The Worship Quote of the Week for (01/12/1999):

Sixteenth-Century Blended Worship
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE comes from the middle of the 16th century, a time of
great transition in the history of Christian worship. It appears that the
church leaders were trying to achieve a sort of "blending" of worship styles
and traditions. Sound familiar?

Meanwhile in England, the Established Church substituted a vernacular prose
translation for the Vulgate [Latin] Psalms. This was authorized in the three
Prayer Books and was ordered to be read through in the course of a month
during Matins and Evensong. Together with this official usage, there grew up
the extra-liturgical custom of singing a metrical psalm before and after the
prescribed order. This custom, which may possibly be traced to the influence
of the returned exiles, appears to have obtained official sanction: for in her
Injunctions to the clergy in 1559, Queen Elizabeth directed:

"For the comforting as such as delight in music, it may be permitted that at
the beginning or end of Common Prayer, either at Morning or Evening, there may
be sung a hymn or such like song to the praise of Almighty God, in the best
melody and music that may be devised, having respect that the sentence of the
hymn be understood and perceived."

—Queen Elizabeth (1559) as quoted in THE WORSHIP OF THE ENGLISH PURITANS,
Chapter X "The Praises of the Puritans," by Horton Davies, Soli Deo Gloria
Publications, 1948 (reprint 1997).

[In this case, of course, the hymns and metrical Psalms were considered less
formal than the prescribed Prayer Book worship.]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Pastor of Worship and Music
Chapel Hill Bible Church
Chapel Hill, North Carolina