With grateful heart my thanks I bring
Before the great Thy praise I sing;
I worship in Thy holy place,
And praise Thee for Thy truth and grace;
For truth and grace together shine
In Thy most Holy Word Divine.
In the Psalms we hear the abiding, eternal, fundamental note of the pious heart resounding. When paging through the Psalter and reading the words to some of the various songs, one notices how completely they meet the requirements of praise, exalting God in His Being and work, and containing confessions of our unworthiness, our faith, our gratitude and our needs.
Realizing this, I often wonder, when I hear our congregations sing, if those singing realize what the words they are singing express. I think any of us will readily confess that our minds and hearts are often far removed from what we are singing and this certainly detracts from making this part of our divine worship what it should be.
Congregational singing is a very beautiful part of our worship and also very important. It is a most wonderful way for those who dwell in brotherhood and who confess one Lord, thus in unity to express their gratitude. To lift up their voices in singing, proclaiming His praises for all his love.
Singing which comes forth from the heart, expressing its feelings in all sincerity, is so much more beautiful than any song which is sung for mere entertainment. The congregation’s part in our worship would be greatly improved if its members would bear this in mind. I’m sure that would help to make the singing inspiring and uplifting and full of zeal, making us realize the blessedness of the communion of saints.
Nor only in our congregational singing do we find this detraction, but especially in our Society meetings is this often evident. Not only do we sing listlessly there, but oftentimes those sitting in the back rows are whispering or laughing, which certainly does not show respect on their part. We should remember that these songs are sung in God’s presence and should be sung to His praise and to His glory. Often times they are prayers and should be sung as such, for those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Then too, we as young people should sing with a desire to learn to sing these songs properly, thus to aid in our congregational singing. Young people can usually sing with more enthusiasm, which would also help to keep our congregational singing from lagging. Therefore let us remember that our Psalms are praises to God and to Him alone.
“Ye who His temple throng,
Jehovah’s praise prolong;
New anthems raise.
Ye saints, with joy declare,
Your makers loving care,
And let the children there
Joy in their King.
Ye saints, your joy proclaim,
And glory in the name,
Of God above;
And when the daylight dies,
Ere sleep shall close your eyes,
Let praise to God arise,
For all His love.”