Preaching as the Choir

*The following is a paper written as part of my master’s coursework. The research and thought that generated this paper have had a profound impact on my thinking in regards to worship, and I return to these sources and ideas frequently.

In the post-Christian age, sacred choral music remains “a significant part of many people’s experience of, and theoretical reflection on, Christian faith.”[1] This observation is supported by the recurrent use of religious language to describe choral engagement, regardless of whether the setting is a church or concert hall, and occurs regardless of whether the music itself is sacred or secular.[2] For instance, in an article documenting the effect of a prison music program, Stephanie Henry writes that, in providing an “enjoyable and serious activity,” choral singing transforms its participants “miraculously, in the fullest sense of the word.”[3] Henry continues to discuss the program’s “redemptive” power to renew a sense of personal identity and to restore healthy communal engagement.[4] That distinctly Christian terminology is employed to describe the impact of choral singing should not be surprising, for Christianity “has always been a singing faith.”[5] Accordingly, the use of quasi-Christian language to discuss choral singing indicates its capacity as music to “engender religious experience.”[6]

Elaborating on the potential religious influence of chorale singing, Jonathan Arnold notes that choral experiences are regularly described as “profoundly moving” and seem to inspire the apprehension of something “otherworldly” in both singers and listeners.[7] Although increasingly disassociated from “Sunday morning hymns,” choral membership remains reasonably consistent and,[8] as demonstrated by countless studies on singing and social well-being, continues to exert a positive communal influence.[9] In fostering experiences of beauty and community which are described in terms of transcendence and redemption, choral singing resonates with Christianity. Furthermore, the core components of Christian communion and choral community are strikingly similar and frequently complementary.[10]

Various online definitions reveal that, just as religious language is used to describe choral experiences, many terms associated with communion are equally applicable to choral singing; “empathy,” “attuned,” “communicate,” and “identity,” for example, are proper to communion, as well as choral singing.[11] Also enhancing this correlation is the definition of a choir as “a group of people who acknowledge their interconnectedness, have a sense of their common purpose, respect their differences, [and] share in group decision.”[12] This definition resembles that of the communion of saints as “an assembly . . . where all who belong to it have a common interest by which they are bound together into unity.”[13] Jeremy Begbie, intuiting this correspondence, considers group music-making an analogy for Christian communion—referred to as “koinonia”[14]—and suggests that engagement in musical communities may anticipate entrance into this fellowship.[15] Karl Barth also appears to acknowledge this possibility, citing particular instances of community (which could include choirs) as images of communion.[16]

Understood most generally, “the communion of saints” is the unity of believers in the Spirit through Christ and the sacraments.[17] It proceeds from the ministry of the Holy Spirit, is founded upon participation in Christ’s love, and is actualized in the sharing of the sacraments.[18] In sacred contexts, choral singing often has a liturgical relationship with communion and, even in secular settings, appears to parallel it as the proclamation of unified breath, participation in a shared passion and activity, and preparation for a common hope. It may be that, as Barth suggests of music in general, choral singing parabolically reflects tenets of Christian belief such as the communion of saints as professed by the Apostles’ Creed.[19] The recurrence of religious language, coupled with the resemblance between choral singing and the communion of saints, may additionally indicate singing together as an activity not only parallel but preliminary to Christian communion.[20]

I. Proclamation: Spirit and Breath

The Apostles’ Creed is organized according to a trinitarian structure, with “the Holy Catholic Church and the communion of saints” as an elaboration on the theme of the Holy Spirit.[21] Thus, the communion of saints proceeds from the work of the Spirit[22] in remaking believers into the likeness of Christ and into restored relationship with one another.[23] As a result of the ministry of the Spirit, transformed saints are inspired to proclaim their faith corporately.[24] While this proclamation is primarily associated with preaching—especially among Protestants—Martin Luther included song (sonora praedicatione) as a viable form of witnessing due to its kerygmatic capacity to proclaim the Word and to stir the affections to devotion.[25] This language once more indicates the religious potential of music, as Christians and non-Christians alike testify to this proclamatory power of music as “witness.”[26]

