When Chris first shared his idea about singing the Doxology in different languages, I was skeptical. The thought of our international congregation singing simultaneously in all their languages sounded heavenly. But, why do it with the old-fashioned Doxology? The idea made my hippie-Christian skin crawl. When I was a child visiting my grandparents’ liturgical churches, I never understood all the standing up and sitting down. The responsive readings sounded like a sea of monotone voices that seemed insincere about the words they were reciting. So why sing the Doxology at a church like One Voice?
Well, you can imagine my surprise at the tears running down my cheeks as I began singing it for the first time at worship team practice. Andrew’s arrangement is moving and beautiful. We sang the Doxology once in English before repeating the stanza twice in our own languages: Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Urdu, Dari, Amharic, and English. Suddenly, I couldn’t even sing! My throat closed up as tears of joy ran down my face. Nothing prepared me for the gorgeous sound of many languages praising God together with one voice.
As we sang it in worship the following week, I looked around at the faces of my dear friends from all over the world. Their expressions changed from concentration as they sang English, to delight when they switched to the languages they grew up speaking (what we call their heart languages). The moment truly was a glimpse of heaven. People from many tribes and tongues singing together with one voice, with heart, worshipping our one Father in heaven.
I was humbled and honored to go back to my dear husband and say the words, “You were right!”