"Music," Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health, "is the rhythm of head and heart." Science and Health, p. 213. To amplify that rhythm in local churches around the world—where there would be as many tastes as there were places and singers—meant, once again, experiment and innovation.
Early church services featured congregational singing supported by a choir. The church's Boston choir had about seven singers, none of them professionals. Some of them sang solos. The choir was eliminated in 1898, but a solo remained in the order of services.
In a letter written a year before the choir was dropped, Mrs. Eddy said: "For several months past, a Divine direction has to my sense been giving me to know that congregational singing is the best song for the Church of Christ, Scientist. Why? Because this part as well as its others should be of the Spirit, not matter. Again, singing is, if harmony, an emotion more spiritual than material and must, to touch my heart, or ear, come from devout natures.
Want to read this article from the Journal?
Subscribe to JSH-Online to access The Christian Science Journal, along with the Christian Science Sentinel and The Herald of Christian Science. Get unlimited access to current issues, the searchable archive, podcasts, audio for issues, biographies about Mary Baker Eddy, and more. Already a subscriber? Log in