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The Importance of Church Music

From the June 1968 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Throughout the Scriptures the importance of music in the religious life of the people was fully recognized. The first instance of congregational singing mentioned in the Bible is that of Moses and the children of Israel. We read in Exodus, "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously." Ex. 15:1;

The sense of peace and harmony that often speaks through music was acknowledged when David with his harp calmed the agitated mind of Saul. David became "the sweet psalmist of Israel." II Sam. 23:1; His thoughts of God were sometimes put into verse and song. In the psalms and elsewhere the exhortation to sing praises unto the Lord is repeated more often, it has been said, than any other injunction in the Bible.

Christ Jesus and his disciples must have known the power of sacred song. In the Gospel of Matthew we read that they sang a hymn on the night before the crucifixion before they went out to the Mount of Olives. Freedom was brought to Paul and Silas in prison when they prayed and sang praises to God. Paul's precept to the Ephesians was, "Be filled with the Spirit; . . . singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Eph. 5:18, 19;