Make a joyful noise unto the Lord...
Music is vital to other experiences at Fondren: members gather in the fellowship hall for an old-fashioned "hymn-sing" or in the courtyard for a sing-along accompanied by The Fondren Bluegrass, a group of Fondren musicians who play violin, cello, mandolin, bowed dulcimer, and guitar. Carolers ride the trolley at Christmas to take the gift of music to shut-ins. Children share special music in worship, especially at Christmas and on Palm Sunday. And on Youth Sunday in August, the youth lead a worship service that includes bluegrass songs and instruments.
Adult Choir members significantly contribute as worship leaders, whether leading congregational singing or offering an anthem. Their dedication and commitment are exceptional examples of faithfulness. The Adult Choir is open to anyone senior high school age or older; only rudimentary music-reading skills are necessary. This choir depends on volunteer singers! Adults practice Wednesday evenings, 7:30 to 8:30 (with an abbreviated schedule during the summer months).
Handbell Choir members exhibit the same devotion (some people are members of both choirs). Ringers need not have previous experience to join, but as with the Adult Choir, basic music-reading skill is necessary. Handbells rehearse Wednesdays from 5:15 to 6:15 P.M. Contact Nell Adams for more information regarding the Adult or Handbell Choirs.
Why We Sing Hymns
Scripture tells us that at the close of the Last Supper, "...when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives." (Mark 14:26) This passage is part of the model for Christian worship. Singing together makes real our being one body in Christ. One study, cited in The American Organist, concluded that most of what Christians believe comes from hymns rather than from sermons and creeds. When a belief is put in prose, it may speak to the mind, but it becomes more memorable when expressed in poetry, and when that poetry is sung over and over again, it becomes part of the very fabric of our hearts. Consider the phrase "…born of the virgin Mary" (from the Apostle's Creed), then the poem "Silent Night," and finally, the most powerful expression: when we sing "Silent Night" together. Singing hymns promotes Christian unity and strengthens Christian faith. At Fondren Presbyterian Church, we treasure congregational singing.