Music at St. Paul's
A well-known saying in Christian circles is that 'singing is praying twice.' That's something we really practise here at St. Paul's, where the joy of music fills our services, lifts our spirits, and shapes our faith.
Music has been an integral part of Christian and Jewish worship since the earliest recorded times. The Psalms are, after all, songs of praise, and are still sung as such today! Music and singing, whether they be the latest rock or rap, '60s folk tunes, classical hymns and melodies, or ancient chants, touch us in a special, spiritual way that words seldom can. And, touched by the wonders of God's love, 'how can we keep from singing?'
Many congregations develop a particular music style, which could be classical high church music (Bach, Mozart, Haydn, etc.), focusing on classical hymns (Rock of Ages, Nearer My God to Thee), or folksy tunes (Morning has Broken, This Little Light of Mine, Down by the Riverside, etc.). At St. Paul's we really try to embrace a wide spectrum of music, not because we're wishy washy (I don't think we are!) but because there is simply so much music out there to appreciate!
Some services will be full of 'old chestnuts' and there's usually a new song every week or two. Sometimes the songs are a bit sombre, and other times the songs are happy-clappy, reflecting the range of spiritual 'places' in which we find ourselves.
Choir & Music Leadership
The heart of music in worship is congregational singing -- in which everyone participates. Whether you think you can sing or not, singing in church is as important and necessary as praying, listening to the sermon, reading the scriptures, or contributing to the collection! Don't be bashful, sing like no one (except God) is listening!
Congregational singing is made easier by strong leadership from the Music Director and the choir. The director accompanies songs and hymns on the piano or organ (also guitar, accordian, drums, violins, random percussion instruments, and clapping). The Choir leads by confidently singing so the rest of the congregation 'gets it.'
Together the Music Director and the Choir do special pieces in the service, called Anthems or Introits, which means they are, in many ways, like prayers in the service and are tied to the theme.
Special Music Events
Music at St. Paul's is not just about worship and Sunday mornings. We're always looking for music programs, special concerts, and community events where we can welcome our neighbours, suppport local musicians, and perhaps raise a few $$ to support our ministries.
We're delighted to be enjoying the talented leadership of Emma Wallace at St. Paul's. Emma has been swept away by music since a very early age, and has studied voice and wide variety of instruments ever since. In June of 2019, she graduated with a degree in music from University of Toronto. She's enthusiastic about cultivating a wide range of music at St. Paul's, bringing jazz, classical, traditional, broadway and film (she directed a production of MAMA MIA recently, and a few songs have crept into our repertoire).
Join the Choir!
Do you love to sing? St. Paul's Choir is a friendly, low-stress way to exercise and develop your musical gifts. No audition is required, just a love of singing and commitment to regularly participate.
Weekly rehearsals are Thursday evenings (known as Choir Night in Canada) at 7:30 to about 9:00. Sunday mornings we meet at 9:45 to warm up and practice before the service.
The choir is also an active social group, with a number of get-togethers (which often include singing) throughout the year.
Ring those Bells!
St. Paul's Bell Choir is an easy way to enjoy playing music without a lot of experience. Using a set of 25 tuned hand bells, the small choir makes beautiful music for solo pieces, accompaniment, or choral works. Lots of fun! Rehearsals are on Thursdays.
Our Praise Band performs on special occasions and Joyful Noise Services (the fifth Sunday of the month). Innovative, inspiring, and faithful songs with a beat! Whatever instrument you play -- come and join the band! Don't play an instrument? We'll figure something out -- just bring your enthusiasm.