"He who sings prays twice." - St. Augustine
Singing in church is one of those things where not everyone participates, including me. If I'm not in the choir, I don't always join in. Sometimes I'll look around and I see a few mouths moving. Then I'll be moved by a certain hymn and sing along more enthusiastically.
When I am in choir, it's obviously different. I'm focused on the words and music in front of me, the voices of my fellow choir members, or my husband playing. If I'm playing guitar I'm focused on my fingers playing the right chords and keeping up a steady rhythm. I believe it's called "mult-tasking."
But I also try to focus on the words of the hymns most of all because I want to convey an emotion. I want the people to hear and sing the words and find meaning.
I had prepared to cantor Saturday. I sang my fool head off every night for two weeks to prepare. At the last minute we were told that a very young person usually reads the psalm. At first I was disappointed. Then I shrugged it off and thought to myself, "That was my prayer for two weeks."
A few minutes before Mass, we got the go ahead to do the psalm. So I sang my fool head off because it had been my prayer for two weeks.