the weblog of Alan Knox

Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs

Posted by on Jun 8, 2012 in blog links | 5 comments

Singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs

Over the last few days, Eric at “A Pilgrim’s Progress” has been writing about hymns. He told his us “Top Ten Favorite Hymns” (many of mine are on his list), he discussed hymns as “A Gift from God to His People,” he encouraged “A Great Variety” in singing, and he says that hymns and house church are “Not a Simple Fit.”

Each of the posts were very good, but I especially appreciate the last one (even though I’m not part of a “house church.”)

For example, consider this part of his post:

If you have grown up in relatively large churches, you may have certain expectations as far as hymn singing is concerned. The performance-aspect of singing hymns in the home may at first seem lacking. However, the community side of hymn singing, at least in my opinion, more than makes up for this. I love to watch people’s faces up close when they sing deep theology. I take joy in viewing others take joy in Christ in song.

Yes, I also enjoy the “community side” of singing, even with people who “couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket” (which includes me). I especially enjoy it when someone asks to sing a song, then explains why that song is on their heart.

To me, there’s a big difference between one person bringing all the songs and “each one has a song.”

So, when you gather with other believers, and when you sing, how do you (the group) choose the songs?


5 Comments

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  1. 6-8-2012

    I meet with three main groups of believers each week. One is Plymouth Brethren assembly, one is an “organic” church, and one is a Bible study of sorts. I am quite glad that in each one of them the believers there present various songs for us all to sing together as the Spirit leads. In the latter two groups, those who play instruments will often contribute in that manner as well.

  2. 6-8-2012

    My experience with music has been myriad. When I got saved in the Jesus Movement in the early 70’s…it was a very sovereign move of God in a rural community and many of us were young parents and some were “professional” musicians. None of us had much Bible knowledge. Initially there were no leaders. God was teaching us through music, great truths that were very specific and very relevant. He gave me the melody to two passages of Scripture from Isaiah (55 and 53). He gave another musician the music to Romans 6. A lot out of Psalms. As we sang these songs at meetings we were absorbing truth, over and over into our spirits. Anyone who felt like it, led out in song. Many of us played acoustic guitar…but maybe two at a time were all that was playing. Later we felt we needed a teacher, someone who really knew the Bible. Looking back, that could have been a mistake on our part, however, God had His way in many lives in spite of our mistakes. After about 4 years of what would now be called simple church or house church, we (40 of us)left our community and joined another group in town. It was a para-church and the music changed into more of the old hymns, which I also loved, though now there was a song leader at services. But not a choir, it was still community singing. The problem for me came when we added too many instruments including drums. The next generation of converts who were musicians seemed to take on the popular styles and sounds of the day and I endured that as torture for the most part. I attend a home church now and the music is a good mixture of original somewhat emotional stuff from the teen girls which is within the realm of edification, some of it very beautiful, old hymns and songs from the archival memory of all the members previous experiences. There is no leader, nor song leader. It is amazing that most of the time the songs that come into someone’s mind fit into a theme when we look back on the meeting. It is a small group of about 7 families. We did make songbooks of our favorites and often we choose from that, but just as often, it is spontaneous and stirred in someones mind by a scripture or sharing or even just a mood. It is very joyful and we only have a guitar or two and often we just sing without instrumentation. Sometimes someone prepares something they want to bring to the group and some of the group often sing together and work up special arrangements that they do for events around town…the local rescue mission etc.

  3. 6-8-2012

    Does Metal Fest count?

  4. 6-8-2012

    For me when we meet our house gathering, there are no songs, we are gathered together and whatevere comes up this we discuss to edification of the one in need there and then yet available all week, no tradition, I have found the ecclesia everywhere I go, yet if there ever is a song to be, my two choices 1. It is well with my Soul 2. Amazing grace how sweet the sound, but I change how sweet the sound to how sweet the truth. for sound is only hearing and not necessarily the receiving, to me there is a big differance as te bible states there are the hearers and the doers. Oh and I am still learning how to get out of the way and thus be a doer (not me really) but the Holy Ghost in and through me
    Howard

  5. 6-10-2012

    Everyone, thanks for the comments. This morning, as I gathered with some brothers and sisters in Christ, and as we sang and talked about various songs, I was reminded how glad I am for both singing and for a community that shares songs with one another.

    -Alan