Sing to the Lord a new song. (Isaiah 42:10) (But sing it well!)
In most churches there is a bit of singing during the service or during Mass. And this is good. Especially when the congregation sing with one voice, or when we have a well-trained choir singing well, and all is bright and beautiful.
In some churches I have visited, however, all is not as well and bright and beautiful. I have noticed there is often a tendency for one individual to stand in front by the microphone, Sunday after Sunday, sometimes accompanied by the choir, but more often than not just accompanied by the organ music, and regale us all with their voice.
Now I don't know if these individuals think they are Caruso, or Maria Callas, or such like singers; but they clearly are not.
In fact I have named one individual Caruso in my mind because of the way he stands straight and opens his mouth very wide when he sings; no doubt sucking in every passing fly for miles around. I have also named a certain singing lady, who alternates some Sundays with Caruso, "laryngitis" because she sounds like a cat making love to a hedgehog.
Why is it, I ask myself, that these two individuals, (and there are many similar others in other churches), somehow manage to get themselves in a position where they are supposedly leading the congregation in song, and more often than not they are only performing solo whilst the congregation sits there watching each other or watching down at their feet pretending to pray.
I noticed it today. Caruso went on and on singing alone whilst everyone in church was sitting there waiting for it to end, watching their watches and hoping that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse would soon arrive and end it all.
And why does the priest allow this to happen Sunday after Sunday? Why does he not encourage the likes of Caruso or Laryngitis to sing "far away".
When Caruso gave us his rendition of some unknown hymn today, I looked up to Heaven and imagined Jesus handing out ear defenders to one and all, whilst God was reaching for the headache tablets.
I suspect some of you may think my views un-charitable and perhaps harsh; for which I ask forgiveness. But I feel we would all be better off with a little less bad singing and a bit more good deeds.