QUOTE(mel2 @ Feb 4 2012, 05:41 PM)
But it is very gentle pressure, I'm sure. It didn't cost me a great deal of heart searching to stand up with everyone else but not actually say the Creed because I couldn't quite go along with the bit that states belief in the resurrection of the body.
There are certain hymns even I won't sing, mainly because of cheesy tunes or fatuous words, but I wouldn't make a great show of my non-compliance.
Where is the suggestion that VH2 would be unwelcome? I just thought it was odd that s/he would find themselves in such a situation where hymns would be sung, having made the remark about being an atheist; I hadn't considered weddings and funerals, admittedly.
It implies atheists shouldn't sing hymns or that they shouldn't find themselves in a position where they might have to, and yes, I guessed you probably didn't think of the more social aspects, but wanted to point that out. The organists' forum did, for a while, have a series of posts on it too about how non-church people didn't behave correctly in churches, and I saw the remark as part and parcel of that one.
As for social pressure - it depends rather on standpoint I think. If you're already uncomfortable with a situation the pressure feels much more acute - the issue of a "great show of non-compliance" isn't as simple as that. There are lesser versions of the same idea even within different subgroups of a faith - I remember seeing a comedian, brought up catholic, trying to make sense of the different wordings of the lord's prayer used in protestant churches...people who might expect not to feel that much "out of it" actually being wrongfooted and awkward when the ritual is not exactly as they are used to. In some churches, people kneel for prayer, in others they stand and bow heads - I certainly don't like the kneeling bit, and won't do that, and to be honest, bowing head doesn't appeal either because it feels as if I'm faking a behaviour I have no interest in mimicking...so I don't. Not singing is easier to do, because there are many people who are afraid to do so....
Thinking again though of the OP - stuff of nightmares indeed, the only worse thing being that happening in a concert, I guess. Wasn't there a story of the reverse happening, of a pianist having a series of memory lapses, and playing from several different concerti in succession, and the orchestra having to switch as the pianist did, somehow managing for a bit til eventually they all lost track of what was happening?
My own performance nightmare is more that of looking up, and then not being able to find my place in the music again....