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The History of Presbyterianism in the United States Part 8: Appendix Congregational Singing in the Presbyterian Tradition.

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Presentation on theme: "The History of Presbyterianism in the United States Part 8: Appendix Congregational Singing in the Presbyterian Tradition."— Presentation transcript:

1 The History of Presbyterianism in the United States Part 8: Appendix Congregational Singing in the Presbyterian Tradition

2 Worship at Solomons Temple, 10 th c. BC Singing – by choir and congregation The employment of musical instruments in temple worship. Both seem clearly to be at the instigation of King David even prior to the construction of the temple itself.

3 Worship at Solomons Temple 1) Entering the Temple – Ps. 121, 122, 84, 100 Ps. 15, 24 2) immolation of the sacrifice – Ps. 25, 26

4 Worship at the Second Temple 1) Entering the Temple – Ps. 121, 122, 84, 100 Ps. 15, 24 2) immolation of the sacrifice – Ps. 25, 26 3) End of service Psalms for every day of the wk. Ps. 24, 48, 82, 94, 81, 93 Ps. 92 – Sabbath

5 Worship at the Synagogue Psalms continued to be read/sung/prayed w/out sacrifices w/out instruments Weekdays – Ps. 145-150; Sabbath Ps. 95-100 Liturgy of the Ancient Church followed pattern of Synagogue worship.

6 The Ancient Church Historical References in NT Mt. 26:30 – sang a hymn w/out doubt a Passover Psalm. Acts 4:23-31 – whole congregation sang psalms. 1 Cor. 14:26 – sing psalms (hymn = psalm) Eph. 5:19 & Col. 3:16 – psalms, hymns & spiritual songs The inheritance of exclusive regard for the psalms as given by God for worship – being songs of the HS. The three-fold reference to the Book of Psalms. The immediate and growing avoidance of Gnostic influences.

7 The Ancient Church Historical References Mt. 26:30 – sang a hymn w/out doubt a Passover Psalm. Acts 4:23-31 – whole congregation sang psalms. 1 Cor. 14:26 – sing psalms (hymn = psalm) Eph. 5:19 & Col. 3:16 – psalms, hymns & spiritual songs Poetical Inferences Lk. 1:46-55; 68-79; 2:14, 29-32 Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-20 Prophetic References Rev. 4:8; 15:3; 5:13

8 The Ancient Church Odes of Solomon – a collection of about 40 hymns from the Eastern church. appear to be elaborations or expansions on the psalms. likely to be Gnostic in origin and intent. became all but forgotten, laid aside or deliberately forsaken in the practice of the church. From 1 st through 4 th c. Psalms were sung exclusively in the worship of the church.

9 The Ancient Church Athanasius (296-373) wrote an extensive study on the psalms. teaching their value to the Christian and their devotional appeal for public/private mediation. an anatomy of all parts of the soul & emotion Edict of Milan (313) Christianity became legal, royal and popular. Ambrose of Milan (339-97): popular hymn-writer Prudentius (348-410) Venantius Fortunatus (530-610) Gregory the Great (540-604)

10 Middle Ages Gregory the Great (540-604) professionalized the worship music of the church with the Schola Santorum – choirs of monks who would sing a combination of psalms and man- composed meditations. The organ was introduced into the worship service in the 9 th c. (1 st instrument in Christian history) Charlamagne (742-814) established schools of music encouraged Monsastic enrichment compositions focused on the Mass. became increasingly subjective and individually meditative. theme increasingly focused on Virgin Mary and mystical emotion and experience.

11 The Reformation LutheranismCalvinism Grew up in the Roman Catholic Church. Trained as a Medieval monk. Desire: to reform the church from within. Driven from the Roman Catholic Church by conscientious objection. Held on to the presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lords Supper (Consubstantiation). Grew up in the atmosphere of the Reformation. Trained as a lawyer. Studied heavily in the Ancient Church Fathers. Fled the persecution of the Roman Catholic Church in France. Aim: to reform the church from the ground up. Wrote the first Reformed systematic theology.

