There is a well known phrase associated with St.Augustine of Hippo a 5th century theologian which goes:
“He who sings, prays twice.”
or in the original Latin; ‘Qui bene contat bis orat’ which actually translates as; ‘He who sings WELL prays twice’. Either of these phrases are good, although the correct translation is probably more accurate about singing wellTo be truthful, though, St.Augustine did not actually say either of them! He did write that:
“..singing belongs to one who loves..”
or more accurately:
“For he who sings praise, does not only praise but also praises joyfully; he who sings praise, not only sings but also loves Him whom he is singing about, to or for.”
Basically, what St.Augustine is saying is that singing is an act of love. Not only do we sing to God out of love, we sing to each other as a love gift too, regardless of how our voice actually sounds!
Think of the times when you may have sung to someone you love and care about; lullabies to a baby, nursery rhymes to an infant, the lyrics of ‘your song’ to your partner or as I did as my aunt was dying the words of her favourite hymn. No matter how good or bad our voices may be we have been given them to sing out with. I suspect that we humans have been making singing noises since we first evolved the ability to speak.
Just look at how a small child learns to talk, they not only repeat words they sing them and by singing them they memorise them, while playing with them at the same time. We adults sometimes forget to have fun with our voices and singing can be a good reminder to us to enjoy our vocal abilities – whatever sound we make is God given and as such acceptable to God.
In this time of lockdown, singing to yourself or for another or even with another on a video call or the telephone can be a great comfort and good fun. As you sing your favourite hymns sing them with love; love for God and for each other and as we do so we will pray twice, whether or not St.Augustine said it originally.