Beyond Hymnals and Screens

Allow me to introduce the following questions for reflection.

What is the purpose of singing in corporate worship? It is to express truth, reach emotions, or instruct? Is it to get people ready for the sermon? Is it an entryway for people to get comfortable who would otherwise be uneasy in church? Is the singing for the benefit of God or the congregation or both?

 

There has been a recent series of posts, blogs, and articles about the use of hymnals, the loss of hymnals, what we gain with screens, what we lose with screens, etc. Behind these posts is an assumption that whether it is printed or pixelated on a screen denotes two different types of music. As such, this becomes more a discussion of style. However, at the heart of the matter is what is the purpose of singing in worship and how does that influence what we sing.

Understanding the role of music in worship is more than a simple blog can handle. However, if I may, allow me to introduce the following questions for further reflection:

What is the purpose of singing in corporate worship? It is to express truth, reach emotions, or instruct? Is it to get people ready for the sermon? Is it an entryway for people to get comfortable who would otherwise be uneasy in church? Is the singing for the benefit of God or the congregation or both?

Is there (or should there be) a palpable difference between the aesthetics of worship and other opportunities for singing together? Does the context of a coffee house, campfire, concert hall, stadium, living room, or sanctuary change our expectations and practice of making music?

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