Dear 100 Hour Board,
I've got a question I've been a bit conflicted on for a while. As a man who doesn't feel qualified enough to sing tenor/bass lines of the hymns at church, if a hymn has a section where the men's parts drop off, should I stop singing so that the song only reflects women's voices, or should I keep singing since I hadn't been singing the men's part to begin with? Also, if the men's section has a distinct section for the chorus, is it better to sing the men's part there?
-not sure why it bothers me when I sing quietly anyway
Does it matter either way? Not really. So do whatever feels most comfortable. If you feel awkward singing when it's just women singing, don't sing. If you feel like you should feel weird about singing for those parts but don't actually feel weird, just stop worrying about it. The point of singing hymns in church isn't to put on a concert and showcase only the best musical talent; it's to invite the spirit.
I usually try and sing the tenor line for hymns that I sing and think that singing the melody for the "women's" parts is totally fine, and I think that most people do it. I think that also counts for songs that have a men's line and women's line, so you can just sing the melody. I think the only exception to this is if you'd like to not sing the women's part for a song like "The Morning Breaks", it will also be okay. I really think that you singing adds to the song either way, and probably more than me who sometimes distracts people with my tenor line or by accidentally singing the wrong notes since I'm still working on it.