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THE ASAPH MUSIC LETTER
ENCOURAGING BELIEVERS TO SET AND MAINTAIN A BIBLICAL MUSIC STANDARD
To the chief musician and his choir
Vol. 4--No. 1--October 31, 2004
(Go easy on your eyes. Print this letter for a more enjoyable read.)
HENRY H. HALLEY ON CONGREGATIONAL SINGING--“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” —Ephesians 5:19
Recently while researching a completely different topic, we came across the topic of music in the reference classic, Halley’s Bible Handbook, by Henry H. Halley. Mr. Halley, apparently, was passionate about many things, and one of them for sure was music. A portion of his music philosophy follows. We trust it will be a blessing to you.
Congregational singing, next to Bible Teaching, is the best feature of a religious service, the most effective way to preach the Gospel. A singing church is always well attended. People love it. A singing church and a teaching pulpit.
Moses sang, and led the people in singing. Miriam sang. Deborah and Barak sang. David sang and wrote the Psalms to be sung. Jesus and the twelve sang. Paul and Silas sang. The angels sing. In Heaven everybody will sing.
Power of Popular Singing. It was the public singing of Luther’s hymns that bore his preaching over central Europe, and shook the world into the Reformation. It was singing that made the great Welsh revival. Was there ever a revival without it? The very best way now to rejuvenate dead churches would be to sing them into life.
More Congregational Singing. Its dearth of singing is the greatest lack in the average Sunday morning church service. There ought to be ten times as much as there is. No time for it? Well, shorten the sermon, omit some of the show-off stuff in the choir loft, and make time for it. It is no substitute to announce a “hymn-sing” for some odd hour when most people cannot attend. Congregational singing has a rightful place in the regular Sunday morning church service, and should not be shoved aside by an ambitious choir or long-winded preacher. It is entitled to one-third or one-half of the whole service.
[Taken from “Halley’s Bible Handbook” by Henry H. Halley. Halley’s Bible Handbook, Inc., Twenty-fourth Edition, Copyright 1965 by Zondervan Publishing House. Used by permission of Zondervan.]
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