The Worship Quote of the Week for (02/02/1999):

Of Singing of Psalms
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE looks at the use of the Psalter in the worship life of
the Puritans (17th century). Remember, this comes from a time when relatively
few people could read.

Of Singing of Psalms. It is the duty of Christians to praise God publickly,
by singing of Psalms together in the congregation, and also privately in the
family. In singing of Psalms, the voice is to be tuneable and gravely ordered;
but the chief care must be, to sing with understanding and with grace in the
heart, making melody unto the Lord. That the whole congregation may join
herein, every one that can read is to have a Psalmbook; and all others not
disabled by age or otherwise, are to be exhorted to learn to read. But for the
present, it is convenient that the minister or some other fit person appointed
by him and other ruling officers, do read the psalm, line by line, before the
singing hereof.

- DIRECTORY FOR THE PUBLIC WORSHIP OF GOD, Assembly of Divines meeting at
Westminster, 1644; 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).

[We've come a long way. It's interesting to me that the church leaders who
authored these instructions were addressing many of the same issues that
concern us today in our publick worship-Why do we sing? What shall we sing?
How shall we do it?]

Have a great week,

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