Insight Into Worship - The Essential Place of Music in Worship

Richard Thomas on August 16, 2018

der-dorf-chor_chapman "A Village Choir" by John Watkins Chapman (1853-1903)

Music has, from the earliest days of the Church, rendered an essential blessing to corporate worship. Of all the arts, music is most suited to express the deepest feelings of the heart- feelings which find satisfaction only in the worship of God. There are two characteristics of music that make it most qualified to express the believer’s devotion to God. First, music is not permanent but must be repeated over and over again. The architect has buildings and the sculptor has sculpture; creative minds pass on, but their work lives on for all to see. But music, once it is presented, disappears almost as quickly as it appears. It must be renewed. It is this feature that makes music so appropriate for worship. Music cannot be done, once for all; it must be continually renewed. The sheet music the composer writes down is not music; the participant must produce music from what is written. The second attribute of music that makes it so appropriate for worship is its ability to communicate the feelings of the worshiper’s heart. No, worship is not all emotion. And yes, there is always a danger that emotions are taken too far. But music not only impresses the worshiper with feelings, but it also allows for the expression of them. Music affects our hearts in worship, but also gives us a powerful way to express our hearts. Singing to God in worship is a sign that God’s people are filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5: 18).