It is often said that Luther restored congregational singing. This is true, but he did more than that—Luther restored preaching to the congregation—a most appropriate activity for lay priests. “If, now, the congregation is to proclaim the divine truth, it must have a sermon worth preaching. This is the reason for the substantial…doctrinal content in many of the Reformation hymns.” (O.C.Rupprecht)
—P.J. Janson, “A Reason to Sing,” Reformation and Revival Vo. 4, nr. 4 (Fall 1995), 19
“Man is what he eats” was Feuerbach’s aphorism. By feeding on the word of God, the believer is changed according to God’s character.
—Geoffrey Wainwright, Doxology: The Praise of God in Worship, Doctrine and Life, 18
The New Testament says that when churches gather they should read the Bible, preach the Bible, pray the Bible, sing the Bible, and see the Bible [Communion].
Scripture should constitute the very content for much of what we say, sing, and pray in worship. When this is the case, Scripture permeates the service from beginning to end. Scripture forms the basis for all of worship.
—Constance Cherry, The Worship Architect, 80
God’s sacred Word . . . is that inestimable treasure that excelleth all the riches of the earth.
—translators of the King James Version, 1611
“This Book [is] the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is Wisdom; this is the royal Law; these are the lively Oracles of God.” With these words the Moderator of the Church of Scotland hands a Bible to the new monarch in Britain’s coronation service.
—Preface to the English Standard Version
All devotion, all attention should be concentrated upon the Word in the hymn…. [We] do not hum a melody; we sing words of praise to God, words of thanksgiving, confession and prayer. Thus the music is completely the servant of the Word.
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, 43