David's Story

David Fannin shared how the music program at First connects us to God and fills our souls. Here are David's thoughts. 


To fully appreciate the Music Ministry at First, a place to start is to imagine what our worship services would be like without the Music Ministry. Music has been used for centuries to celebrate important events, to help celebrate marriage ceremonies and as solace when we mourn the passing of loved ones. Liturgical music helps to set the tone of a worship service. It can be joyous to celebrate the birth of Christ (Joy to the World, we sing). It communicates sorrow when we remember the Passion of Christ (The Old Rugged Cross, Beneath the Cross of Jesus) and the supreme joy of Easter Morning (Christ the Lord is Risen Today and the Hallelujah Chorus).   


While only a few sermons have brought me to high emotion, even tears, many musical numbers have done so. Music has the power to touch our hearts in a way that mere words simply do not. Hans Christian Andersen wrote, Where words fail, music speaks. I don’t know the context and whether he was thinking of religious music or just music in general. In either case, he was absolutely correct. I have had experiences when the emotion of a hymn or other song has been so strong that I cannot even sing the words without tears, but even then, I can hum the melody and listen to the singing of others.  


Whether singing a traditional hymn, listening to an instrumental rendering of a hymn or a full chorus and soloists performing one of the great choral works (Messiah and many other great works by Handel, Bach, Haydn, and Mendelssohn), liturgical music is a unique and special way to praise God and to inspire the listener. St. Augustine said, To sing is to pray twice. In other words, hymns and other songs of praise to God have a double blessing. Both the text and the music can be a prayer to God. And which of us has not listened to or sung the words of a favorite hymn as a prayer.


At First Presbyterian Church Delray, we have the great fortune to have one of the most talented and inspiring ministers of music anywhere in Don Cannarozzi. His playing on piano and organ are unsurpassed in any other church in my opinion. Don also has assembled a roster of talented voices that make up the core group of our choir.  Before Covid we also had a number of volunteer voices in the choir, and hopefully that will resume as the pandemic passes. Give thanks and celebrate the supreme blessing that our music ministry gives to each of us. I know that I do.