Vicars are buying karaoke-like machines to play music during their services to solve the difficulty of finding an organist.
The “electronic hymnals” have a vast repertoire of music and can play anything from traditional Songs Of Praise to a disco version of Amazing Grace.
Church-goers who struggle to remember the words can look up at a big screen displaying the lyrics in time with the music for help — just like real karaoke.
The hymnal is controlled from a small screen in the pulpit or lectern and vicars can pre-program their playlist to match their services.
More adventurous parishes can add their own music from their iPods or MP3 players to the system.
It has already proved exceptionally popular with churches around the country that have struggled to find organists.
Martin Phelps, director of the Surrey-based company Hymn Technology in England, said that the hymnal device is already helping churches to revive flagging congregations.
Many of them have had the same organist for the last 60 years, but when they retire they have no one waiting in the wings to take their place.
1. repertoire n.
曲目；舞碼；劇碼；作品 (qu3 mu4; wu2 ma3; ju4 ma3; zuo4 pin3)
例: Staatsballett Berlin Stars Gala will present a wide range of classical and modern ballet repertoire in Taipei in June.
2. congregation n.
集會；會眾 (ji2 hui4; hui4 zhong4)
例: The congregation bowed their heads in prayer.
3. wait in the wings v. phr.
準備就緒；伺機而動 (zhun3 bei4 jiu4 xu4; si4 ji1 er2 dong4)
例: Word has it that Pat will be sacked and Bob is waiting in the wings to take over as manager.