Stately Hymns and Seven Fold Amens
I read this quote recently:
“If your congregation still worships through long liturgies and stately hymns of earlier generations, the odds are pretty good that your congregation is declining. There are no great, vibrant, soul-winning churches reaching great numbers of people, baptizing hundreds of converts, reaching masses that have stiff music, seven-fold amens, and a steady diet of classical anthems.”
I don’t know who said this, but I don’t like it. Not one bit. I do however fear that there is some level of truth to it.
But God surely will bless the faithful. I am all for adding a few contemporary songs to the mix and for changing the liturgy every now and then to keep it fresh but there are many good things to say about traditional liturgical worship.
I for one like some level of routine and repetition. Too much is evident when people say or sing things mindlessly in worship, but it’s great to have the liturgy committed to memory so that you can just close your eyes if you want to in worship and filter out all the distractions and just sing or speak from memory! What a blessing this is!
My guess is that over 300,000 people in my denomination can sing any of the following pieces from the heart and without any books, pages, projected lyrics or other brick-a-brack:
- Nunc Dimittus
- Te Deum
- The Doxology
- Angus Dei
- Oh Lord, Our Lord
- Verse of the Day
- Thank the Lord
- The Kyrie
- Oh Taste and See
- The Gospel intro and outro
- The post sermon “Create in Me”
- Triple amen.
And one other thing, corporate singing has never sounded better than when the entire congregation knows the music and does not have to sing with their faces buried in a hymnbook or a worship folder.
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen!