It is doubtful if among the thousands of worshipers in the Christian Science churches one person could be found who believes, as did some of our Puritan ancestors, that music is out of place in a church service. There may be some whose ideal is not realized in the forms at present prescribed for this part of public worship, but the general proposition that a church should contain no musical instrument and that singing should be omitted, would hardly find an advocate among us. Scriptural injunction, tradition, associations, the yearning of a full heart for emotional utterance, the refinements of modern life, all call for music in church service; and all sects respond, even where, as with the United Presbyterians, some part of our present equipment is not allowed.

It would not be worth while to raise this question at all if it regarded the vocal music only. That seems to be established on a permanent basis of satisfaction and edification; but as it is probably true that organ voluntaries also are here to stay, it is worth our while to consider their place in a religious service and the possibility of increasing their contribution to its helpfulness. At a concert the conditions are such that one expects to listen with attention to both vocal and instrumental performances and, if the music be good, to get whatever message it has for him. In church all are accustomed to listen receptively to the solo. where such is a part of the service, and the offertory organ selection is usually treated with respect, the conditions at that point in the service being such that few feel privileged to disturb the prevailing quiet and unity of thought by intrusive personalities; but in the case of the opening voluntary, the organ number especially noted in the Manual of The Mother Church as a part of the service, the consideration shown it is often made conspicuous by its absence, and that it is not regarded by all as an integral part of the service is shown in many ways; among others by the fact that not infrequently First Readers announce the first hymn as introductory: "We will open our service by singing," etc.

July 11, 1908

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