charles_mcneil — 2016-11-25T18:18:14-05:00 — #1
What is the early flowering of hymnody? Why did the decree of the Council of Laodicea in c. 327 A.D. that prohibited the participation of the congregation, or the use of instruments in the service, and provided that only scriptures could be used for singing?
It is said many of the "sacred hymns" had "secular melodies." If so, why and what was the reaction of the church? Is this why many of the churches don't use them (sparingly, if at all) today? Is this change a denominational thing or a world-wide trend, in light of modern globalization?
Any thoughts or enlightenment on the subject matter? CM
dave_l — 2016-11-25T18:48:24-05:00 — #2
Historians say the Church gave us music. But it was he Black Church that gave us really good music. I believe it is about spirituality. And nothing hits me in the heart like a Mass Choir, B3-Hammond organ with a Leslie, and a Steinway grand piano.
bill_coley — 2016-11-26T02:09:13-05:00 — #3
I like the way you phrase this, Dave. For years we've held a Thanksgiving week worship with predominantly African American congregations as a tactic in our strategy to help the Body of Christ show the way to bridge the very real racial divide in our country.
That worship has long been my favorite service of the year, primarily due to the black church music the community choir formed for it - of which I have always been a member - has presented. This year's service did not have a community choir. We relied solely on congregational singing of a blend of hymns, contemporary praise, and black church music. There was a noticeable decline in the energy in the room.
bill_coley — 2016-11-26T02:13:53-05:00 — #4
I think traditional hymns direct their loyalists to a passionate, meaningful form of worship. But for younger people - and many of us boomers - they are difficult to sing with any energy, feeling, or enthusiasm, perhaps especially when the worship order calls for the congregation to sing all verses.
I respect and celebrate the role hymns play for millions and millions of Christians. But they do not play that role for millions and millions of other Christians.
charles_mcneil — 2016-11-26T08:20:07-05:00 — #5
In general, John Wesley (1703-1791) had a burden that the tunes of the hymns be accessible to all, so that all could participate in the singing and thus express their personal acceptance of salvation. Much to the discontent of the church officials, he adapted popular tunes from many sources.
The songs of the church:
1. Gospel song (which speaks of God's love for man).
2. The hymn (expresses man's worship and praise to God).
3. Others: choral music, sacred instrumental compositions, and oratorio and cantata are heard in Christian Churches. Much of it is done by computer, DVD, or video.
I ran across a source that may help explain style and changes in worship music over the years:
Andrew Wilson-Dickson, The Story of Christian Music: From Gregorian Chant to Black Gospel. An Authoritative, Illustrated Guide to all the Major Traditions of Music for Worship (Oxford: A Lion Book, 1992), 117. CM