sing or serve

I won’t decide today but may well decide at some point

Since Christmas I have been serving and singing as the new priest got me back into the choir and said to me to continue serving (in confessional).

But I feel more increasinly unhappy serving and at home singing. From 16 years old I was in the choir and now 43. I had a short 2/3 year out when fell out with the choir leader. Just over a year or so the stand in priest got me serving and yes I like it but I like singing more.

Its just my own observation that I feel mentally more unhappier with God when serving. I do share quite a bit with the priest and he is aware I am unhappy with God at the moment and he may for all I know, know why, but I haven’t specifically told him why as only came to light this weekend in reality through own observation.

But I have a bad cold/virus and my heart and head is chock full literally. Its affected all my thinking and feeling and I know not to make any decision right now though the priest,when he gets the email today, will know I am thinking it through… but how do I know whether I am simply very run down with this cold and once thats over I be back on parr or it is something that I need to decide once and for all. How does one decide. I have best of both worlds right now since Christmas. He has given me everything in the short space of time he’s been with us but everything that helps me to be happier. So why am I rebelling at serving or is it like I say a rebellious stage and it will pass. How to determine whats happening here.

Simply said, the devil will do anything and everything to keep you from serving and loving God. It sounds like the devil has the advantage right now. I would suggest serving simply for the fact the devil hates it. He’ll give up on you and you will soon love it again.

Remember, anything done at church is in the service and glory of God. He will never make this work hard for you. Keep your chin up and kick the devil in the butt and out of your life.

If you do not like serving at the Mass and it is a burden to you then stop doing so and do not feel bad about it in anyway.

As long as you are at Mass and actively participating there is nothing extra that is required of you.

If you enjoy singing in the choir then do so. It is not advisable to do both as they are distinct ministries.

Now if you are the only one serving and there is no one else to take over then that might be a different matter.

If you have a spiritual director I would discuss this with them. If not find someone you trust and talk it over with them. They do not have to provide you an answer but you talking it out might be of some help to you.

I have no personal problem doing both from a spiritual ministry point of view. It actually wasn’t my original idea to do both in that when I went to confession and confessed my love of music to him the penance was, with a question to check how much I wanted this, was to rejoin the choir - hardly a penance considering he found out that is what I really wanted. I was totally under the expectation was to totally rejoin the choir and give up the serving and as much as it was a suprise to me that for my penance was actually to rejoin the choir, the priest said to keep serving. Now I know as good as anyone that if really unhappy then the priest wouldn’t expect me to as have only given me - to make me happy as such and I know as good as anyone that he is the most important person I should be talking about to and already indicated I want to for other reasons but I need to somehow have the words to talk or what is the point of talking if can’t talk.

But as said before and I suspect the one poster may be right in the devil and his games, I just wonder if this is kind of what is really happening. Sadly at the moment the devil is winning. But in church I’m given as much freedom to do as I want/please literally, (serve or sing) by the priest and the choir leader. I have that comfort. But the devil loves his games don’t he just.

Interesting that you should raise this as I have been rebelling against singing. I have realised this week that this is what I really am called to do.

I personally think you know what is right instinctively and just have to follow your heart.

God bless.

I think that sometimes the comment that “devil” is involved in these sorts of matters is thrown around too much.

You are choosing between two goods here. Also there is the fact that doing neither of these ministries is a bad. This is why I believe you need spiritual direction.

I also believe that there is a church document out there (can’t recall which one at the moment) that advises against serving in more than one ministry at a Mass as the roles are distinct.

Faith is not about emotion it is about what you know to be true.
We ask for an increase in faith that without realizing that the only way our faith is strengthenned is to be lead into the spiritual desert where we can feel alienated from GOD. Like a muscle Faith needs to be exercised to grow. No pain no gain so to speak.

We are called to walk in the desert and rely on Him even though we feel doubts and that He is far from us. It is not fun when we feel separated from God, but those are the times when we are called to rely on faith alone and in fact when we are closest to the Lord. When the emotion fades and the honeymoon is over that is the time to be still and listen for the Holy Spirit speaking to us in the stillness of our hearts. That is how we grow.

Thank you everyone and this makes so much sense. The so called honeymoon period over and a mental battle of what to do and I think the answer will be to continue because in the year I just served I did 100% like it. It helped me to face a few private ‘stage fright’ fears too in that I don’t have stage fright. I was severely ill with meningitis at a carol concert and it felt like stage fright it was the following week of the concert I entered intensive care… Serving helped me to slowly over come that very much so though not the reason to serve but its amazing how much one thing heals another when we are not looking. Its only been last few week I’ve connected negative thinking and yes I am poorly at moment. That poorlyness could be the cause of me thinking God is far away rather than serving is making God feel far away.

