The CIA World Factbook says that the United States literacy rate is 99% (Other sources say it is at around 86%). After teaching for years, I beg to differ. I have come across so many struggling readers (and I teach high school) that I believe the functional literacy rate is actually lower. But I still believe that there are many people in this country who are literate enough to read basic material.
Which is why, I cannot understand why people at churches seem to be interested in leading the songs in a manner as though they believe their parishioners are illiterate.
I have seen this many times, most recently today at my parents' church. Everyone in the congregation has the handout with the song lyrics. Everyone (or at least the majority) know how to read.
The lyrics are written in the order we will sing them. The chorus is even retyped at the end of each verse.
Yet, after each verse, the lady leading the singing says the first lines of the next verse right before the people in the audience are to sing them.
Her saying the first 5 words of the next verse does not suddenly help us know where we are on the paper -- we are already there.
We can read.
We all have the paper in front of us.
It is so annoying. Almost as annoying as the tone-deaf woman who sat in front of me who also seems to be volume-deaf as she sings so loud that the horrible sound of her voice is actually quite distracting and is not a joyful noise being lifted to any god.