Mid-week Wednesday morning services at Lyttleton Congregation, situated within the
Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria, has seen a tremendous improvement in its musical praises to God.
Upon entering the Lyttleton Congregation for a mid-week morning service, a visitor will hear choirs singing, orchestras playing, but will not see them singing or playing. All the music emanates from pre-recorded congregational music done by the sister congregations in Mitchells Plain and Valhalla, Pretoria.
Lyttleton mid-week morning services started with a few members attending and the congregational singing was strained, making members very conscious of their renditions. Something had to be done to create the joyful singing atmosphere that New Apostolic Congregations are known for. It was decided to launch Project Lyttleton Mid-Week Morning Service Music Enhancement and the needs were identified as follows:
• A choir or a small ensemble, accompanied by an organ, would sing the hymns as sung in a divine service. It must have an organ introduction (in this case it is the first line of music as this is much easier) and only two verses need to be recorded (Wednesday services are short).
• The recording needs to be done on a cell phone - set so that it plays back loudly – and switched off after the organ plays the closing (last line of music). The next hymn is recorded anew.
• The recordings need to be emailed, saved on computer and played via blue tooth, to a sound system.
• The choices of hymns decided upon were preferably golden oldies initially, and in a key range suitable for the congregation with a 40 – 80 year vocal age range.
Approval was obtained from the Apostle and music department at the Administration Office. Brother Jan du Toit volunteered and was really keen to help. He delivered beyond the expectations. He approached brother Neville Abrahams (choir conductor and planning assistant) and sister Celest Alexander (recording technician and photographer) to set up the recordings. Together with members from Lentegeur and surrounding areas, they got together on Friday evenings to do the recordings. In addition, brother Jan du Toit went a mile further; he sent the congregation orchestral recordings. Valhalla choir recorded hymns as well.
This project has resulted in the following:
• Before service they listen with appreciation to the brothers and sisters from Mitchells Plain (singing and orchestral) and hum along. During the divine service the congregants sing along and the singing is enhanced. They do this in one accord, in tune and in time.
• Photographs of the recording sessions were taken and shown to the congregants.
• The congregants no longer experience a lull in singing at Holy Communion and the musical moment is maintained even though only a few members are singing - the sister congregation sings on the congregation's behalf - and when upon receiving Holy Communion and thanking the Lord in prayer - they join in praising our Heavenly Father with heightened joy and singing.
• They sing with confidence with a heart filled with love, as they are backed-up by quality young voices. The congregants enjoy the fact that the volume is triple that of the actual attendance.
The Lyttleton members in the mid-week morning congregation heartily give thanks to all who helped. The project taught them that all can be part of the calling to “count-me-in”; the photographs testify of the desire “to-help-along” in God’s work. All glory is given to God!