Make a Joyful Noise

Massey Shepherd writes in The Worship of the Church:

“It is a mistake, however, to think that there is any specific style of music that is properly liturgical. The splendid liturgy of the Jewish temple was accompanied, as we know from the Psalms, with trumpets, cymbals, strings, and pipe. It must indeed have been a joyful noise unto the Lord. Yet the medieval monastic choir employed no instruments in its liturgy, nor any harmonies, but only the pure, serene melodies of plainsong. Music is liturgical in character not because of its style, but by the effective way it expresses the meaning of the sacred text. It is music married to words, so that they take hold of the worshipper’s whole being and lift it up to God. Music rendered for its own sake, as music, however fine it may be, is not properly liturgical. Music has no place in worship if it is designed to entertain or to call attention to itself. Its fitness must be judged by its power to communicate the Word, illuminating the mind to truth and stengthening the will to holy obedience and charity.” (53-54)

{HT: Craig Beaton}

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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