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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

The Stained Glass Voice

You can't fake a great voice - you can, I suppose, try to find an old fashioned elocution teacher and work on the one you've got. But in general, you've got it or you don't.

So why do so many pastors, of every persuasion, attempt the Stained Glass Voice? In the handshake line they sound just fine - but once that invocation hits it's all Gaaawwwd and jee-ZUHS, etc.

I think the problem is that they know they should be chanting the liturgy - at least I notice this problem more among those who eschew chant. The words of Christian worship are special words. They call for a special presentation. Just talking in your normal voice for these words just seems...too plain. But those who miss out on the Church's method for meeting this need for reverence are left with the Preacher's Voice Syndrome to fill the gap. Seems to me that most guys who chant are then more free to just use their normal voices in sermons - and it comes off better.

The American Evangelicals (including those in Lutheranism) have their own version of the Stained Glass Voice - but it's not the old school Billy Graham-D. James Kennedy vibe - nor the David-Niven-in-The-Bishop's-Wife thing (which is what I wish I had been born with) - but something much more terrible: Rob Bell.

Does anyone else find that sort of elocution....phony? repulsive? slimy? used car salesman? insurance agent cold call?

When I start to feel myself slipping into fakey-preacher voice I remember Rob Bell and try to repent.

+HRC
Pr. H. R.10 Comments