If you have attended church at Trinity you may be wondering…
Why do we chant the liturgy at Trinity Lutheran Church?
The practice of chanting the liturgy began in the early Christian church. The first Christians were converted Jews who transferred what they knew/experienced from Jewish worship to Christian worship. This included the singing, or cantillation, of scripture readings and prayers — in other words, God’s conversation with us and our conversation with God. Setting these portions of the liturgy to music naturally called attention to them and, in the process, sanctified (set apart) these conversations as special (so listen up!). In time, the practice of chanting expanded to include other portions of the liturgy, including what we refer to as the Ordinary (from ordo, meaning “rule”) of worship (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei).
While scripture is replete with imperatives to sing to God, there is no biblical mandate to chant the liturgy specifically. This is why the practice varies among and within denominations. Still, as it has been famously said, When we sing, we pray twice. Music is itself a language (though wordless) that communicates meaning through emotional expression. When combined with the truths of the Christian faith, musical settings of the liturgy can enhance the devotional character of worship.
Thank you, Susan Benya, Trinity Lutheran Church Music Director for this very informative explanation.
Join us for Sunday morning worship at 9:00 am. We would love to see you!