An Excused Absence

Why music in church adds to the act of worship.


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"Before I formed you in your mother's womb, I knew you.." That’s the beautiful Biblical passage I heard on Sunday. 

The only missing link yesterday was Brian Fife, our choir's piano accompanist. Brian is one of those gifted musicians who not only transfers written score to keyboard with flawless ability, but also ad-libs, filling in the music with extra notes only he can hear.

I have grown used to watching his seemingly effortless delivery, and marveling at his humble attitude toward his own talent. (Did I mention that he’s also a composer?) But Brian wasn’t there.

I hated to be disappointed. Touching heaven doesn’t depend on anyone but Him and me. But even the angels sing during holy times, and music adds so much to the act of worship. And Brian was always there, always faithful. I hoped nothing had happened.

But something had. At the end of the service, our pastor announced that Brian Fife was absent because he and his wife had just adopted a baby girl, and they were getting acquainted. “His life,” our pastor said, smiling, “has forever changed.” The congregation burst into applause.

Amelia Hope, announced Brian’s Facebook page. I thought of the woman who had given up this tiny bundle of humanity, the courage and generosity she displayed. How I hope she hears music for the rest of her life. 

Amelia certainly will.

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Find more blogs and articles by Joan Wester Anderson.

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