This document does not supersede or take precedence over documentation presented by the UIL. A solo that I think is an excellent choice for the PML is not on the list. How do I go about asking that it be included?
Sparks, at the Office of the Churchman, THE publication of an advertisement offering a premium for "the best approved tract adapted to promote the general cultivation and the highest devotional and spiritual influence of Church Music," implies, on the part of those who set it forth, a two-fold conviction.
It may be safely inferred that they are of opinion that Church Music is not "generally cultivated," and that what is cultivated has not such a "devotional and spiritual influence" as such an essential part of Divine Service ought to possess. That these positions are irrefragable, may well occasion serious thought; and it is a no less melancholy consideration that they have a reciprocal bearing, constantly tending to aggravate the evil which they express.
Church Music is not generally cultivated because what is in use is, for the greater part, not calculated to assist devotion, not capable of exerting any thing but a repulsive influence upon either the heart or the understanding, the animal or the intellectual faculties of man--in other words, because it is not good: A good preliminary step has been taken by the originators of the advertisement before referred to, and I for one heartily bid them "God speed.
To limit the essay within reasonable bounds, I shall confine myself at present to this latter kind, viz. Church Music may be again distributed into Choral, viz. And here we approach a topic, upon which, as there is much misunderstanding and erroneous principle prevalent, it will be well to dilate a little.
A notion, false and groundless as a pagan dogma, is yet entertained by many worthy and pious people, that all the singing introduced in Divine Service should be of such a nature as to permit all persons present to unite in its performance; a notion unsupported alike by reason and common sense, by the analogy of the case, by the authority of Holy Scripture, and by the usage of the Christian Church in all ages.
The use of music of some kind in Holy Offices being recognized by all sects and denominations, with the unimportant exception of the Quakers and cognate enthusiasts, it were irrational and absurd to confine it to its simplest and least engaging forms; thus either relinquishing all the higher and nobler developements of this fascinating and peculiarly sacred science to worldly and profane uses, or virtually condemning them to total extinction.
How much better, how much more reasonable is it, that they to whom the gift of exquisite musical talent has been entrusted, and for the use or abuse of which they will hereafter have to render their solemn account, should be encouraged to improve and consecrate it to the service of our common Lord and Saviour, than that they should be thus compelled to hide it in a napkin, or bury it in the earth of cold neglect!
But it were absolutely preposterous to suppose that, in this advancing age, the elegant refinements of scientific music either can be or ought to be blotted out from the number of pursuits and occupations of civilized man. The Church may reject them, but the great adversary of the Church is ever ready to avail himself of them and convert them into engines of destruction.
Whose then will be the responsibility, if immortal souls are wiled to perdition by those very means which the Church had at command but supinely refused to put in requisition? And so much for the common sense view of the matter.
Now, if for a moment we turn to the argument from analogy, we shall find much to support the view here taken, and little indeed to countenance the opposite. That singing is a Christian duty, is conceded pretty well upon all hands. But so also is praying.
It will not be pretended that the latter is not fully as binding upon every member of the Church as the former; neither will any sane man presume to assert that the one is not as imperative a congregational duty as the other. Let us inquire then how the duty of public prayer is performed. In those religious communities which employ a liturgy or form, we shall find three modes of public prayer.
There are prayers audibly pronounced by the clergyman alone, others repeated by the people, and a third kind in which both clergyman and people unite. And this is analogous to what it is humbly apprehended is the proper and legitimate application of Church Music, according to which a congregation would sometimes be edified by the exhibition of the consecrated skill of some tasteful singer or well trained choir, and at other times unite with him and them in rapturous ascriptions of praise to the Triune God, adapted to a plain and simple tune, in which--and in which alone--all could join.
In the English Cathedral service, as also in that of the Roman Catholics, the clergyman or priest occasionally chaunts by himself, and in many instances most effective choirs are kept up for the performance of the daily music of the Church: The days are gone by wherein the thrilling sound occasioned by five or six thousand people singing a psalm at St.
But the analogy is most perfectly carried out by the United Brethren or Moravians.
Amongst them, congregational singing of the best, because of the simplest, possible description, is delightfully general; yet they gladly encourage the cultivation of musical talent by employing, particularly at the great festivals of the Church, disciplined choirs and even full orchestral bands, in the performance of anthems and other pieces of the highest order of scientific composition.
In their liturgical services they admit all the modes of singing before enumerated, sometimes the officiating minister chaunting alone, the choir responding it may be, or the congregation; then the choir and people interchanging verses of appropriate import, now and then perhaps relieved by a lino or a verse for women or for children alone; and thus are brought into use almost all conceivable varieties, from the solemn intonation of a single voice, to the resounding doxology bursting from the lips of the whole assembly.
Now this example cannot be lightly pretermitted or cast aside; for, in the Moravian Church must be recognized not only an orthodox but an eminently pious body of men, sound in the faith, spiritual in their walk and conversation, and of primitive simplicity in their manners.
But there are other Christian bodies, and some of these may say "We do not admit forms or liturgies, and therefore nothing that has yet been advanced applies to us. It would perhaps be rather out of place here to draw from the premises an argument for the use of set forms of worship: But let that pass, seeing that these very parties with the exception of the Quakers, the most formal informalists in the world do tacitly recognize musical forms, and it is no part of the business on hand to inquire into their consistency in so doing.
Instead of that, we will again take up the case of prayer, when it will be found that the argument from analogy is if possible stronger in this case than it was in the preceding. How then do those sections of the Christian Church to which allusion has just been made perform this important and fundamental duty?The Department of Human Resources serves as the point of contact for new hire processing, benefits inquiries, orientation, and the development of special programs designed to improve the employment experience of faculty and staff.
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