Thursday, May 1, 2008

Statement of Principle for Music in the Church (pt.2)

The following are excerpts from the guidelines for church music that were printed as part of the preface of a church hymnal in 1959. (This is the second part of a previous post.)

PRINCIPLE: The music of the Church should be appropriate for worship.

1. In spirit, form and content the music of the church should be a positive expression of Scripturally religious thought and feeling. It should serve the ministry of the Word.
2. The music of the church should be beautiful.... It should satisfy the aesthetic laws of balance, unity, harmony, design, rhythm, restraint, and fitness [appropriateness] which are the conditions of all art.

IMPLICATIONS: (#1-5 were included in part 1).

6. The music of the church should from association with the currently secular or with anything that does violence to our [Biblical] conception of worship.
7. The music of the church should not be borrowed from that of the dance nor from concert or other music which suggests places and occasions other than the church and the worship service.

As you read such principles, do you react by comparing them to your own preferences, or do you ask, "Are these principles and ideas based on Scripture?" The Bible is to be our guide in everything -- certainly including how we should think about worship and music in the church.

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