Singing to and with each other as witness to the work of the Spirit is deeply rooted in Christian scripture and tradition. In Ephesians, Paul urges Christians to sing as an expression and reinforcement of unity and, although this call to song is often overlooked in commentaries, it provides a vital prescription for the healing and strengthening of the communion of the saints in Ephesus and the Church universal.[27] Ignatius of Antioch, in his letter to the Ephesians, similarly writes that “Jesus Christ is sung” in the saints’ unity and love for one another and that, as they increase in communion with Christ and each other, they are transformed into “a choir. . . harmonious in love.”[28] Paul and Ignatius reveal, then, that song is the evidence and practice of the unifying work of the Spirit. Singing, as Steven Guthrie summarizes, is “the sounding image of the unified Church,” the profession and practice of Spirit-filled koinonia.[29]

Beyond the Church

Michael Praetorius claims that the “grace and efficacy” of choral music—much like the communion of saints—is inspired by the Holy Spirit.[30] Similarly, James MacMillan articulates what many—including musicians and non-musicians, as well as believers and non-believers—intuit: “music is the most spiritual of the arts . . . [because it] seems to get into the crevices of the human-divine experience . . . [and] can spark life that has long lain dormant.”[31] Is this also true of singing beyond the Church? What constitutes the “spirit” of secular choirs? While Christians are doctrinally equipped to recognize the Spiritualimplications of singing together, choral singing is yet meaningful for secular ensembles, for it unites communities through shared breath and song and, in this, parallels the proclamatory life of Christians in the Spirit. 

Rowan Williams writes of koinonia as “shared life in His holy breath” and of the witness of the Church as the “breath of Jesus.”[32] Breath is not only a distinctly pneumatological concept within Christian doctrine but is the most fundamental element of choral singing; singing together necessitates breathing together.[33] In a study published by Frontiers in Psychology, researchers found that due to the respiratory regulation required by choral singing, vocalists’ heartbeats actually seemed to synchronize.[34] Physiologically, the coordinated breath of choir members draws their hearts into unity and produces a collective song. This physically parallels Spiritual koinonia, in which the shared breath and life of the Holy Spirit is proclaimed in a witnessing communion of believers.[35]    

Within as well as beyond the Church, group singing promotes well-ordered societies by “gathering” and “manifesting” community.[36] Anthropologically, just as song is both a symptom of and prescription for Christian unity, singing as “one of the oldest, and deepest, expressions of humanity and civilization,” is an indicator of and contributor to interpersonal harmony.[37] As vocalists and activists, The Long Island Voices, recognize this social power of song, and summarize their mission in the following: “We connect with one another, celebrate beauty and find strength, love, and support when we share in the spirit only found when we lift our voices in song.”[38] The shared “spirit” of the Long Island Voices is a commitment to promoting social justice through choral singing. While this common, motivating “spirit” is not necessarily the Holy Spirit of Christian communion, it is yet linguistically and conceptually analogous. 

Acknowledging this parallel relationship between the spirituality of music and Spirit-filled communion, Philip Stolzfus writes that music may indeed act as a “form of proclamation not strictly within the bounds of the gospel Word as spoken in the church” but which—borrowing Barth’s phrase—“parabolically points” toward the specific revelation of truth in Scripture.[39] It seems that choral singing, in particular, fulfills this proclamatory role in both the Church and secular society as it witnesses to unity achieved through the shared “spirit” of song. If music is “the most spiritual of the arts,” it may be because it is analogous to the communion of the saints in the Holy Spirit.[40] While secular singers are more likely to focus on fostering merely human relationships, their songs are not “praiseless praise.”[41] Rather, as the product of a shared breath and life, singing even in secular ensembles may parabolically proclaim the communion of saints with one another and, ultimately, with God in the Holy Spirit.[42]

II. Participation: Source and Song

Although manifest by the proclamation of shared life in the Spirit, the communion of saints is actively lived through “common participation in the holy,” that is, participation in Christ’s love and in the sharing of the sacraments.[43] Participation in the love of Christ is the source and end of communion, culminating in the harmonization of the Church’s members into the body of Christ.[44] Whatever its controversies, vocal music has remained central to liturgical participation and to the Church’s life as the body of Christ. In rearticulating the necessity of active liturgical engagement, Vatican II specifically included congregational and choral singing as essential for “enabling the faithful to actively participate in the Mass.”[45] Ratzinger additionally emphasized that communal participation is more essential to Christian formation even than private devotional practice and that both singing and attentive listening are acceptably-active modes of participation.[46] This indicates that both choir and congregation may be drawn into more fruitful communion through music, as well that worship and fellowship are facilitated and imaged by choral singing.

