What’s a Cantata anyway?

I’ll be honest with you, when Andre Broodryk from Benoni Baptist said they were putting on a Cantata last Sunday night part of me thought, “I’ll give that one a skip.” I announced it at church that Sunday morning but it featured along side all the other midweek activities that keep us oh-so-busy.

When I arrived on Sunday evening (still with only a vague clue of what a Cantata was) I realized something was going down. The car park was unbuzz. I noticed folk as I drove in from Springs Baptist (I preached there a month ago), Eastvale and Northmead Baptist (we’ve been getting together for evening services) and Wychwood Baptist (their pastor, Lance Laughton, is a tall fellow and stands out in a crowd). When I entered the church it was full, sure there were seats open, but it was fuller than I had ever seen it before.

I sat and waited… now a little excited.

Just so you know, a Canata is a composition for one or more voices usually comprising solos, duets, recitatives, and choruses and sung to an instrumental accompaniment (more detail here).

And then it begun. A Piano, a drum, a guitar, a violin, eight voices in the front (four male, four female) and a congregation of a few hundred burst forth in rapturous praise. It was great.

There’re two things that I want to note right here. Firstly I love this traditional hymn revival that is going on in like minded churches at the moment. The REZ Band rocked The Resolution Conference a few years ago and again at the Baptist Union Assembly this year. I visited Free Grace Baptist Church earlier in the year and was completely blown away by the Brackenhurst Baptist Church choir. They really rocked! I’m loving the return to God glorifying praise and worthship.

Secondly I’m loving the unity I’m seeing in a number of like minded churches at the moment. I was chatting to Chris Woolley from Midrand Chapel (my sending church) on Monday and he noted that at no time in history has churches had to try and figure out how to exist within such a framework of splintered theological diversity than what we’re seeing in our day and age. Sunday night represented for me a coming together of those who have enough in common to sing together to God’s praise and glory; and there’s something cool about that.

I was encouraged. I will encourage my congregation to participate in the next event with much more vigor; and I’d encourage you to do the same *.

* There’s a post coming up soon regarding practical ways to put the unity we have in Christ on tangible display.


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