12 The Reformation LutheranismCalvinism Luther wrote renditions based on Ps. 12, 14, 46, 67, 124, 128, 130 festal hymns Martin Bucer (1491-1551) wrote a commentary on the Psalms offering a Christian interpretation. Constance Hymn Book, 1540 half psalms, half hymns 100,000 hymns composed in 3 ½ years following Reformation. Calvin remained committed to psalmody exclusively. The only exception were a very few canticles (musical renditions of the Lords Prayer, the Ten Commandments, etc.).

13 The Regulative Principle of Worship LutheranismCalvinism Whatever is not prohibited may be allowed. Is beauty and creativity not properly offered to God in worship? Is the progression of the gospel in history not to be recognized in Christian worship? Are the variations in culture not to be allowed to give expression? Only that which God commands.

14 The Regulative Principle of Worship LutheranismCalvinism

15 The Regulative Principle of Worship LutheranismCalvinism Whatever is not prohibited may be allowed. Is beauty and creativity not properly offered to God in worship? Is the progression of the gospel in history not to be recognized in Christian worship? Is culture not to be given expression? Only that which God commands. Beauty and creativity are called for from all of life rather than being restricted to the church. But the worship of God is separate and distinct from all the rest of life and only the direct command of God must dictate worship. The Psalms not only speak of Christs first but also his second coming. Culture is to conform to the Word of God.

16 John Calvin The Genevan Psalter – 1572 The psalms incite us to praise God, to pray to Him, to meditate on His works to the end that we love Him, fear, honor and glorify Him. What St. Augustine says is quite true, one can not sing anything more worthy of God than that which we have received from Him. Therefore, after we have sought on every side, searching here and there, we shall find no songs better and more suitable for our purpose than the Psalms of David, dictated to him and made for him by the Holy Spirit. But singing them ourselves we feel as certain that God put the words into our mouths as if He Himself were singing within us to exalt His glory. (from the Introduction)

17 John Calvin The Genevan Psalter – 1572 Regarding psalmody in worship: they served a theological purpose – revealing the doctrines of Scripture, of redemption, etc. they served a didactic purpose – by singing the psalms, the very Word of God is impressed into the heart (Ps. 1:1-2). (Including canticles such as Lords Prayer, 10 commandments, etc.) they served a doxological purpose – the Psalms lead us in the right manner of offering the sacrifice of praise. (H. Old)

18 John Calvin The Genevan Psalter – 1572 Calvin pressed for congregational singing. Among other things which are suitable for mens recreation and for giving them pleasure, music is either foremost, or, at least, must be esteemed one of the most prominent; and we must esteem it a gift of God to us with that purpose. (Calvin, the preface of the Psalter of 1543).

19 John Calvin The Genevan Psalter – 1572 But Calvin restricted allowing emotional appeal to dictate the issue of propriety in worship. He recognized that music has the power to mold the hearts of men and can therefore be very dangerous. The use of hymns to spread heresy in the early church is all too somber a reminder of this fact. We doubt says Calvin, if there is anything in this world which can more powerfully turn or bend hither and thither the morals of men. … Our own experience shows a secret and almost incredible power of music to move hearts one way or the other. (H. Old)

20 John Calvin The Genevan Psalter – 1572 Calvin understood the priority of words over tunes. Calvin seems to have been by temperament at least indifferent to the music and poetry of the Roman Church, and actively hostile to the light songs popular among the French. He would have nothing sung in public worship at Geneva except the words of Sacred Scripture, turned into as close and accurate translations as was humanly possible, and set to grave but beautiful music. (J. Crouch) Calvin stressed for a cappella and united singing. Distaste for organs, distaste for hymns, and distaste for part- singing were the typical marks of Calvinistic church music. (Stevenson)

21 John Calvin The Genevan Psalter – 1572 The preferred psalter among the Reformed for 200 years. England - Sternhold & Hopkins Psalter, 1562 criticized for lacking the artistic finesse. not adhering closely enough to the Hebrew. tunes were light and casual. (Queen Elizabeth called them Geneva jigs) Scotland – Scottish Psalter, 1635 America – The Bay Psalter, 1640 (1 st book printed in America) along with the Geneva Bible

