Vocal Harmony in Worship 2: Jessica Rollins

Today we are excited to present the latest in our series of more technical posts on worship leading: Vocal Harmony 2 by our friend Jessica Rollins. We hope you enjoy!

When our souls agree, there is a better and truer ability to be in sync vocally.

I’m convinced that this allows for a deeper and truer moment with each other and the Lord.

This is my opinion, a lyric holds more weight to a person when it is deeply believed, and singing is the most personal expression of the soul.

So, can’t you imagine the moment when an entire congregation sings with their soul, “yes” to truth at the same time? It feels like something magical.

The Holy Spirit really does something really cool in those moments. When we are the most focused and in the deepest unity with the Lord and with each other, it’s like the truth within us is illuminated.

I love it the most because when I am wrestling with doubt, the other people’s voices seem to somehow encourage and soften my hardened heart. Before I know it, my pain is ministered to and my doubt gives way to belief again and I can feel my heart begin to glow. This is the power of corporate singing in a worship service; we are edified and rejuvenated by the light of truth in each other’s hearts by the Holy Spirit. These moments of truth are when I can feel God, once again, breathe life into my spiritual lungs and giving my soul strength to believe the words I’m singing. Often for me, a worship service is just an extreme reminder to my distracted and forgetful brain that The Gospel of Christ is true. Most of my time is spent pleading to others, and myself, to believe it.

I like to compare it to the lost spiritual stones that Harrison Ford’s character is searching for in the movie, “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”. At the end of the movie when all the stones are placed beside each other, they glow!

I think that in a corporate worship service, specifically during the singing portion, the Holy Spirit within our stony hearts actually glows when truth is proclaimed.

We can grow so cold and dark so quickly, so a worship service has such a great purpose in that respect.

When truth causes us to glow together like that, we not only light up the depths of our dark hearts and minds, but the entire room is powerfully
illuminated. Darkness is pierced by light and cold hardened stones are warmed up and softened.

Moreover, that glow is so sweet to our senses that there is some sort of beautiful fragrance filling the air.

That glow and fragrance is the power of the Holy Spirit pointing all of our attention to The Light Himself, Jesus.

So, that was my scatterbrained attempt to try and describe harmony as it relates to melody and the importance of the two, and what I think happens during the singing portion of a worship service.

I felt like it was important to lay a deeper foundation before I just jumped into a suggested a list of “do’s and don’ts”.

My aforementioned description may seem a bit froufrou or celestial, but hey, that’s what you get from a very spiritual, introverted, artsy-fartsy girl that loves to secretly analyze the theology behind why we sing and what happens when people make music together.

I can’t help it, it’s totally the way I visualize and make sense of things.

If you disagree, that’s ok, hopefully my honesty is a breath of fresh air to you.

I could ponder and discuss this forever, but I’d like to intentionally move on to some more practical ways to develop good instincts and etiquette when singing harmony on a stage in a corporate worship setting.