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December 13, 2009

Music in the Church

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Music as a good gift of God is, according to Luther, “the handmaiden of theology and second only to theology.” As such, music in the church serves God’s Word by appropriately carrying truths to the hearts and minds of the church. Such music is a well-ordered discipline that truly helps the church “breathe the air of heaven” (Athanasius), by actually lifting her to that which is holy, “separate.” Music then becomes an integral part of the confession of the faith through hymns, liturgical music, and choral music — all proclaiming Christ by means of this good gift.

Today at Saint Matthew’s, we held our annual Festival of Lessons and Carols Divine Service. As one would expect, it was a joyous morning as we heard the Word of God, responded in song, and then receiving from God what we all long and hope for — the forgiveness of sins, receiving this reality through the Lord’s Supper.

It was a wonderful morning.

The words that top this post come from the Concordia Theological Seminary website on their page describing the music of the church as a servant of God. And isn’t that true? Music has always been a central part of the worship life of God’s church as we respond to the magnificent gifts of love, mercy, and forgiveness given us through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The singing in the church only grows during the coming days as we continue through Advent, leading up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. At Saint Matthew’s, our youth Christmas program will be held next Sunday, and during that Divine Service, we will sing many of the church’s favorite Christmas carols and hymns. It is sure to be a blessed next couple of weeks in church.

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