Welcome to a new ministry initiative of All Souls. We understand that in community, there’s a deep need to know one another and to be known. This is all the more important in such a large community as All Souls, and in a city like New York, where our busy lives may mean we spend less time together. To continue our work of building connections, we are launching our Question of the Month. Each month, Galen or Audette will pose a question, often with one or two follow up queries. The following month, we’ll share snapshots of your responses on this page.
April’s Question of the Month
When asked in March about their experience of music at All Souls, our members and friends said:
“Absolutely the bedrock of what makes the Sunday morning experience transformative. I fell in love with All Souls because of the music.”
“The music at All Souls is an integral part of the service. I love singing the hymns, especially if they are familiar or spirituals. The high standard of performance set by Alejandro, Trent, and the All Souls Choir is extremely moving and impressive. I love the East Harlem Children’s Choir, performing with our All Souls Children’s Choir. I think our Community Choir is growing in their numbers, enthusiasm, and quality. i would love to see some joint performances of the Children’s Choirs with our Community Choir.”
“We come to All Souls for the music. From Community Choir to the All Souls Choir to the children’s choir to Musica Viva to Trent on the the organ, Bryan on sax, and all the other wonderful musicians, music is the reason we first came to All Souls and the reason we keep coming back with our music-loving daughter!”
“The music program is integral to my experience on Sunday mornings at All Souls. Music is the sound of the soul and the most effective way for us to express our love for one another.”
“In our congregation, people sing the hymns (whether they are good singers or not). Congregational singing is a important part of being a community. I hope we can familiarize the congregation with a greater number of hymns. And maybe have other opportunities like hymn sings, caroling parties, etc. that bring us closer together.”
“Music to me is the song of religion, just as poetry is a great sermon. If there is a Heaven, I am so sure that it’s music the language spoken. I am deeply affected by music at church. I have been known to cry, just like I was brought to tears during one of the hymns that the All Souls Choir and New Amsterdam Boys & Girls Choir sang, on Sun, March 3, which was the Anthem: “Hymn to the Eternal Flame” by Stephen Paulus (1949-2014) Shabnam Abedi, soprano. I was so moved that I couldn’t contain myself. It was such an affecting experience. It wasn’t just seeing the kids sing with the adults, though that was purely sweet (as I have a toddler and music is part of our lives – my son and I make up songs and I learned the ukulele when he was born – I’d play The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” At any rate, those church moments don’t happen anywhere else. They’re special. And so I keep coming to church because that’s part of the nourishment that my spirit receives.”
“It’s lovely, very encompassing.”
“It is perfect …it always has been inspiring .
Since I entered the Sanctuary in 1985
The music has enriched my soul and
Inspired me and comforted me.”
“It calms me.”
“To me music in worship is a least half of the church experience for me The words spoken may or may not be forgotten easily the music stays with me”
“I am very grateful for the excellent music programs at ALL SOULS I SING IN THE COMMUNITY CHOIR ALTHOUGH I D0 NOT HAVE A VERY GOOD VOICE.
THE CHOIR AND THE SOLOS DURING THE SERVICES ARE ALL-IMPORTANT TO ME, Also the Musica Viva program is wonderful.
I love the enthusiasm Trent Johnson has when we rehearse in the Community CHOI RHYE ORGAN SOLOS THE WONDERFUL PROFESSIONAL CHOIR, INFAct all the music programs at All Souls are at least 50 % of the reasons I keep coming back for more all the time.”
“One of the most beautiful things about All Soul’s services is the music. I rave about it with friends and family and I look forward to it each time I attend. The quality is of the highest and the diverse repertoire is fabulous! I find it so meditative to sit in the sanctuary and just let it take me as I listen. – often with my eyes closed.”
“The quality and beauty of the music transports me to a serene and thoughtful place. It very strongly enhances the worship experience for me.”