22 Westminster Assembly, 1643 on the Worship of God The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear, the sound preaching and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith, and reverence, singing of psalms with grace in the heart; as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God: beside religious oaths, vows, solemn fastings, and thanksgivings upon special occasions, which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner. (WCF XXI.V)

23 Westminster Assembly, 1643 on the Worship of God 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 tunably and gravely ordered; but the chief care must be to sing with understanding, and with grace in the heart, making melody unto the Lord. (The Directory of Publick Worship of God)

24 Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 English nonconformist Congregationalist minister. Was not satisfied that older Hebrew poetry should represent the Christian experience. 1707 - Hymns and Spiritual Songs I have long been convinced that one great Occasion of this Evil arises from the matter and Words to which we confine all our Songs. Some of em (sic) are almost opposite to the Spirit of Gospel; many of them foreign to the state of the New Testament, and widely different from the present Circumstances of Christians. (Watts, Introduction)

25 Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 English nonconformist Congregationalist minister. Was not satisfied that older Hebrew poetry should represent the Christian experience. 1707 - Hymns and Spiritual Songs 1719 – Psalms of David Imitated There can be no doubt but that, as Louis Benson observes, The Psalms of David Imitated served as a bridge over which numerous Psalm singers crossed almost unconsciously into hymnody. (Bushell)

26 Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 Psalms of David Imitated He wrote confidently to a friend, Dr. Colman of Boston, some twenty years after the pub- lication of his Imitations: I must say that I imitated Davids Psalms, not as the fittest book that could be made for Christian worship, but as the best which the churches would yet hearken to. (Stevenson)

27 Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 Psalms of David Imitated The happy land of Canaan in Watts Imitations becomes the British Isles. After omitting Davidic promises of such personal blessings as long life, health, recovery, and security amidst dangers, because these promises do not appear in the New Testament, he then magnified stray hints at Canaans blessings into huge prophecies of Britains future greatness. (Stevenson) Shine, mighty God, on Britain, shine. … God the Redeemer scatters round His choicest favors here. … Sing aloud with solemn voice, while British tongues exalt His praise, and British hearts rejoice. (Watts version of Ps. 67)

28 Isaac Watts, 1674-1748 Psalms of David Imitated Philip Dodderidge (1702-51) (Anglican) Charles Wesley (1707-88) (Methodist/Pietist) John Newton (1725-1807) (Anglican) William Cowper (1731-1800) (English Romanticist poet) Samuel Davies (1723-1761) (New Side Presbyterian)

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30 19 th Century Popular hymnody focused on the decision-making need of the individual. heightened the emotional appeal of the gospel. called for a renewal of faith in the individual. Popular hymnody turned from emotional evangelical calls to dignified characterizations of a Christian culture. appealed to and edified refined and sophisticated tastes.

31 The evolution of worship practice … significantly reduced audience participation …. … [T]o mitigate this result, the role of music was expanded and stressed … to enhance the expression of praise and devotion. … This growing emphasis on praise introduced inevitable performance issues - …. [G]rouping of the better singers led naturally to the formation of voluntary choirs and later to the hiring of professional singers. As musical performance was increasingly valued, instruments were added to services. … Integrated initially as an aide to congregational singing, instruments and choirs quickly moved to anthem performances sans congregation. Kilde

32 In evangelical services, the principal performances were the preacher, whose sermon constituted the centerpiece of the service, and the musicians, whose contributions were dispersed throughout the service. … The most prominent element accommodated by the evangelical pulpit stage, however, was the organ. [T]he performance of music vied most seriously with the sermon for the honor of being the centerpiece of the evangelical service. … [This] brought into tension two distinct conventions … the more modest and personal singing of hymns by all present and the professional performance of music by trained musicians. Kilde

33 For most middle-class congregations, hymnody was perfectly acceptable if cleaned up. New hymnals included three- and four-part harmonies, indicated not only that congregants were expected to read music but that they were sufficiently skilled vocally to carry distinctive parts. Thus, one aspect of the attraction of [the introduction of varied kinds of music into the worship service] was its power to indicate the refinement not just of those who performed it but, even more important, of those who appreciated it. … [T]he sacralization of this music was a boundary-setting process, an invented tradition through which elites legitimized their use of the music as a litmus test for refinement and social class. Kilde

34 The Age of the Commercially Published Hymnal Begun with the 2 nd Great Awakening Revivalist and Gospel Hymnal Booklets. Enlarged with the call for sophistication 4-line harmony printed on each page. wide range of European musical contributions. a broad range of selections to appeal to the most audiences.

