As we wait upon the ushers to collect your offering*, let’s sing…

Sorry – but I have a couple of gripes about that phrase (if you are a church-goer, you have probably heard that phrase, or something like it* – unless your church has a freewill box at the door).

Gripe one is probably the less serious of the two. It’s the expression ‘wait upon’. It’s just a little odd. And I think we ought to be careful about odd, in-house expressions that we use in church. Maybe most people don’t notice, but should we emphasise our other-worldliness by using odd expressions?

More serious is the ‘let’s sing’ business.

Think about it. While the ushers (or whatever other term your church uses for them) make their way from row to row and the little blue/red velvet bag (or white plastic buckets, if you deal in large amounts) makes its way along the row, chances are that whatever is being sung is not at the front of everyone’s mind. You are thinking things like, ‘have I any change?’ ‘how much should I give?’ ‘I give by standing order, but Mrs Higginbotham in the row behind doesn’t know that, so she will think I am not giving at all’; ‘where did I leave my missions envelope?’ And so on.

Chances are that you won’t be engaged with what you are singing.

Which reduces the song that has been selected for that particular moment to the role of a space-filler.

And that’s a pity.

What do you think?

*On second thoughts, more like, ‘The ushers will now wait upon you for your offering’ (not much better)

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2 thoughts on “As we wait upon the ushers to collect your offering*, let’s sing…

    1. Yes – it is a form of worship and there is no reason why it should not be accompanied by an appropriate song if it can be done in a way that people are properly engaged with what they are doing – either in giving their money or in singing. I wonder how relevant it is to point out that we tend not to sing while listening to a sermon!

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