From the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther knew that congregational hymn singing was so important to worship services. He changed the congregational singing from chants sung in Latin to hymns sung in the vernacular. John and Charles Wesley took hymn singing to a new level of importance. They told us that everyone needs to sing with all their energy. Without dynamic hymn singing, worship services lacked energy. They knew that hymns energized a congregation!
This is proven every time we have worship without congregational singing. A recent service was a great example. Pastor Gowing gave an excellent sermon. But we had no singing because of covid restrictions. Actually, I am glad this happened. This experience reinforced my belief about the importance of hymn singing. Yes, we need hymns from different historical periods and in varying styles. But, most important, we need hymns with energy, and we need a singing congregation.
This covid time helps us remember that hymns are an important part of our worship experience. Having the words read helps us focus on the text. When the time is right, we will sing again with all the enthusiasm envisioned by Luther, Calvin, Knox and the Wesleys.