Why Sing in Church

Some of us who grew up singing hymns as part of our everyday lives have been blest. The same songs we sing in our hometown church, we also sing in our family devotions in the comfort of home. Why do we sing in church? Simply and foremost, we sing to worship God, the almighty.

Protestant Reformation Founder Martin Luther and Congregational Hymn Singing

Our very nature as human beings makes us reach out for a closer fellowship with God, and this is extended through coming together in church with fellow believers. Singing in church has been an important form of worship. When I think of finding or initiating reasons why we sing in church, immediately comes to mind Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation, who was also our strength in congregational hymns and singing, although history tells us that it was not until the 18th century that Christian congregations took up hymn singing. In later posts, we will share insights that caused him to integrate congregational singing as essential part of Protestant worship service, for all denominations.

Church Music Before Martin Luther

Singing in church and Christian congregations have not always been allowed to sing their hearts out. St. Ambrose, the teacher of St. Augustine and a 4th-Century Bishop of Milan, is said to have started congregational hymn singing in the Western church but experienced some opposition from some clergies. Hymn singing, in its deep roots as practiced in churches today, can be traced back in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The Holy Bible, in the Old Testament writings, provides us evidence of psalm singing. The book of Psalms amongst other, is full of it, songs expressing praises to God.

Church Music in Modern Times

Through the years, forms of worship services have undergone variations. Gradually, the hymns and hymn-singing have slowly declined as more contemporary songs began to replace them. Although hymns are still alive in churches, the present generation have come up with more modern songs, and variations adapted from those found in hymnals. For instance, as a hymn lover, I may still faithfully cling to "Rock of Ages" with music originally composed by Thomas Hastings (1830), but I will not be surprised if a contemporary version of the tune will be sung in today's church service.

Why Sing in Church

There have been many articles written why we sing in church. So, why do we sing in church?

Kathy Brunker, a church music coordinator, soprano and Christian songwriter, puts her reasons succinctly, and I totally agree. She says we sing in church because: singing has always been part of the life of God’s people, singing is God's word ministry, when we sing we strengthen the church, and when we sing we respond to God.

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