35 Hymnal Production under the Presbyterian Church The shift from Psalms to hymns in American Presbyterianism took place slowly and only after much bitter controversy. The largest Presbyterian body, the PCUSA, though it never had a creedal commitment to exclusive psalmody, sang nothing but the Psalms in worship until the latter part of the eighteenth century, when hymns were introduced under the influence of the evangelical fervor attending the Great Awakening. The introduction of hymns and Psalm imitations touched off what has come to be called the Great Psalmody Controversy, which raged in the Presbyterian church for over half a century. … The change in psalmody was a part of the great pietistic, anti-confessional, anti- establishment tenor of the times, which precipitated the Old side New Side split in the Presbyterian church and provided such fertile ground for the Great Awakening. (Bushell)

36 Hymnal Production under the Presbyterian Church Church Psalmist (1843), New School Psalms and Hymns (1843), Old School – the first section being of all 150 psalms followed by a section of hymns. Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (1866) – distinction between psalms and hymns disappeared. The Presbyterian Hymnal of 1874, 1895, 1911 – psalms nowhere evident. The New Psalms and Hymns, 1901 – Southern Presbyterian – psalms present but scattered and unidentified. The Presbyterian Hymnal, 1927 – Southern Presbyterian - psalms completely disappeared. The Hymnal, 1933 – Northern Pres., only 2 psalms: 100, 23

37 Recent Revival of Psalm-Singing in the Presbyterian Churches The Hymnbook, 1955 – collective work of the PCUS, PCUSA, UP, ARP, and RCA – more psalms recovered. Trinity Hymnal, 1961 – clearly identified psalms and index. Psalter Hymnal, 1987 – CRC. Hymns, Psalms & Spiritual Songs, 1990 – PCUSA – restoration of psalms in a distinct section and a nearly complete offering. Trinity Hymnal, 1990 – expanded offering of psalms w/out placing them in distinct section. Book of Psalms for Singing, 1973 – RPCNA. The Trinity Psalter, 1994. A new Psalter-Hymnal presently in the works as a co-op effort between the OPC and the URC – all 150 psalms as well as a selection of hymns.

38 Dietrich Bonhoffer Lutheran Pastor In many churches the Psalms are read or sung every Sunday, or even daily, in succession. These churches have preserved a priceless treasure, for only with daily use does one appropriate this divine prayer book. When read only occasionally, these prayers are too overwhelming in design and power and tend to turn us back to more palatable fare. But whoever has begun to pray the Psalter seriously and regularly will soon give a vacation to other little devotional prayers and say: Ah, there is not the juice, the strength, the passion, the fire which I find in the Psalter. It tastes too cold and too hard (Luther).

39 Dietrich Bonhoffer Lutheran Pastor Therefore, wherever we no longer pray the Psalms in our churches, we must take up the Psalter that much more in our daily morning and evening prayers, reading and praying together at least several Psalms every day so that we succeed in reading through this book a number of times each year, getting into it deeper and deeper. We also ought not to select Psalms at our own discretion, thinking that we know better what we ought to pray than does God himself. To do that is to dishonor the prayer- book of the Bible. In the ancient church it was not unusual to memorize the entire David. In one of the eastern churches this was a prerequisite for the pastoral office.

40 Dietrich Bonhoffer Lutheran Pastor The church father St. Jerome says that one heard the Psalms being sung in the fields and gardens in his time. The Psalter impregnated the life of early Christianity. Yet more important than all of this is the fact that Jesus died on the cross with the words of the Psalter on his lips. Whenever the Psalter is abandoned, an incomparable treasure vanishes from the Christian church. With its recovery will come unsuspected power.

41 New Covenant Presbyterian Church Preaching Gods Sovereign Grace to a World of Need 128 St. Marys Church Rd., Abingdon, MD 21009 410-569-0289 www.ncpres.org www.ephesians515.com


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