I attend a church where, when a creed is printed in the order of worship, the word “catholic” is accompanied by an asterisk.  Tonight, I saw that small-c catholicity in action.  We hosted a choral concert (“Majestic Choruses”), featuring the choirs of our church  and Sugarloaf Korean Baptist Church .  We heard beautiful renditions of lyrics in Old Church Slavonic, German, English, Latin, and Korean, culiminating (of course) in the Hallelujah chorus.  The benediction was delivered by the pastor of the Baptist Church, who remarked that he thought heaven would be like this, with everyone singing praise to God.  And since he has apparently been in the South long enough that he knows that Baptists have to joke, he added that he expected the praises to be sung in Korean.

But seriously folks, this is the universal (as the asterisk tells me) church, which welcomes (as St. Augustine tells us) people of all languages and cultures, all glorifying the same God.

I was blessed, after the end of one busy week and before the beginning of another, to participate in my small off-key way in that occasion.  (My wife and daughter have hogged all the musical talent in the family; my son and I simply try not to annoy our neighbors in the pews with our singing.)

Articles by Joseph Knippenberg

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