Monday, May 24, 2004

Making Melody In Russian And English

I really enjoyed the singing during worship services yesterday in both Nizhny and Pavlovo. The brethren use songbooks (made in the United States) that have the words in both Russian and English, so everyone can join, regardless of which language you know.

Jeff did quite well at learning the songs in Russian. I sang in English for the morning service in Nizhny and attempted to sing in Russian when we were in Pavlovo in the afternoon. I didn't do too well, but I worried that if I were singing in English in a small group (only six of us gathered around a table in the living room of our sister Nadia), I might distract the others. Fortunately, the three sisters who meet in Pavlovo (one or two men from Nizhny travel down every Sunday to lead the service) know a few songs in English, and all of us sang two of them in that language yesterday.

It was nice to participate in a worship that crossed language barriers. I don't think it's something that would work on a regular basis, but it was a worthwhile and edifying experience for me.

In fact, I suggested to Jeff last night that when we return to the United States, he teach the brethren in Centreville a few words in Russian. We sang two songs yesterday -- "Praise Him, Praise Him" and "Holy, Holy, Holy" -- where you repeat some phrases regularly throughout the song. It's very easy to pick up those phrases and then sing the rest of the songs in English.

One last thought: Masha said the brethren in Russia could use maybe 10 more copies of the songbooks. The name of the book is "The Russian-American Hymnal: Christian Hymns," by Daniel A. Jasko, and the publisher is the Russian-Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Union USA out of Ashford, Conn. If anyone would like to check on prices, etc., while we're here so we can discuss the prospect of sending the songbooks when we return, that would be great.


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