Singing has always been an integral part of the Hutterite way of life. This includes singing with our families, groups of friends around camp fires or for communal meals. Singing together is instilled from a young age when children sing with their Preschool teachers at Kleine Schul or even before than with their parents and older siblings. It's very common for young children to know many songs from memory, even though they don't fully comprehend the words.
One day I left my Kindergarten class with some books, while I went to get something from another classroom. What I found when I came back caused me to be proud and amused at the same time. They were sitting in a semi-circle, singing (German songs) their hearts out, each with a German story book in their hands. The melodies were very good, but the words still need some work! What really got me chuckling was, while they were singing, going from one song right into the next without a pause, one little boy turns to his friend beside him asking for the page number. I"m glad I thought about capturing this priceless moment on video! Would love to add it to this blog, but I'm not so sure all parents would appreciate that. You'll have to come for a visit, than I'll show you.
Songs also bring comfort and strength at funerals and wakes and unites us as we grieve with those who've lost a loved one. At weddings and showers there's lots of singing as we share in the joy of the bride and groom.
Most colonies have more than one choir -- children, young people, or a community choir. In recent years two multi-colony choirs were formed in Manitoba: The Western Manitoba Hutterian Youth Choir and The Prairie Praise Choir in the two You-Tube clips:
hear every word with deep thoughtfulness,
consider its true meaning,
why it has been used,
and how it may be of inner help to them.
Those who sing this way
offer praise to the Lord,