Church is for singing, and home too

Last night, my wife and I pounded on the piano and belted out praise songs and hymns ’till it was nearly midnight. What a blessing that the walls are thick and the children sleep through it all! It was wonderful.

In her memior Dakota, Kathleen Norris describes how important music was tied to church and God.

The church was music to me when I was little, an enthusiastic member of the cherub choir in the large Methodist hurch in Arlington, Virginia, where my dad was choir director. We woere pale blue robes with voluminous sleeves, stiff white collars, and flopp black bow ties, which I thought made me look like one of the angels in my picture hymnal.

I sang from that book every day at home. one of my strongest memories of early childhood is of sitting on my mother’s lap at our old, battered Steinway upright as she played the hymns and I sang. By the time I was three, long before I knew how to read, I’d turn the pages and on seeing the illustration would begin singing the right song in the right pitch.

I still value music and story over systematic theology – an understatement, given the fact that I was so dreamy as a child that I learned not from Sunday school but from a movie on television that Jesus dies. Either my Sunday school teachers had been too nice to tell me (this was the 1950s), or, as usual, I wasn’t paying attention. I am just now beginning to recognize the trut of my original vision: we got to church in order to sing, and theology is secondary.

-Kathleen Norris, Dakota, Ghosts – A History, p. 91