Do you stand? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Sunday night I attended a terrific Christmas musical concert at my local church. One of the choirs sang the Halleleuh Chorus of Geroge Frederick Handel's classic, Messiah. I am no student of European classical music but I confess this particular oratorio is indeed quite a gem. One thing which has often puzzled me is why the audience stands up when the chorus is about to be performed. This form of musical elitism is unwarranted. I am aware why King George stood to show his appreciation for Handel's musical tour de force but I don't understand why church folks stand. I treat all sacred music equally so standing for the Messiah would be OK if other hymns received similar treatment. Are we to emulate Christ or King George? Jesus was a liberator (Gospel according to Dr. Luke 4:18). King George fully supported international African slave trafficking. Jesus showed compassion on the poor and society's forgotten. King George, like his contemporary potentates, fiercely protected his position of social privilige and power. You be the judge. The song writer put it best by saying "I decided to follow Jesus". Nothing in the song mentions about following the tradion of a European ruler whose outlook on Africa was filled with envy, deceit and exploitation. This isn't "playa hating". I simply choose to remain seated, comfortable in my convictions that I don't have to pay homage to King George. Some of our traditions need to be reexamined. I'm off to DC on Tuesday. Pray for my traveling mercies. QED

-- Anonymous, December 10, 2002



I too heard Messiah Sunday night. Morris Brown College Choir presented a performance at Saint Mark Church which was second to none. With my limited ability to hear it was one of the most nearly perfect I have ever witnessed. Additionally they were accompanied by our own Clark-Atlanta University Orchestra, who sounded like Handel himself may have personally hired them.

It is my understanding that King George stood neither for Handel, nor his music but for the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, The KING greater than he who would reign FOREVER AND EVER. Because the king was standing his subjects also followed suit.

Just as King George stood we also stand. For standing, in worship, is the highest form of praise. During worship, I often see many jumping out of their seats and clapping for mortal creatures such as I. On those occasions I always choose to keep my seat. But, the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, WHO SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER brings to me to my feet every time and when I stand I never clap. Like King George, I stand in awe of HIM.

-- Anonymous, December 10, 2002

Dear Brother My History alligns with Bro. Robert. King George rose in respect and admiration of the King Of Kings (His King). While we are British we do not stand by any tradition. We stand in appreciation of our mighty God.

God Bless You Bill and Robert

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2002

Bro. Bill, Interesting comments. I generally stand for the "Hallelujah", partly out of tradition, and partly for He Who is "King of Kings".

As a variation of the subject, I have a question for you. As a "good AME", do you follow the tradition of "standing to receive" a bishop? I almost always remain seated...and receive a some not so kindly looks from some of those around, or polite grins from those who know I do not stand to receive the bishops. My reason is that it seems more a standing for the man, oops, PERSON, rather than the position.

And before you ask, yes, if in a courtroom, I stand when the judge enters or leaves - respect for the position AND because there can be penalties for disrepect/contempt of court.

-- Anonymous, December 14, 2002

L.W I am 50 years old and when I was growing up there were certain things that were done of of RESPECT. And the emphasis is on the word RESPECT instead of WORSHIPPING a human being. In my opinion to stand when the Bishop enters a room is a sign of respect for the authority of the Bishop's position. It is analgous to standing for a judge in a court room. It does not imply that we are worshipping the Bishop or the Judge. But it signals a sign of respect and acknowledgement of the position and work that they do. We stand when the bride enters the room. We stand to say the pledge of allegiance. We stand to sing etc. And when I was growing up men used to stand when a woman entered a room, hats were taken off etc. And all these things were done as a sign of respect. As for me I will stand when my Bishop enters the room, I might also add, that I have noticed Bishop Bryant does not want us standing forever, he waves us all to sit down quickly so he can praise the Lord.

-- Anonymous, December 14, 2002

Yes, I will stand for any person in leadership position, both secular and spiritual. It's a sign of respect.

-- Anonymous, December 29, 2002

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