Music in the Church

A good percentage of the people in a typical congregation do not know how to sing. This reality often is forgotten in the debate over worship in the church. Because people do not sing or struggle in song these days, pastors often will allow services to be introduced that highlight a small group of singers or loud instrumentation. Congregational participation diminishes.

Sounds a lot like worship practices before the Reformation. Let us pray that we teach our people how to sing, how to respond in songs of praise and thanksgiving.

3 thoughts on “Music in the Church

  1. Excellent comments. I had the same impression recently when I attended a conference with such a group “leading.” I often hear that these kinds of groups are supposed to encourage more congregational singing, but my impression was that congregational singing was worse.

    Oh that we teach music again in our churches!

  2. I’m also kind of surprised at how few people know how to sing, or at least carry a melody. Maybe I grew up completely different, but I took a couple years of piano when I was young. I can’t play a lick now, but at least I can find a note. But as for singing, my parents listened to music (oldies) and with watching disney movies growing up, I guess I just learned the very basics through osmosis. Didn’t everyone do this? What else were they listening to, or watching?

    I also think there is little reason that the seminary can’t teach them a minimum about hymns or chanting. Hanging out with the training choir for a year, you can see how a good teacher can take someone who has virtually no skill (can’t match pitch) and turn them into a competant person musically. They won’t be singing solos, but they can find a pitch and memorize a melody.

    I thought that was one of the whole ideas behind Luther’s hymns, and an advantage to chanting the service–music aids in the memorization. If you have the melody in your head and have sung it several times, you’ll memorize the words–therefore Luther but the creed, Lord’s Prayer, etc to music. Then they have good theology in their head. And as commercial jingles can attest, even if you haven’t sung something for a long while, it comes back very easily.

  3. Pastor here has been singing and chanting the liturgy on a regular basis lately. And he’s not basheful about it. If he can get away with singing, I guess I can’t do much worse,..

    He’s a bit better at it than I am though.

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