Noting the relationship between participation in singing and “participation in the holy,” John Davies claims music as a “conduit” by which worshippers may seek to connect earth with heaven. [47] In this, music-making appears not only as complementary to liturgy but as a medium by which the Church participates in heavenly realities, thus paralleling the communion of saints and the sharing of the sacraments, both of which reflect divine communion with and through Christ. Davies’ allusion to seekership is also significant; it implies that musical participation, in not being limited to believers only but also to those seeking faith and fellowship, may be a medium by which non-believers are potentially initiated into religious participation. Although music in liturgy is first and foremost intended to draw believers into more active participation in the shared life of faith, it may be that musical engagement as a “conduit” will direct non-believing choral participants toward the communion of saints.[48]

Beyond the Church

The shared Spirit of the saints is paralleled in the unified breath and song of choral ensembles both in and beyond the Church. Likewise, the active participation of the saints in communion with Christ is analogously reflected in the mutual love and collaborative activity of choral singing. The Long Island Voices, united in the same “spirit” of song and service, represent a diverse community “bound by mutual love of music” as well as a passion for social justice.[49] The phrase “bound by mutual love” should immediately resonate with concepts of Christian koinonia. Robert Jensen writes that the communion of saints is “not a usual human bond” but that, by common participation in the love of Christ, believers are also bound to one another.[50] Indeed, in sharing in the sacrament of eucharist, believers perform a radical “declaration and act of eternal love” toward Christ and each other.[51] On a less cosmic scale, singing together parallels the saints’ participation in the common love and life of communion; a single man does not a choir make and in joining in harmony, singers’ acknowledge their reliance upon one another.[52] As demonstrated by the diverse unity of the Long Island Voices, the bond forged by choral singing is similar to that of communion because it requires members recognize their interdependence and mutual love.

Further revealing of the reflective relationship between choral participation and communion is the conviction of choirs such as the Long Island Voices that “communities sing, communities listen, and communities participate.”[53] This core conviction equally applies to the communion of saints and resonates with Vatican II’s emphasis on active participation in the life of the Church via singing and listening. Expanding upon these parallels, Jonathan Arnold describes music as not only a means of fostering participation in community or communion but, perhaps, of mediating between the two:

Music is indeed a bridge between those who believe and those who do not believe. As a medium of communication that connects people in a common purpose and spirit, music is a superior method by far with which to tackle intolerance, injustice, and prejudice in our society.[54]

In this, Arnold identifies a connection between music, unity, and social justice similar to the mission of the Long Island Voices, as well as suggests that music made, experienced, and used toward these ends may serve as a “bridge” between the secular and the sacred. Based on this claim, it appears that choral singing, even in a secular context, may not only be parallel but preliminary to participation in communion.

Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner observes a similar phenomenon and states that, although he is not a believer, he “becomes a Christian” when directing or listening to sacred choral music.[55] Although this adoption of faith does not extend beyond the chorale’s final cadence, Gardiner yet touches on the notion that vocal music may lead to religious participation and seems to facilitate the “participatory knowledge” central to Christian belief and communion.[56] While Christians are equipped to understand singing as complementary to participation in the love of Christ and the life of the Church, nonbelievers such as Gardiner may be attracted to choral music because it provides a deeper level of engagement and meaning than materialism or secularism can provide.[57] Supporting this, while fellow conductor Harry Christopher also believes that it is possible to engage sacred choral music without faith, he admits that “if the music is good, it will do something to your soul.”[58]  Statements such as those by Gardiner and Christopher acknowledge that, even for non-believers or within a secular sphere, there is something unavoidably spiritual in choral music. This, in addition to the sense of mutual love and interdependence fostered by choirs, further evidences the analogous relationship between making music in a choir and participating in communion

III. Preparation: Action and Anticipation

The most specific definition of “communion” refers to the rituals of Christianity and, specifically, the eucharist.[59] This chief sacrament is performed not only as a sign of participation in Christ and the Church, but in anticipation of the coming Kingdom, in which communion with God and one another will be finally and fully realized.[60] Rowan Williams summarizes the communion experienced through the eucharist as “a foretaste of where everything is heading,” a rehearsal of promised reconciliation.[61] Through the proclamation of the Spirit and participation in Christ’s love, the communion of the saints reflects the reciprocal relationship of the Triune God; in sharing the Lord’s Supper, Christians practice and anticipate the perfection of their communion with God and with one another. Partaking together of Christ’s body and blood in communion is a declaration of participatory love, as well as preparation for the fulfilment of koinonia.[62]

