.”
Oh, and there is no such thing as a properly-fitting cassock. I’m convinced of it. You’re either drowning in it or getting a mammogram. There’s no in-between.
That being said…
6. Few joys that exist within this mortal coil can rival how good it feels to take off your vestments after a long service.
7. Yes, we’ve all screwed up during a service at least once.
Sometimes a whole section, or even the whole choir screws up. Sometimes it’s just one or two people.
8. No matter what goes wrong during a service, or how badly it went wrong, God is still worshiped by what we do, and ultimately that’s what matters.
Ideally, though, we’d like it if God was worshiped and nobody had to get this look from the choirmaster in the middle of the anthem:
9. In general, the choir is where you’ll find the most laid-back, accepting group of folks in any given parish.
The friendships that come from singing together cross the lines of color, gender, age, sexual orientation, occupation, and vocal section.
10. Hoarding pencils, bobby pins, and cough drops in the pockets of your folder is considered completely normal behavior.
(So is finding creative ways to mark the pages in your hymnal on Sunday morning.)
11. Hitting a note you didn’t know you had is one of the best feelings in the world.
The only thing better is nailing a whole descant.
12. Sometimes we get a little silly during rehearsals.
For example, one time, my friend Kelly and I demonstrated for the whole choir that you can, in fact, sing the Doxology to the tune of the William Tell Overture. Our choirmaster supplied an impromptu piano accompaniment and the whole choir was in stitches.
13. But we actually do work really hard.
This is how most of us feel by the end of a service:
14. Yes, choir drama is a real thing.
Whether it’s gossip, a bad case of diva syndrome, or just straight-up getting on each other’s nerves, sometimes we’re a little less than Christlike to each other.
15. At the end of the day, we have each other’s back.
Whatever happens, we’ll be there for each other, and that’s one of the best parts of singing in a choir. We love God, we love music, and we love each other. We’re a big family. Come join us!