The Power of the Human Voice

February 13, 2023. By Fr. Justin Clemente.

Well, what a day. This past Sunday was an absolute feast for the ears. New Creation had the privilege of welcoming director Stephen Holmes and the Maryland State Boychoir – all 90 of them!

I am so thankful they came. I took their presence with us in our humble corner of the Diocese as a high blessing from the Lord and as his reward for our faithful labor in his vineyard of Hagerstown, Chambersburg, and Frederick. Rejoice in that!

As I reflect on the day, my mind goes to Psalm 148:11-13. The Psalter ends in a tidal wave of praise to God – in fact, the last five psalms are all devoted mainly to praising God. But, in Psalm 148, there is a more specific message. Throughout the psalm, angels, the created order of sun, moon, and stars, the earth and all creatures – even weather patterns – are commanded to praise the Lord. But then, these words:

11    Kings of the earth and all peoples, *

         princes and all rulers of the world;

12    Young men and maidens, *

         old men and children together.

13    Let them praise the Name of the Lord, *

         for his Name only is excellent, and his praise above heaven and earth.

Think about it – the thing that all creation longs to hear is the human voice praising God. This is what we were created to do – to lead creation in the giving of glory to God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And yet, this is the note that is frequently missing. Sadly, it often takes a tragedy for our society to bring God into the public conversation at all! One thinks of Damar Hamlin dropping unconscious on the football field and the outpouring of prayer – even on ESPN! – that followed.

This past Sunday, we heard what it sounds like when the human voice is tuned and harmonized to the glory of God. Whether or not you’re in the choir, that is what the Lord wants to do with your voice, too. Saints: praise the Lord!

By the way, if you’d like to watch the service back, you can catch the whole glorious thing below: