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Music and the involved congregation

From the April 2004 issue of The Christian Science Journal

"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.