Q: Why do we sing unaccompanied? Is the organist being lazy?
A: Great question! Singing together serves to teach the salvation story in song. This song doesn’t belong to trumpet and pipes, but belongs to the voices of God’s people gathered together. Singing unaccompanied during liturgical responses reminds us of the dialogue between cantor and congregation or pastor and people. The main role of the cantor (leader of the people’s song) is to equip and encourage the congregation to sing the story of salvation in Jesus together with all the family of God in this place today—and to take that song from this place into all the world. “When every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.” (LSB 575:3)