My husband Pete and I have been part of our congregation’s choir for several years, and I’ve REALLY missed it since our church stopped having in-person Sunday services.
But, if there’s a silver lining behind the quarantine we’ve been living under for the past three months, it’s that I’ve discovered some absolutely superb “virtual choirs.”
Virtual choirs are a global phenomenon in which singers or other musicians record and upload their videos from their own homes or various other separate locations. Each one of the videos is then synchronized and all are combined into one single “performance.”
Since the COVID-19 “lockdowns” began in March, Christians around the world have come together in virtual choirs to sing blessings over their communities and nations. These choirs have showed us that, while many of our church buildings may be closed, church itself is alive and well.
I’m sharing some of my favorites here.
What better hymn can one possibly ask for in a season of stress, trouble and uncertainty than A Mighty Fortress Is My God? This virtual choir piece features the performances of 176 singers and musicians from 34 countries.
The Nashville Studio Singer Community formed a virtual cell phone choir to perform It is Well With My Soul. I’ve had a special sentimental attachment to this hymn since it was sung at my mother’s funeral.
The New York City Virtual Choir and Orchestra performed another one of my personal favorites, How Can I Keep from Singing?
Choristers from 50 countries affected by COVID-19 formed a virtual choir to sing Amazing Grace in a multitude of languages. The result is … truly amazing. I could watch this one 20 times and not get tired of it.
So far, choirs from at least a couple dozen countries have sung The Blessing. Christians all over the world have gathered in virtual choirs to sing blessings on their respective communities and nations in their own languages. This has been a truly ecumenical effort — churches represented range from Catholic and Mainline Protestant to Evangelical, Pentecostal and Coptic Orthodox. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these renditions from the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Ghana.
And this hauntingly beautiful hymn from a Middle Eastern virtual choir goes to show that a hymn need not be familiar, or even in one’s own language, to inspire. Listen to Healer all the way through — helpful English subtitles are provided — and prepare to be blown away!
Alas, Pete and I haven’t figured out the technology yet for joining any virtual choirs. However, we did manage to make this little video for our own congregation’s online service on Pentecost Sunday.