MUSIC

What is Worship?

Christian worship is the response of God’s redeemed people to His self-revelation that exalts God’s glory in Christ in our minds, affections, and wills, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
— Bob Kauflin

Every part of the Sunday gathering – the singing, the preaching, the Scripture reading, the confession, the praying, the greeting, and everything else – is an act of corporate worship. Singing is one element of that worship.

 

Why DO We Sing?

Singing is a real and tangible expression of loving the Lord with our whole hearts and our whole selves, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
— Keith Getty

Here is a small sample of what Scripture has to say about singing:

Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.
— Psalm 30:4-5
Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants.
— Isaiah 42:10
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
— Colossians 3:16-17
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! ...Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!
— Psalm 47:1, 6-7

Our music is a response to who God is and what he has done for us through Christ. Singing also helps the Word “dwell in [us] richly” as we proclaim gospel truths together in song which stirs our hearts.

 

To Whom Do We Sing?

Worship has three audiences — Our Triune God is both the object of worship and one of its audiences, but the Scriptures also tell us to pay attention to two other audiences—the Gathered Church (Col 3:16, Heb 10:23-24) and the watching world (1 Cor 14:22-40).
— Mike Cosper

We sing praises to God, yet we also sing to building up the church body and to witness to non-Christians with music that presents the gospel of Christ.

 

What Do We Sing?

At UCC, we aim to sing songs with rich theology and musical quality. We sing songs written hundreds of years ago and some written days before a service. The songs should be beautiful and, more importantly, true.

 

What is Congregational Singing?

Christian worship is a collective, communal, congregational practice - and the gathered sound and harmony of a congregation singing as one is integral to the practice of worship. It is a way of ‘performing’ the reality that, in Christ, we are one body.
— James K.A. Smith

We want the congregation to participate in musical worship, so we try to sing mostly familiar songs in comfortable keys, with the congregation’s voice being the most prominent sound.

Singing is ... a privilege, a foretaste of heaven. After all, one day in the future every tribe, language, nation, and people will sing as one congregation before the throne of the risen Lamb. Until then, we find a microcosm of that day in the [comparably] unimpressive form of congregational worship.
— Keith Getty

A special thanks to Jeff Mooney for discussions on this topic and for the helpful material on his church’s website.

 

Join us this Sunday at one of our three locations.

UCC Leppävaara

A family-friendly service located in one of the fastest growing suburbs of the Nordics, with a full range of children and youth classes. Services are a mix of traditional and contemporary.

UCC Otaniemi

Located on the campus of Aalto University in south Espoo, UCC Otaniemi is a small family and student friendly service with a more traditional style of worship.

UCC Helsinki

Located in the heart of downtown Helsinki, near the university of Helsinki campus, UCC Helsinki draws a mix of university students and young adults with its contemporary style of worship.