Office of Music in Divine Service
Psalm 150:3-5
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.…

: — Thanksgiving, a consciousness of the goodness and glory of God, the soul's joy in God — how seldom do you find an utterance of this in the prayers of the sanctuary. There is a provision, even in our churches, for the excitation and expression of praise. It is the song-service of the church. But the first and most fatal difficulty in this is that we have no religious music; or, rather, that the music of the church is for the sake of music, and not for the sake of praise, it expresses the aesthetic or art-feeling about praise — not heart-feeling. It is aimed at a wholly different thing from that which music was designed to be in the sanctuary. In the household, music aims at a domestic feeling. A mother's lullaby is sung in the family. No one Would expect a mother to sit by the side of the cradle and attempt to sing Handel's "Messiah," or to execute the difficult passages of an opera. Something sweet — a simple carol — is the mother's song. The child knows it, and feels it. It is aimed at a domestic effect. In songs of patriotism that express and excite that feeling the music becomes subordinate. The most patriotic tunes in vogue have no merit as tunes, but they possess a subtle element that stirs up a patriotic feeling in the heart, and it therefore answers the end of music. Multitudes of tunes in the church of God are hewn out of symphonies, and oratorios, and operas. They are music as operas, and oratorios, and symphonies, but they are trash in God's house. In many cases the better a tune is, the worse it is in the service of the sanctuary. For the office of music in Divine service is praising.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

WEB: Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet! Praise him with harp and lyre!

Musical Instruments in Worship
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