Worship in Music

"Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day." Thus did the Psalmist exhort his people to join in praises to their God. He resorts to music as an added vehicle of praise in the manifesting of joy and gratitude for His mercies.

Even the mighty prophet Isaiah, whose eloquence continues to echo down the corridors of time, desiring to express what he experienced in contemplating the perpetuity of infinite Love, pours forth his reverence thus: "Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted."

The music in our churches should be the expression of joy, love, and gratitude in harmony and unity. It should reflect the conscious spirituality of true worship. Because it represents the outpouring or expression of gratitude for benefactions received, the human sense of its being merely a performance is wiped out. Because it symbolizes prayerful contemplation of a never ending supply of blessings, it should always be alert, and should never drag; it should always be complete, and never half-heartedly done. And because it is the expression of true worship, the organist readily shuts out any self-consciousness, with its consequent wrong sense of exaltation or abasement, and, instead, experiences a selfless gratitude for the privilege of being able to contribute in some degree to the glory of God.

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The Exodus
November 6, 1926

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