Imagine a master conductor gearing up to lead a large symphony orchestra in a beautiful rendition of Handel’s Messiah. The strings are tuned. The woodwind section is ready. The brass section is in place. The percussionists are set. The conductor steps to his platform with the applause of the crowded concert hall. At the magic moment he raises the baton. Musicians are at attention and the audience waits with bated breath. Then comes the downward stroke signaling the beginning of the musical masterpiece.
Instantaneously, something goes wrong. Horribly wrong. Even though each member of the orchestra has a perfect copy of the score for The Messiah, each musician decides to simply play whatever personal refrain comes to mind. None is the same. Disconnected tunes from Bach to rock spoil the moment. The violins, violas, and cellos compete in sounds of complete chaos. Individual percussionists pound random, incoherent beats. The horns blow a disarray of discordant notes. The woodwinds are just as disengaged with the score as the rest of the orchestra. The pandemonium that fills the air bears absolutely no resemblance to Handel’s composition.
The audience is baffled at the excruciating sound coming from the stage. What was intended to be a glorious concert of exquisite coordinated talent is now a bungled, confused disaster with no harmonies, no order, and none of the beauty that had been expected. Read More
The use of a Prayer Book does not guarantee that a congregation is united in prayer. The members of the congregation may be reciting the same prayer but some may be saying it mechanically, not praying it from the heart. They may not be giving any thought to what they are saying. Indeed they may view the saying of the prayer as a duty that they must perform or an onerous task that they must complete. They rush through it at a gallop so they can move onto to what is in their estimation the most important part of the service - the sermon or the communion.