Hardly a day goes by when I do not see a video posted on the internet by a friend of their young child singing the theme song from the movie Frozen. That song is the particular flavor of the month right now, but soon a new song will rise to prominence and be sung by the young and old alike.
Of course the burning question is how did these children, some of whom cannot even read or write, sing word for word such a song? The answer is actually much simpler than you might expect: they hear the song on television, on the radio, through an I-pod. They hear the song sometimes multiple times in a single day. When you hear a song so often, you cannot help but start to sing it without the help of the radio or MP3 player.
Is this restricted strictly to songs featured in Disney movies? No; anything that you do on a regular basis will become familiar, and will become a part of your memory.
So if a child can learn the words to a song from Frozen, why not the liturgy or the hymns of the Church?
Possible? Absolutely; but remember how those secular songs were memorized: repetition. If you hear a secular song every day, it is going to become a part of your memory. If you do not participate in worship on a regular basis, if you do not do daily devotions in your home, than you cannot expect children to memorize these things as easily as they would a hit pop song.
The liturgy and hymns of the Church are not difficult, but neither are they pop songs that you will hear on the radio. You can hear songs from Frozen and from a dozen other movies every hour on the hour on any radio station, but you have to work to learn the liturgy, you have to practice them on a regular basis on your own.
The result? You will have the hymns and liturgy of the Church memorized for a life time, because unlike the Top 40, the hymns and liturgy of the Church remain. Many of the hymns and liturgies of the Church used today, have been practiced for centuries. Teach your children today, and they will know them for a lifetime.
Originally ran in The Plainville Times on Thursday, July 3, 2014.