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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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With a hymn and a prayer

Meditating on the words of carols

With apologies to Paul, who long ago advised us to "be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves" (Ephesians 5:18-19), we have to admit we first thought about hymn singing as a spiritual practice when we came across some instructions in the front of a hymnal.

John Wesley, who founded Methodism in the 18th century (with the help of his brother, Charles, a hymn text writer) wrote: "Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Sing modestly. ... strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound."


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December issue

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