Is the Traditional Better?

My church still has a traditional form of worship, where the congregation stands and sings together to the grand organ with pipes dominating the front of the church. Each member of the congregation is holding a hymnal, robustly singing the same anthems that we have for all of our lives.

There is no minister of music with a microphone in hand singing over us; no television screen with the same simple lyrics to sing over and over and over. There is no band playing too loud; there is a robed choir, which has the best singers in the church. . . just chancel and congregational singing and hearing from God through great composers such as Charles Wesley and Isaac Watts.

There are no windowless walls with the lights low, no flashing lights or smoke from the stage. There are beautiful stained-glass windows, depicting Biblical scenes and reflecting light shining gloriously over God’s people and there are grand arches soaring high above and beautiful antique chandeliers hanging lofty over our heads.

So it has been since I was a boy attending the same church with my family, little has changed, except there are few, sometimes no, boys and girls. More often than not there are no children to come forward for the children’s sermon, even though the moment is still listed in the program. The boys and girls are now hoary-headed.

During worship my mind often goes back to the mid-20th Century, when I was a child and sat beside my parents and brothers and sister in the same pews. The pews were not cushioned then. Yet, the pews were much fuller with saints most of whom are now singing in the heavenly choir; sometimes I can almost hear their voices. I remember serving as an acolyte but now the acolyte is another one of those hoary heads!

Silently, I take solace in knowing the Proverb, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”—16:31

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