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The Reason Behind an Unusual Hymn Singing Practice is Discovered

Sometime in the last decade of twentieth century, a young pastor who was a fresh graduate from a renowned seminary was assigned to shepherd an old church in a remote village. The church was founded and built sometime in the late nineteenth century, and that makes the church about a century old. The young pastor was surprised to notice that every time the congregation sings hymnals they face the eastern wall of the church interior, while holding their open hymnal books. This practice puzzled the pastor, which prompted him to investigate what was the origin of the baffling practice. He came to learn that there still is a living church member, a woman, who is already over ninety years of age. The pastor wasted no time to find the old woman and found her in her home. She was ill and bed-ridden, almost near to death. Normally, people of that age have unreliable memory but this old woman seemed sharp in her retention.

The pastor, after his gesture of respect and introductory words of courtesy, with gentle words, asked the old woman what could be the reason that the congregation faces the eastern wall of the church interior every time a hymnal is sung. The old lady answered in a muttering aged voice, "Young boy, I can only recall that we did not have hymnal books since I was a small girl, so we scribble the hymns on a broad sheet of paper and paste them on the eastern wall of the church interior". And it has been that way since. Sometimes, it takes an intervention of a seemingly insignificant figure to solve a problem.

From a sermon by Jofrey Bustamante, When God Intervenes, 12/7/2009

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