How to become a great shamas

edited April 2014 in Personal Issues
hi guys. I want to be the shamas who leads all the deacons and gets to holds the microphone in the church. How can I become this? I have been listening to Ibrahim ayad and studying a lot. I've learned a lot of hymns and am thinking about taking voice lessons professionally. I also started wearing a Tonya in church and come at the very beginning of the mass. Do you need a special ordination to be the hymns leader?


  • Well, in many of the churches that i have been to, ones that are around the tri-state area and many others from vids i have seen in america and canada, there is no 'one hymn leader' but many good deacons that can lead. That is so because of the availability of hymns online for everyone to learn even though learning from tapes doesn't really make you a leader. It simply makes you a person who knows the hymn inside out.  
  • edited April 2014
    I prefer that one does not "seek" to lead. True, it's not a bad thing to do, but I tend to find that seeking to lead tends to lose the choir aspect of worship as well as lead to distractions away from prayer. I used to stand with the leaders, and part of the reason was because I was encouraged by a family friend before he became a priest. Now I'm actually very content and more comfortable being far from the mic and being less distracted, but of course when there's a small group in church that day (like a weekday liturgy), I do end leading as the mic is being passed to me.
  • Hymns and praise are one of the highest levels of prayer. We know this because this is how the angels and heavenly hosts worship the mighty Lord day and night. And therefore, the service of hymns can be a greatly fruitful one. However, the adversary walks like a lion seeking whom he may devour, including those in the spiritual services of prayer as such. He who wishes to fulfill this role must also understand the the very heavy responsibility of the service. The job of the leader is to lead the entire congregation in the prayers of some of the holiest sacraments of the church. It is much more than holding a microphone and reciting hymns, because this can be done be nearly any deacon. But rather, it's the one who is zealous for praise and tireless service of Christ.

    In short, learn the hymns, and ensure that your using them to praise Christ who rewards us all in secret. It is an immensely tough service, but I pray that The Lord Christ strengthen you and guide you in the true path of righteousness!
  • Luke 14
    8 "When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9 and he who invited you and him come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." 
  • edited April 2014
    I agree wholeheartedly with everyone who posted. I just want to add that knowing a lot of hymns and leading the congregation (even if you are good at it) does not mean you are a good deacon. The priorities for deacons can be stated in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. We are first and foremost servants of Christ and as servants of Christ, our priority is living a godly life both in and out of the church. You will eventually have people look up to you and see your behavior and based on what they see, their lives may be affected...this is SERIOUS. I know of someone who left the church because of the hypocritical life of a particular deacon.

    Bottom line: you should not have said "I want to lead." This shows your interest is not pure based on the fact that you want to be in the spotlight...FYI, your username does not help your case. 

    You should have said "how can I serve others?" 
  • @Amoussa01 St Timothy isn't talking about that kind of 'deacon'.
  • @qawe 

    1. St. Timothy did not write those words
    2. St. Paul's words still apply regardless if he plans on being a 'deacon' or cantor

  • Guys the reason I want to lead is because I want all the glory. I want all the people to admire me and I want all the girls to want to marry me. Is that a good reason?
  • Probably on the low end of reasons there, my friend. Sorry to say.
  • how about get the church to sign a petition on your behalf. and make sure you have this in there:  "I want all the people to admire me and I want all the girls to want to marry me"

  • IamHoly,


    I love your honesty.

    Do you think there's really ANY Glory in leading hymns? Seriously though? Where is the glory in that? Its hard work, I personally find it at times distracting.

    You remind me of a priest's kid at Church that thought like you, and indeed, being always leading helped him get married, so why not?

    However, I would suggest that you find another way to get glory as you should do it on your own expense, not on the expense of the entire congregation that would like to focus on praying rather than on you.

    We used to love to sing hymns at your age as they were uplifting - their meanings were awesome, and they captured the spirit of the Bible in which the verses came from.

    If you approach singing hymns in this way, you'll find a girl who feels the same way about hymns and maybe you'll fall in love. If you focus on just doing it for the "glory" - you'll end up with a girl who will also focus on a man who is glorified for the sake of being glorified - and I'm not sure that you'll want this type of woman as a wife. Would you?


    Good luck.

  • I on the other hand am a little skeptical of so-called honesty. If one understands the teaching of Christ, no mature person would be so bold to wish to have all the glory for himself, and to have people admire him. Christ teaches a harsh teaching: he who seeks to be first will be last. There is nothing one can say to be politically correct. If this is a hard pill for you to swallow, you should reconsider your screen name.
  • IAmHoly,

    In your immaturity, you have decided to make a mockery of a potentially decent issue. You have wasted the precious time of others in this Holy Week and Good Friday. Please do not continue with this joke, and allow others to focus on Christ in this Holy time.
  • Minasoliman, Joekeliny,

    Joyful Easter to you all.

    Sorry if i was naive to think that this post was a normal question; but for the record, what makes a great shammas or hymn leader is not necessarily someone that knows the hymns - extremely well, but someone that helps you to pray from the hymns.

    I think our hymns, doxologies and songs even are very powerful prayers

    I met so many young deacons that have actually told me that they wanted to lead hymns and be head deacons for the sake of being glorified.

    I wish i could hear a shammas or hymn leader tell me: I wanted to lead hymns to help others pray from them - to understand their meanings and tunes so well, that my leadership is simply administering the hymns to others so they can benefit from them spiritually.

  • something tells me whoever posted this isn't serious.. he or she is joking around lol 
  • Hi IAmHoly,

    God bless you and your desire to serve as a deacon. Speaking on behalf of myself, I was ordained a deacon from a very young age and have learned much of the beautiful hymns and praises. If you don't mind, I want to draw your attention to how I see serving as a deacon.

    The beauty about serving as a deacon is not so much the knowledge of the hymns but moreso the reason you chant them. Personally what draws me to learn hymns is to be able to stand with the rest of the deacons and praise God. Remember, as soon as we deacons put on our garments, we now stand as angels infront of the Lord, praising Him always. The goal of being a deacon is to praise Him and to proclaim His greatness through the hymns we chant such as the angels in heaven. 

    If you recall the prayers in the 3rd hour of the Agpeya (book of hours): "Whenever we stand in Your holy sanctuary we are considered standing in heaven". This being said, our goal is to enjoy more than to lead for we are in heaven. Just to give you some relation, I myself am leading the deacons on the south side with the mic alongside a few other deacons. To me, my desire as a deacon is not to lead but to hear us deacons sing together for we are like an army of God which really makes me in awe especially when you hear the power of the group. Remember you are just one of the angels. In heaven, no angel is leading the praises, we sing in unison. Similarly here on earth we have that approach though it may not seem like it on the surface of what you see. 

    Just one more final remark, sometimes we like to pass around the mic for certain responses to be said. Our priest has specifically asked us in our deacon meetings to keep the mic in place and to sing together, not just one person. For the beauty of chanting is hearing the unison of the chorus of angels not so much one voice that overpowers.

    It is great to see your commitment as a deacon. Keep up your service, but close your eyes on leading. Focus on learning the hymns, filling you free time with chanting a tune. If God sees your honesty to your service, in the future He may appoint you to lead. At the end of the day we are blessed to be like angels here on earth. Honestly enjoy the hymns they are all so beautiful. 

    God bless 

    "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13)
  • edited April 2014
    Wow. ^^

    You guys are SUPER lucky to be deacons. It truely does seem heavenly to stand up there, especially in the alter.
  • I think its a mega huge blessing and a privilege to serve in the Alter.


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