Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reviving the Fellowship of Upside Down Hymn Book Singers.

In church today, I sang with hymnbook upside down.

My son got a kick out of this, even yelping with delight at Mom's strangeness. But it wasn't something new I was doing. My friend Paul and I used to do it all the time.

Maybe it was because I saw Paul yesterday that I had the impulse this morning to go back to that practice. Paul was my high school youth advisor/ Sunday School teacher and we used to sit together in church every Sunday through my teen years and beyond. We would sing every hymn with the hymnbook upside down and called ourselves "The Fellowship of Upside Down Hymn Book Singers."

Now and then, people would sit with us. They would look at us strangely. Most of them would think we were turning our hymnbooks round the wrong way just to pull their legs. We'd tell them it was our usual practice. Once, someone in the choir decided to check us out. They looked to see which side of our hymnals was fatter and discovered that there, in the pew by ourselves, we were singing with the music wrong way round.

Well, of course we were. We didn't do it (just) for fun. Paul explained when he initiated me into this little group (there must have been other members here and there though I don't remember any) that most people sing hymns without thinking about them. Turning the hymnbook upside down forces you to concentrate on the words. He was right. (As for the music, we didn't read it too well anyway and were defintely more among the joyful noisemakers than the celestial singers.)

So, I am reviving the club. I'll get Jordan to join or I'll be a solo member for now. Feel free to join me in my pew Sundays at 10:15. Or start a chapter in your local congregation. Some of these hymns have amazing messages when you pay attention.

Have a good day!

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