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Ditch Projection Screens & Bring Back Hymnals

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    #16
    We would not be able to do a "hymn sing" before our services. We have 3 services, at 0845, 0945, and 1100 in our Sanctuary, with only 15 minutes (if that) between. The Prelude is limited to just a few minutes, too. During our services there are only 2 hymns, typically with just a couple of verses. The Pastor takes up fully half the service--5 minutes at the beginning for announcements and another 25 for the Sermon. The Choir does sing 1 or 2 anthems, but much of the liturgy is omitted. (We sing the Doxology maybe once a month and the Gloria Patri maybe twice a year. John Wesley would be mortified.) We have 2 screens, on either side of the Chancel, and it does display announcements, prayer requests, hymn lyrics, and an occasional video in support of the Sermon. Hymnals are provided under the pews (an extremely awkward location, IMHO). Our lovely Klais organ does play the Hymns and (usually) the Prelude and Postlude. Sometimes those slots are filled by special musical groups (visiting musicians, handbells, local folks). Our childrens' choirs sing in worship at least once a quarter.

    As a "Liturgical Methodist" our services do not satisfy me very well, but I keep a stiff upper lip. Most of the anthems sung by the Choir are modern (composed after 2000), but at least they are solid, well-composed music with a message. The Choir Director does throw in an "Oldie" once in a while (just to keep me from defaulting to the Anglicans, I think)--yesterday morning we sang Handel's "This Is the Day the Lord Has Made", for example. (It went well and the congregation loved it.)

    David

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      #17
      Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
      We would not be able to do a "hymn sing" before our services. We have 3 services, at 0845, 0945, and 1100 in our Sanctuary, with only 15 minutes (if that) between. The Prelude is limited to just a few minutes, too. During our services there are only 2 hymns, typically with just a couple of verses. The Pastor takes up fully half the service--5 minutes at the beginning for announcements and another 25 for the Sermon. The Choir does sing 1 or 2 anthems, but much of the liturgy is omitted. (We sing the Doxology maybe once a month and the Gloria Patri maybe twice a year. John Wesley would be mortified.) We have 2 screens, on either side of the Chancel, and it does display announcements, prayer requests, hymn lyrics, and an occasional video in support of the Sermon. Hymnals are provided under the pews (an extremely awkward location, IMHO). Our lovely Klais organ does play the Hymns and (usually) the Prelude and Postlude. Sometimes those slots are filled by special musical groups (visiting musicians, handbells, local folks). Our childrens' choirs sing in worship at least once a quarter.

      As a "Liturgical Methodist" our services do not satisfy me very well, but I keep a stiff upper lip. Most of the anthems sung by the Choir are modern (composed after 2000), but at least they are solid, well-composed music with a message. The Choir Director does throw in an "Oldie" once in a while (just to keep me from defaulting to the Anglicans, I think)--yesterday morning we sang Handel's "This Is the Day the Lord Has Made", for example. (It went well and the congregation loved it.)

      David
      I like the liturgy of the Methodist church,...the way our service is formatted at Epworth UMC satisfies me. We don't have a choir,though. A couple praise songs,and the rest is hymnal. A "Call To Worship" responsive reading,and at the close of service a benediction responsive reading. We do the Doxology every service. We only have piano,though now,...no organ(as you may know,...if you have read my other earlier posts or responses to posts,...the organ that USED to be at our church now sits in my living room)
      Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

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        #18
        One other contributing factor:
        Many newer songs include more dotted notes, rests on the downbeat, syncopations, etc. that are hard for the congregation to follow when there is no written music.
        Again, this applies even more to those who are visiting and to music that has just been introduced to the congregation.

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          #19
          The church where I work does not use screens. The pastor tried it once but he has no understanding of proportions in a room, so the print was too tiny for anyone to read. It failed and has never come back.

          I find it interesting that most screen-projections of a text don't include punctuation.

          I attended another church recently while I was on holidays. They used a screen and also had a bulletin with hymnal numbers printed in it. Because of some evolving eye issues, I couldn't read the screens at all so could only participate by using the hymnal. If I hadn't been given that option, I would have been left out of worship. In that same service, the laptop operator was having problems of some sort - even with my limited vision, I could tell that the screens were hopping forwards and backwards too fast and although I kept singing from the hymnal, the rest of the congregation was silent for the most part.
          SOLUTIONS - get a reliable system and operator; use font styles, sizes and colors that can be read well against an appropriate background color.

          As a general observation, whenever I've attended any kind or meeting or gathering, religious or otherwise, where there are technical glitches, they always seem to be related to the most modern piece of technology in use for that event. Eg, In my church, it's always the newest microphone that screws up.

          BENEFITS of the hymnal - As a child, I learned to look up things. Finding #342 meant I had to know my numbers. It gave me satisfaction and helped me to practice a skill. As an adult, while I'm flipping through the pages to find #342, I come across other hymns that are either old favorites that I'm happy to see again, or unfamiliar ones that make me wonder whether we should learn them. That doesn't happen with a screen. There's a parallel to looking up word definitions. If I google the definition of a word, that's all I get. If I look in a dictionary, I see all kinds of other words on my way to finding the one I'm searching for. I'm not sure, would it be called "passive" or "accidental learning"?

          It is true that singing from the screen raises people's heads and brings their chins off of their chests and can result in better singing.... unless the screen is too high, in which case there is added strain. It can be somewhat humorous to watch people with bifocals trying to figure out how to hold their heads to read a screen.

          I personally appreciate beauty in worship and find that a screen and projector do not contribute any beauty to the experience, no matter what pretty pictures might be projected, and especially in a more traditional building. In many modern buildings, there is already very little beauty, so the technology isn't as distracting.

          Because the original post was about screens and not what we project on them (traditional hymns vs anything else) I'll limit my thoughts to what is here.

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            #20
            Hmm. My main congeagation where I go does have hymnals and nothing else. I can't say about others since my religion has no central office or governing body (not earthy). I have though have seen the ones I have been slowly integrating technology into parts of worship some that I have been only has projectors to make presentations during the sermon. Although I wish I could see move video sermons or live streams of other ongregations within my religion.
            Instruments:
            22/8 Button accordion.

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              #21
              I remember as a young child at a corrugated iron church in the Uk being practically unable to see the screen! Hymnals look better, are easier to see and follow, but also have not left many old village churches and also cathedrals. (all my knowledge is from experience in England).

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