Someone once asked me whether the people in a certain religion sing during their worship services. I had to stop and think about it. Music and song certainly does exist in the cultures where this religion is prevalent. In fact, they enjoy a rich heritage of religious music. Nor, is their musical tradition obscure. It has had a major influence on the music of other cultures. The thing which stumped me is whether music or song has a role in their formal worship services. Chanting is certainly employed. Some of it may even be considered musical. Perhaps one could say that these chants are songs. However, something which is beyond question is that you will never encounter any musical instruments within the walls of their places of worship – certainly during their times of worship. Some sects of this religion go so far as to totally ban all forms of music whether secular or sacred.
In what sense are our assemblies a service?
Something has really been bothering me lately. Some of those who know me would retort that it doesn’t take much to bother me. Be that as it may, the pain has gotten bad enough that I need to try to clear my head by writing about this particular topic. What, you ask, am I blathering about? It’s that phrase, ‘church service.’
On the one hand, the phrase ‘church service’ is so common and wide-spread that I feel almost foolish trying to define it. We all know what is meant. When we use the term, we are referring to the time(s) the church gets together in order to worship God, partake of the Communion and listen to the Word explained. We use the phrase, in particular, for the meetings which take place on Sunday.