While I've been here for Daniel's birth, I've had the privilege of joining the family for their noontime and evening family times.  They begin with a general picking up of toys, followed by the meal.  Family devotions, based on those in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, come immediately after lunch, and again in the evening after bedtime preparations and some play time (if the former haven't taken too long).

Two of the most amazing parts of the procedure are individual prayers with the children—Joseph spontaneously started praying for Daniel as he is prayed for by the adults—and singing time.  The latter has been a growth opportunity for me despite all my choir training, because it's done a cappella.  Normally I don't find singing the alto line of hymns to be difficult, but singing without accompaniment is much more of a challenge.  Nonetheless, it's been awesome.  Even our three-part harmony is lovely, and it was really great when Porter was here to add the tenor part to our soprano, alto, and bass.  The kids don't sing with us—yet—but are taking it all in.  Joseph has memorized several of the hymns and can occasionally be heard singing parts of them as he goes about his daily activities.  (We have another grandson who sings or whistles a lot, too.  Recently he was overheard moving seamlessly between Funniculi, Funnicula and Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.)

With all due respect to Sunday School/Children's Church, Vacation Bible School, and the many and varied children's music programs available, I think this integrated family prayer and singing time is an unbeatable foundation for a strong spiritual and musical education.

Not to mention a whole lot of fun.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Edit
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Love it! What an inspiration for all families. Btw, your alto friends in choir miss you. :-)

Posted by Beth on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I miss you all too, Beth! And I'm sad to be missing the bishop's visit. But at least I'm keeping my alto voice in practice.

Posted by SursumCorda on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm
At the Name of Jesus
Excerpt: For three weeks our tiny a cappella choir struggled to learn the parts to the Ralph Vaughan Williams (King's Weston) version of At the Name of Jesus. (You can hear it here, if you click on the MIDI link.  I tried to find a YouTube version, but non...
Weblog: Lift Up Your Hearts!
Date: September 9, 2013, 7:35 am
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