The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence
Bethany Lutheran Church.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Ben Wink has left a new comment on your post "The Fault Does Not Lie in the Stars, But in Us":
When going over what we wanted for our wedding service, my wife and I never gave a second thought to having hymns sung. We understood that this was above all else a worship service with the focus on the Lord and the Means of Grace. We made sure that the hymn stanzas were in the worship bulletin and the hymn numbers were clearly marked if someone wished to follow along in the hymnal instead. We wished to use the wedding service as a testimony to the Christian faith we both shared. We wanted others to know how the Lord would be the foundation of the life and home we would share together. What better way than to use traditional Lutheran hymns to display that?
We didn't force anyone to sing along. If someone was uncomfortable, at the very least they could read the stanzas. Perhaps these comforting Christian words could create an opening for the Holy Spirit. With the numerous weddings I've attended, if you don't know what the soloist is singing, you pay even less attention and you don't even have the words printed in front of you. Just having a soloist by definition guarantees no congregational participation in worship. At least we encouraged our guests in the congregation to participate and could read along.
Hymns have a place in all worship services and are a rich liturgical tradition. To omit hymns being sung by the congregation just for the sake of making people unfamiliar with liturgy comfortable is a sad line of thinking. Why stop there? Omit hymns at all instances where the congregation is made up of guests then. Don't have them at funerals or Easter or even Christmas.
Weddings are a worship service. The Lord is the focus. I don't know what one would be expecting entering a church for a service, but we never gave a second thought to having hymns sung at our wedding.