Morality and Music

"Music today has been reduced to a performance.   We listen to someone else sing.  We can go to concerts, download music, or stream it via the internet.  If we sing ourselves, we emulate the performers, whether in the shower or in a karaoke bar.  Even music education, it seems to me, has become oriented to training professional performers, as opposed to making music for personal or corporate expression." - Veith

662 reads

Singing Is Essential

"In this, I am glad I do not live in California.  I know many California churches are meeting and singing outside in order to be compliant.  For us, it is our desire to be safe and responsible in worship. We have created distanced seating and limited occupancy.  We have cut back on the amount of singing we do, but we cannot stop singing." - T&D

568 reads

Anne Steele: 17th Century Writer of Hymns of Sorrow

"...while most hymns written by Watts and his contemporaries are well-written, moving, and scripturally sound, few of them delve into the depths of pain and questioning that characterize some of the Psalms. Anne Steele’s hymns were among these few, as were the hymns and poems by William Cowper" - Cloud of Witnesses

629 reads

“We are not called to make music—we are called to make disciples.”

"Unique in God’s creation, people are wired to create melody and rhythm and link them to thought and reason. And when those come together, something amazing happens to the souls of mankind. We are moved to action and stirred to response." - Facts & Trends

596 reads

What’s the problem with singing in our churches?

"You’re standing to sing in a new church. The worship leader gets up to lead the first song, with the words on the screen behind him. Then you realize you can’t sing the song because you’ve never heard it. Did the worship leader write it? Who knows. But you’re left standing there, with about a third of the rest of the people. Perhaps you haven’t been in that situation before, but I have. Many times." - Proclaim & Defend

3357 reads

From the Archive: Singin' About Dyin'

Originally posted 10/3/12.

When my dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer a few years ago, quite a few changes occurred in my perspective on life and death. The brevity and fragility of life were no longer abstractions. I truly felt them. One result of this new awareness was that I began to notice all the hymns and songs with stanzas about dying.

I recall selecting some songs for Sunday school one day. As I glanced down the list of songs in our database—those we hadn’t sung in a long time, I came to a title I’d passed over many, many times. This time it gripped my attention. A song that had seemed frivolous and silly to me before now moved me deeply as words and music played involuntarily through my mind.

Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away
To a home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away.

The congregation sang it in Sunday school. It’s providential that I was at the piano because I don’t think I could have sung it. Though it had never been more than a light, peppy trifle to me before, it was now too strong to sing.

For a while, quite a few songs were hitting me like that.

4212 reads

Singing in Harmony

One Friday night in November found me and my family (along with several dozen other folks) sitting in Miss Kay’s proper parlor singing at the top of our lungs.

We almost missed it. Like the classic “big picture” person that I am, I had mixed up my dates, double-booked house guests, and created the very distinct possibility that we would be absent from a mainstay of the church’s yearly calendar. File this one under “How Not to Be a Good Pastor’s Wife.”

Fortunately we didn’t miss it. A little rearranging and a couple blushing conversations later, we ended up at Miss Kay’s front door promptly at 7:00. (Okay, not promptly… but we did get there.) The evening began like any other social gathering—food and small talk—but then about forty minutes in, something happened. A whisper spread through the house and with the enthusiasm of children, this eclectic group aged 17 months to 77 years assembled themselves in the front parlor (yes, I do mean parlor). Out came the guitars; next a mandolin; and before you knew it, someone was seated at the piano, running gospel scales up and down.

Then it began.

4715 reads