Reading a magazine about music I found that today on October 1, in 1555 Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was appointed as choir master to St. John Lateran. This is important not just for musicians in particular but for worshipers in general. The reason is that in this position Palestrina created the finest music for church than anybody before him and all his pieces were dedicated to God. His compositions are pictures in sound that help the soul of the worshipers to meditate in God’s presence. Palestrina used a style of music called “A Capella” which is singing without instruments, thus the worshipers (and singers) will focus on the lyrics, normally a biblical text, and not on the instruments; they can pray through music. We, as worshipers of the new covenant, must focus on what we sing rather than a familiar melody. Yes, we can enjoy a familiar tune and teach a deep truth through melodies, but our mind needs to pay attention to the words.
I want you to try something: read the lyrics of your favorite hymn without singing the melody. Probably it will be hard, but it is worth it to try. Focus on what the author says in those words, and you will find a deep biblical truth. Yes, we will continue singing psalm, hymns and spiritual songs, but our goal, as a church, is that these three types of poetry/music are based in the word of God. Because we believe in Sola Scriptura, we will sing The Word. May the Lord raise more musicians as Palestrina, musicians that want to focus on the lyrics to glorify God and teach the Word.
In His service,