Choral music has long been integral to the anticipatory rites of the Church. Just as sharing in the eucharist is pedagogical in that it is a vital reminder of Christian identity and a rehearsal for reconciliation, serious musical engagement may also be considered “among our most potent ways of learning what it is to live with and before God.”[63] In accordance with this idea, Vatican II promoted singing because of its “important functional role” for liturgical participants.[64] Beyond simply “enriching” the sacred rite of the Church, however, choral and congregational song functions as an instrument for Christian education.[65] It seems clear by now that choral singing images and fosters the unity that communion anticipates, but it also serves a preparatory function in modelling and encouraging proper devotion. According to Begbie, music’s affective power—although it may certainly be used inappropriately—is capable of assisting in devotional practice and Christian formation by guiding worshippers to feel what they might not otherwise.[66] Johann Conrad Dannhawer similarly understands that music as emotional pedagogy will, ideally, draw the human spirit to devotion, divert the mind from worldly cares, and prepare the heart to receive the Word and Spirit.[67] In evoking appropriate affections, choral music is complementary to the communion rite and, in modelling musical harmony, prepares believers to receive the eucharist in communion and thus anticipates the reconciliation of the Kingdom.  

Beyond the Church

By describing music as a “bridge” between the sacred and the secular, theologians and artists open the possibility that choral singing is not only analogous to the communion of saints, but may facilitate entry into it.[68] Eucharistic communion as the core of the saints life together is given for repentance, conversion, and anticipation; similarly, regular choral singing often becomes central to a well-lived life due to its transformational impact. [69] Numerous studies indicate that choral ensembles provide a model of harmonious community unique even among other group activities, and both statistical and anecdotal research suggest that singing prepares individuals for more fulfilling social engagement.[70] In thus fostering healthy relationships in both sacred and secular spheres, choral singing may—like the communion sacrament—analogously anticipate and “imagine the ultimate future of the world—its re-creation by God.”[71]

The Coro Furlan, which is comprised of primarily elderly Italian-Australian men, is one example of a choral ensemble that seeks to model and prepare for social reconciliation.[72] The goal of this ensemble is to reinforce and sustain the unique cultural identity of its members through regular singing, and this appears parallel to the communion of saints practicing their Christian identity through the sacraments. As with the Long Island Voices, the Coro Furlan not only provides a sense of united identity for its members but anticipates relational restoration by seeking to ease the social isolation of generational and cultural minorities.[73] In this, musical engagement is again reflective of communion, for both present, promote, and prepare for communal reconciliation. Members of choirs such as the Coro Furlan also experience “a sense of family” and an opportunity to “teach and share” their experiences and identities through music, both of which further resemble koinonia and the eucharist, which remind Christians of their identity as a redeemed family and provide regular instruction in the life of faith.[74]

As well as imaging the preparatory rites of Christian communion, choral singing may potentially prepare participants for entry into this fellowship. Although suspicious of music’s supposed sensuality, St. Augustine writes that singing in the Church ought to be permitted because “through the delights of the ear the weaker mind may rise up toward the devotion of worship.”[75] He here acknowledges that singing and listening may indeed encourage active “participation in the holy,”[76] as well as that, as Begbie suggests, the affective power of music may prepare for more focused worship.[77] Begbie, who became a musician before becoming a Christian, once said that his involvement in music “provided what [he] thought any self-respecting religion should provide: a social life, intellectual interest, and—not least—huge emotional satisfaction.”[78] As a distinguished musician and theologian, it is clear that Begbie found music and faith complementary, however, his statement also alludes to the possibility that music could have become a replacement for religion, a substitute providing a sense of community and spirituality without the demands of a specific creed.[79]

Despite the potential for musical engagement to become a post-secular replacement for religion, it yet seems that, in representing and anticipating harmony and reconciliation, choral singing fulfils music’s function as “preparation for the blessed life that is to come.”[80] Significantly, this function is parallel to that of the communion sacrament: to image the promised harmony of relationship with and in God.[81] Although conversion is not the assured consequence of choral singing, it does appear analogous to the communion of saints as professed in the Apostles’ Creed by inspiring a sense of devotion and imaging reconciliation. Through these affordances, choral singing may, perhaps, become “a road toward God,” drawing non-believers toward Christianity and converting choral community into holy communion.[82]

IV. Benediction

To conclude services, many sacred choirs sing a doxology such as the hymn “God be in my Head.”[83] Secular choirs, too, often conclude performances or rehearsals with a traditional song, which is frequently similar to the selections of Christian ensembles. For example, The East Hill Singers, a choir comprised of both prisoners and community volunteers, end every rehearsal and concert with a song called “May the Gift”:

