This morning, I was walking up the hallway and heard my daughter Nora, who is 7, singing in the kitchen while making tea. I heard her sing, “…rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” She was singing the Beatitudes, and she was singing them as she hears them in every divine liturgy in the Orthodox Church.
If I sat down with those kids and led them in an exercise to memorize Scripture, it would be like pushing string up a mountain. But immersing themselves in the sung prayers of the Church, which include musical settings of the Psalms and key Scripture passages — is causing the Word of God to sink into their bones. I’ve heard Lucas singing similar passages before, at home, just like he sings the Beatles. It’s startling to me, and pleasing, to see how faithful participation in highly liturgical worship is imbuing their minds with Scripture. So often I think they must be bored and not paying attention, but the liturgy is really doing its work.