I love “The Andy Griffith Show.” One of my favorite shticks on multiple episodes is when Barney sings. In one segment, Barney talks about singing a cappella and when Andy presses him to it, Barney takes off on the imaginary song revealing to all that he didn’t even know what “a cappella” means. Love it!
How about you? Do you love to sing “a cappella”? For me, it’s one of my favorite moments in worship. It seems the congregation comes to life in an unaccompanied section. And I love those poignant moments when the choir learns something a cappella and leaves the congregation of worshippers in silence when they take us to the throne is an awe-inspiring of unaccompanied harmonic singing.
There are lots of reasons to use this approach in worship. Here are four:
- It makes the lyric stand out.
- It requires extra preparation challenging the choir to improve and growing the skill level of the group.
- It provides a welcome respite from the same accompaniment of the usual selections.
- It can set up very reflective and powerful moments of response.
For all these reasons and more, we have offered several a cappella anthem arrangements in recent years. Just this week, I received a video of one of those from our friends at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. This video features the vocal ensemble group, Doxology.
As you watch this, ask yourself if you should do something like this with your choir in the near future. And even more than that, be blessed as you watch and listen.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.