“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

Mark 14:26

From beginning to end, the Bible is full of music and song. Therfore, singing the praise of God is not an optional extra in Church services or an addition to it, but an essential element of it. Both in the Old and the New Testaments, we find that the sacred authors tell us how important music is in worshipping God: “Come let us sing for joy to the Lord” (Ps 95:1), or “Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvellous things” (Ps 98:1), or “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord” (Eph 5:19).

In recent years there has been a development in Church music which has not been beneficial for the Christian Church as a whole. Many newly established “religious entities” calling themselves churches, have employed music as a means of attracting people. They want to give them a “feeling” of God’s presence, turning worship of God, which is the primary function of liturgy, into an “experience” or “feeling”.

Sacred Scripture never teaches that a feeling can take us into the presence of God. If that had been possible, the Eternal Father would have sent us a musician rather than a Saviour. Only Christ can take us into the Most Holy Place in heaven, where we have direct access to the Father through faith in him. Music is an “instrument” that can help us discover God and worship him. Music is not an end in itself. If we only sing hymns like “What a Friend we have in Jesus” or “Bind us together” or “Freely, Freely”, we are neglecting to our spiritual harm the truth that God is also holy, that He is a righteous judge, etc..

So what we sing is important because people will be more likely to remember the truth that they have just sung in church longer than what they heard being preached.  We must make sure to sing what is true and what will represent a true picture of our God.

© 2020 by Saint Peter's Church, Ballymitty.