May the joy of words and music
Linger as we now depart
In our thinking, speaking, living,
Give us grace to do our part.[84]

These lines, which invoke the power of music to restore relationships and uplift singers in their daily lives, also acknowledge music as a divine gift and profess something akin to faith. Anyone familiar with hymnology will also observe the similarities between the text of “May the Gift” and that of “God be in My Head”:

God be in my head and in my understanding;
. . . in mine eyes and in my looking;
. . . in my mouth and in my speaking;
. . . in my heart and in my thinking;
. . . at mine end and in my departing.[85]

The words of both songs aim to prepare singers and listeners to re-engage with the world in the love of God or, analogously, the harmony of music. Both also are generally sung in four-part harmony, symbolizing the diverse unity of the communion of saints and the community of song.[86]

The similarities between these benedictory songs demonstrate the analogous relationship of choral singing and the communion of saints; both transform the thinking, speaking, and living of members, preparing them to better engage with one another. It may also be that choristers come to proclaim the joy of the Spirit through the “joy of words and music,” to image participation in Christ through a mutual love of song, and to prepare for reconciliation through the harmony of choral community.[87] Whether singing together manifests and promotes holy communion or simply healthier societies, it may be that it will awaken spiritual and relational yearnings that are ultimately satisfied in koinonia.[88] In paralleling the key aspects of Christian communion—proclamation, participation, and preparation—choral singing may thus become “an opening for non-believers,” directing them toward “the first Composer” and antiphonal rejoicing in the communion of saints.[89]

[1] George Corbett, “TheoArtistry, and a Contemporary Perspective on Composing Sacred Choral Music.” Religions 9, no. 1 (January 2018): 2.

[2] Jeremy Begbie, “Foreward,” in Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011), vii.

[3] Stephanie Henry, “Choral Singing Transforms Lives,” Corrections Today 78, no. 5 (2016): 93.

[4] Henry, “Choral Singing Transforms Lives,” 93.

[5] John Rutter, “Church and Composers.” John Rutter. Collegium Records, February 24, 2020.

[6] David Brown and Gavin Hopps, The Extravagance of Music. (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 1.

[7] Jonathan Arnold, “Sacred Music in Secular Spaces,” in Annunciations: Sacred Music for the Twenty-First Century, ed. by George Corbett (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2019), 328.

[8] Jacques Launay and Eiluned Pearce, “Choir Singing Improves Health, Happiness–and is the Perfect Icebreaker,” The Conversation, October 28, 2015.

[9] Jeremy Reynolds, “1 In 6 Americans Sings in a Choir – and They’re Healthier for It,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 29, 2020.

[10] Karl Barth, Credo (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1936), 143.

[11] “Communion: Meaning,” Cambridge Dictionary.

[12] Jane Southcott and Joseph Dawn, “Community, Commitment and the Ten ‘Commandments’: Singing in the Coro Furlan, Melbourne, Australia,” International Journal of Community Music 1, no. 6 (2013): 18.

[13] Barth, Credo, 137.

[14] Rowan Williams, Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief. (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2007), 94.

[15] Jeremy Begbie, Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music. (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2007), 269-270.

[16] Barth, Credo, 138.

[17] “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” The Communion of Saints. (It is beyond the scope of this paper to attend to denominational differences of interpretation; rather, the more general understanding of “communion” as shared between most fellowships and Protestant-Catholic Christianity will be considered.)

[18] Wolfhart Pannenberg, The Apostles’ Creed, (London: SCM Press Ltd, 1972), 149-159.

[19] Barth, Credo, 138.

[20] Rutter, “Church and Composers.”

[21] Pannenberg, The Apostles’ Creed, 149-151.

[22] Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 334.


[23] Steven R. Guthrie, Creator Spirit: The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011), 75-76.

[24] Geoffrey, Wainwright, “The Holy Spirit,” in The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine, ed. by Colin E Gunton. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 284.

[25] David Moseley, “‘Parables’ and ‘Polyphony’: The Resonance of Music as Witness in the Theology of Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer,” in Resonant Witness, 241.

[26] Moseley, “‘Parables’ and ‘Polyphony’,” 241.

[27] Steven R. Guthrie, “The Wisdom of Song,” in Resonant Witness, 286.

[28] Guthrie, “The Wisdom of Song,” 384.

[29] Guthrie, “The Wisdom of Song,” 284-85.

[30] Irwin, 70.

[31] James MacMillan, A Scot’s Song: A Life of Music. (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2019), 10.

