Category Archives: congregational singing

On Not Singing All the Stanzas

As I grew up singing in church, it was common for me to hear various songleaders say things like, “Third stanza as the last,” or “We’ll sing verses one, three, and four.” In my own songleading, I used to do … Continue reading

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Edwards: Sing or sin

From a sermon by Jonathan Edwards on “Self-Examination”: Examine yourselves, whether you do not live in some way of sin with respect to the institutions of God’s house. Here I shall mention several instances. . . . (2) Do you … Continue reading

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“Amen” at the end of hymns

Now that’s interesting. I’ve seen many, many hymns that end with an “Amen” — and I’ve seen the same hymns end with an “Amen” in some instances, but not when printed elsewhere. I’ve never thought about where that practice originated. Tonight, … Continue reading

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DeYoung on Singing Psalms

We are not convinced by the arguments for exclusive psalmody. But in 95% of our churches the problem is not that we are keeping out good non-Psalms. It’s strange, even though we are commanded to sing Psalms and even though … Continue reading

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Familiarity

In Joyful Noise, William Smith speaks of the “practical limits of the repertory” of a congregation. There are, he suggests (rightly!), only so many songs that a congregation can be expected to know reasonably well. In this connection, he notes, … Continue reading

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Tempo

I’ve always wrestled with “keeping the tempo up” in my congregational songleading.  I tend toward a broader tempo than average, and my pastor will with all sensitivity ask on occasion, “Was it just me, or did the songs seem to … Continue reading

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Holy, Mighty, Worthy

Sometimes, as I put together the selection of songs for a particular service, things don’t gel as well as I would like. This morning’s selection seemed to work well, though, and I wanted to share it (as well as record … Continue reading

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