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Home The Light Articles from 2003 Tradition Without Ritualism

Tradition Without Ritualism

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Tradition Without Ritualism

Some non-religious settings encourage "sing-a-longs." Some observers and participants share their appreciation in varied comments, unknowingly magnifying the church of our Lord. What these non-Christian people say reflects the pleasure of God’s people in congregational singing.

One author writes of his appreciation of singing together in a community "sing-a-long," referring to it as "the restorative power of community singing, no matter how many mistakes by untrained voices that sing at this level. There’s something glorious about being in the midst of so many people singing." Every Christian has experienced that in the church. Probably many times. That is the reason congregational singing in churches of Christ is "out of this world"–even considered so by the world itself. God’s people love to sing. They love to sing together. As the writer said, it is "glorious" to be in the midst of so many people singing, especially when that singing has God at its heart.

Another writer spoke of "cherished tradition." "The one thing people crave is tradition," a fellow by the name of Hemphill wrote of the scheduled song-a-longs. "You know what’s going to happen. It’s like going to a warm, fuzzy place." Although we sing many new songs, the author is right on target. After wearing out a new a capella CD, with its array of new songs, it is intensely refreshing to hear again the old songs of the church. Hemphill described it well in his childhood reference; "…like going to a warm fuzzy place." We have the fortunate experience of enjoying tradition without ritualism in the church. We thrill to the exercising of our heritage without pomp and exhibition. The assembly, with all its acts of Divine Service, is a place of spiritual warmth.

 

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