[32] Williams, Tokens of Trust, 94.

[33] Wainwright, “The Holy Spirit,” 27.

[34] Björn Vickhoff, “Music Structure Determines Heart Rate Variability of Singers.” Frontiers in Psychology, May 22, 2013.

[35] Jordan Smith, “6 Psychological and Physical Benefits of Choral Singing,” CMUSE.

[36] Guthrie, Creator Spirit, 82, 92.

[37]  Jonathan Arnold, Sacred Music in Secular Society (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016), 43.

[38] Michael Bussewitz-Quarm, “The Voice of Community: A Choral Model for Social Justice Engagement,” The Choral Journal 59, no. 3 (2018): 60.

[39] Philip E. Stoltzfus, Theology as Performance: Music, Aesthetics, and God in Western Thought (New York: Clark, 2006), 157-158.

[40] MacMillan, A Scot’s Song, 10.

[41] The Valley of Vision (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 50-51.

[42] Stoltzfus, Theology as Performance, 158.

[43] Pannenberg, The Apostles’ Creed,  159.

[44] Williams, Tokens of Trust, 107.

[45] Michael Ferguson, “Sacred Art Music in the Catholic Liturgy: Perspectives from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland,” in Annunciations, ed. by George Corbett (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2019), 280.

[46] Ibid., 281-283.

[47] Matthew Owens, “Commissioning and Performing Music in the Anglican Church: A Perspective from Wells Cathedral,” in Annunciations, 300.

[48] Arnold, “Sacred Music in Secular Spaces,” 327-328.

[49] Bussewitz-Quarm, “The Voice of Community,” 55.

[50] Robert W. Jenson, “The Church and the Sacraments,” in The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 222.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Williams, Tokens of Trust, 107. “We can trust the Church because it is the sort of community. . . where no one exists in isolation or grows up in isolation or suffers in isolation. The slogan of the Church’s life is ‘not without the other’.”

[53] Bussewitz-Quarm, “The Voice of Community,” 63.

[54] Arnold, Sacred Music in Secular Society, 117.

[55] Arnold, “Sacred Music in Secular Spaces,” 78.

[56] Guthrie, “The Wisdom of Song,” 395.

[57] Arnold, Sacred Music in Secular Society, 8.

[58] Ibid., 97, 104.

[59] “Communion.” The Free Dictionary. Farlex.

[60] Jenson, “The Church and the Sacraments,” 216.

[61] Williams, Tokens of Trust, 119.

[62] Jenson, “The Church and the Sacraments,” 216, 221.

[63] Arnold, Sacred Music in Secular Society, 87.

[64] Ferguson, “Sacred Art Music,” 280, 285.

[65] Arnold, Sacred Music in Secular Society, 6.

[66] Begbie, “Faithful Feelings: Music and Emotion in Worship,” in Resonant Witness, 351.

[67] Guthrie, “The Wisdom of Song,” 70-71.

[68] Arnold, Sacred Music in Secular Society, 117.

[69] Barth, Credo, 142-143, 145.

[70] “The Choir,” Arts in Prison.

[71] Kathleen Housley, “A Conversation with Jeremy Begbie,” Image: Art, Faith, Mystery, no. 85 (June 1, 2015): 55.

[72] Southcott and Dawn, “Community, Commitment and the Ten ‘Commandments’,” 7.

[73] Ibid., 6.

[74] Ibid.,”8.

[75] Harrison, “Augustine and the Art of Music,” 43.

[76] Pannenberg, The Apostles’ Creed,  159.

[77] Begbie, “Faithful Feelings,” 351.

[78] Housley, “A Conversation with Jeremy Begbie,” 49.

[79] Arnold, “Sacred Music in Secular Spaces,” 327.

[80] Guthrie, “The Wisdom of Song,” 82.

[81] Jenson, “The Church and the Sacraments,” 217.

[82] Rutter, “Church and Composers.”

[83] From the author’s own extensive experience as a choral singer, director, and accompanist, this is a popular beloved benediction.

[84] Henry, “Choral Singing Transforms Lives,” 91.

[85] Kevin Mayhew. Anglican Hymns Old and New (Kevin Mayhew Ltd, 2008), 235.

[86] Southcott and Dawn, “Community, Commitment and the Ten ‘Commandments’,” 15.

[87] Henry, “Choral Singing Transforms Lives,” 91.

[88] Williams, Tokens of Trust, 129.

[89] Hopps, The Extravagance of Music, 295.

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