If you have visited other CREC congregations you will notice that the order of things may vary a bit. For instance, some CREC congregations place the Hymn of Faith following the Call to Worship. There is indeed a liturgical rationale for this order of things. But whereas the order of things may vary, the CREC is generally united in the necessity of these hymns of faith as an appropriate response to God’s calling.
Here at Providence, we have two songs–a hymn and a psalm of praise– following the Assurance of Pardon. We believe that once we are forgiven as a people, we then lift our voices together as a people. We will speak about the psalms in future exhortations, but my exhortation to you this morning is to be prepared to lift your voices in singing.
How can you better prepare to lift your voices on Sunday?
a) The first thing to do is to familiarize oneself with the new Songbook. It was mentioned last week that they are heavy and need to be handled with care. In the weeks to come I will be posting our Hymns/Psalms on the Wednesday before the Lord’s Day in my weekly Pastor’s Note, which will include a link to the hymns. I encourage you to listen to each recording at least once.
b) The second important point is to listen as the pianist plays through the first verse. We do that so you will hear the tune and properly transition to this new phase of our liturgy. Repetition is the key. I know sometimes we can be overwhelmed with so much new music, but remember you are storing in your minds and in the minds of your children a rich musical heritage. Our music reflects the greatness of God and His work for us. We are not interested in sentimentalism. We are interested in rich biblical music; not in music that will fade and die in ten years, but music that will be sung by your children and your children’s children unto a thousand generations.
The Psalmist says that we are to enter into God’s courts with praise. We, in the New Creation, are this new temple and house of praise. When we enter into this gathering, it is good and right that we enter with songs of praise. Let us do so this morning with great joy.