When reading the Bible, it’s clear that sung praise is an important form of prayer prescribed by Scripture. St. Augustine, the fifth century Bishop of Hippo, North Africa wrote that, “those who sing, pray twice.” Augustine reminds us that the words of our hymns and anthems are prayers and when we sing them, we add a further dimension of honor and praise—we pray twice. In the Old Testament we find that Scripture tells us to “Sing to the Lord” at least fifteen times. In addition, Scripture exhorts God’s people “to make melody to the LORD and to enter His courts in song.” Add the twelve New Testament and you get a pretty good picture of the importance of song to God. In fact, the book of Revelation portrays heaven as continually filled with the songs of the saints. Therefore, we sing at 7th because singing is what the people of God do in God’s presence!
At 7th, we view singing not as a spectator sport. It is something everyone is encouraged to do as the engagement of the whole self in prayer and worship. Hence, song is the gift God has given us to unite our heads and our hearts in praise. Because of this, congregational singing is emphasized at 7th Reformed Church. On any Sunday, the congregation will sing at least 10 hymns during its day of worship with organ accompaniment. John Calvin believed so strongly in the importance of congregational singing that he referred to the singing of God’s People as that of the “first choir.”
Because singing is so vital, several choirs have been organized to assist in our worship services. Importantly, we also train our young people to “praise [God] according to His excellent greatness.” Hence, our children’s choir and chime choir stress strong musical training for a lifetime of praise.