Have you ever wondered why it’s so easy to remember the lyrics to that one song you heard on the radio but it’s so hard to remember Luther’s explanation of the Fifth Commandment? That’s because when you put things to music, they’re much easier to memorize.
Music as a memorization tool isn’t just for Sunday School and confirmation kids. Adult members of your church can also use music to remember important tenets of the faith and even to witness their faith to others.
How Music Makes Memorization Easy
Music provides us with a rhythm that can’t always be found in simple spoken word. This rhythm can help us pull out the words again. Memorizing a song is kind of like riding a bike. Once you have it down, you can’t forget it.
When I was in grade school, my pastor played a song listing the books of the Bible before Sunday School every week. Fifteen years later, I still have that song memorized. I had no problem at all in my freshmen Old Testament class when we had to write down the books of the Old Testament in order. I just sang the song in my head.
Your parishioners might listen to their favorite songs more than they listen to the Small Catechism, and they can probably sing along to those songs more easily than they can speak along with Luther’s explanations. So what if you put the Small Catechism to music for them?
Catechesis for All Ages
Even after confirmation classes are over, study of the Word isn’t. The pastor at the last confirmation I attended reminded us that confirmation is really a beginning, not an end.
In confirmation, students go through the courses, memorize the Small Catechism, and answer the questions or write the required essays. But after confirmation is when they should really start becoming involved in their faith. Now that they know the basics, it’s time for them to dig even deeper. This holds true for everyone, even adults long past confirmation age!
Music as a Witness Tool
By using music, Christians can jump back into the study of the Small Catechism and be prepared for any questions that come their way. When people are asked questions about Baptism or the Ten Commandments, they can jump up and sing the meanings.
When going through the explanation of the Apostles’ Creed, I just sing along with ease because that’s the way I learned in confirmation class. I’m so thankful my pastor used music to help with memorization because the things I learned will stick with me for a very long time.
Teach your parishioners about the value of memorization with music. Then help them share their faith with others through music so those people can learn about Jesus too.