Congregational singing can be effectively stymied or greatly encouraged by the acoustical properties of the worship space. Recent trends in church architecture have unfortunately led to the use of more acoustically absorbent materials, which is harmful to this important aspect of worship. The following article provides helpful advice to remedy this problem.
Choirs play very different roles in various denominations and traditions. This article describes three different types of choirs based on their role in the worship service, commending an approach that integrates the choir’s contribution within the structure of the whole worship service. Although written from a Reformed perspective, the insights found here have applications for all traditions.
The choir does not participate in worship for its own sake, but rather for the sake of the whole of the worshiping people. It leads the worshiping people in their song and contributes additional music as the liturgy or pattern of worship requires. Ideally then, a choir should be a group of facilitators, not performers, a role defined in this article.
Long-range and short-range planning are essential to worship services characterized by strength, order, and beauty. Pastors and church musicians are responsible for planning, but participation in music during worship should include adult and children’s choirs and the congregation singing hymns, psalms, and anthems together.
Music in the temple was made for the worship of God. More than 10 percent of the people serving in temple ministries were musicians. Their music occupied a central place in the worship of God’s people.
Among Protestant churches, the Lutheran tradition has the richest heritage of music for worship. It is based on the assumption that music is a profound means by which we enter God’s presence and render our liturgy of thanksgiving to God. Bringing together insights first developed by Martin Luther and practices that have grown out of almost 500 years of Lutheran worship, this article describes why and how music is used in Lutheran worship.