There may or may not be a document out there in the Roman Catholic world but remember I haven’t just done this off my own bat and as some of you love to point out when I join in the confession discussions - I am Anglican, - it was penance though I needn’t have done so via the confession but I needed help to rejoin the choir and he gave support where I needed in I asked for help and got it and never in million years expected what I got. I still thought I would just get some psalm 140 or something, the last psalm in the psalm book… and be making my own way in as such. Yes he got me to do my own work in rejoining but gave me that spiritual commitment as I honour the penance.

Dave B, I notice you are Anglican and in UK and have a similar battle and I hope this thread is kind of helping you realise what you want. I hope you go for it. If you serve as well, then both can work. Materlistically they work and works well if both sections of the church are supportive. Though its different for me in that I used to be in the choir and its rejoining.

I think I will continue with both because here has made that easier to decide. I am sure its my cold that mucking me about spiritually and from the spiritual aspect I will try and talk to the priest this week. We have an arrangement as such that I can email anything to him and it stays with him. He however, don’t reply because basically its where I get to sound of in complete safety. He is not having to say the right thing to me all the time. But on this I think I need a face to face conversation. I tried confession back on Ash Wednesday to help me back on track and what he said was perfect but I don’t know if confession is the right place to have a real conversation apart from him asking questions as such. I had hoped to have moved on and in areas I really have but not God so its time to ring him and talk I think though for me thats the hardest thing to do especially over the phone to anyone.

Well I have a time to really talk on wednesday though the posts here have helped me to decide that issue, unless he refers to it in with the chat.

Please pray that I will be able to just dig deep and say what is getting at me. I know with this priest from a previous conversation that I don’t have to worry about it making sense etc. I worry though I am expecting far too much from the talk tomorrow because when I talked in November, I have learned so much. On the day I came away as bad as I went in as such but the aim was then just to let him know about me. I wasn’t expecting any kind of learning etc. Its amazing just how much I have learned from a 50 minute informal chat over the last 4 month when things have opened my eyes a little as such.
The very least of tomorrow I will have verbally shared rather than email, which is very good but lacks that conversation. Often I have emailed and its become clear to me. This hasn’t and just getting deeper in the rut or something. I hope the chat will be able to break the rut and get back on route. Or even just being with God. This priest as I have said before has almost given me everything to be happy in church, spiritually happy. I am happy at the two different aspects of church life. But God? Well I feel like that the sand and the heat in the desert has totally dried me up right now though not totally because am looking for the route but …yes I hope I can dig deep tomorrow and be as open as I am in the emails.

Had an excellent hour + with priest this morning and arrived home far happier than I left. Someone was fitting a carpet in the organ loft in church and as it was a lovelly sunny day here in England we went across to the cemetary and found a bench at the far end. I never realised how alive a cemetary actually is. All Gods’ nature, flowers birds and squirrals running around. Plus the number of people coming by and somehow they left us alone though it must have looked odd, priest and person sat there chatting in the as good as summer sun?
A cemetary signifies life and a connection with the past…

but I had the most ‘rich’ hour spiritual guidence with regards God and back well on track as such. Happiest I’ve been and understood the next stage of prayer. Meditation.

Thank you Father

St Francis de Sales also talks about how tying ourselves into a knot about the difference between two goods is counterproductive. Often we then end up doing nothing - possibly even skipping Mass in the end.

My son is both an altar server and in the choir. He does not sing and serve at the same Mass. We do not have choral music at every Mass, so he doesn’t often have a conflict. However, as ByzCath says, simply attending Mass as a congregant is enough.

It never conflicts for me too in that we are an ordinary parish church and everyone is supportive so no one is trying to give me a guilt thing about when doing one, to do the other. The Servers know they can come and get me as such if they are short of Servers. I think that will never happen because only had two on Sunday and actually quite thankfully I was ‘left’ to sing. Thankfully because it was a really foggy morning and I don’t do fog and if I had Served I may well have been sick at some point with the incense. Only phlegm but even that on the Altar be not the thing. As I was, suddenly sick with phlegm on monday morning.

Yes I had felt like missing but not because of conflict between singing or serving but because of where I was at on my spiritual journey and…

yes had an amazing hour yesterday and so much more with God. I say I have blind faith and no longer ashamed to say it because I am learning to feel God. I am learning to be with God. I am learning that I too can feel what priests convey to us in love when with us. We too can feel love of God. I am learning to just simply be with God through personal form of meditation that comes to us in unique ways.

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