Today With Luther: His view of Large Churches, and Singing in Them

luther_wartburgAfterward there was mention of large churches which are not suited to preaching. “Cologne has a cathedral [Martin Luther said] that is so large that it has four rows of columns, each row consisting of twenty columns. These are extraordinary buildings, but they aren’t suitable for listening to sermons. Good, modest churches with low arches are the best for preachers and for listeners, for the ultimate object of these buildings is not the bellowing and bawling of choristers but the Word of God and its proclamation. The cathedral of St. Peter in Rome and the cathedrals in Cologne and Ulm are very large but inappropriate.”

I love Luther’s “the ultimate object of these buildings is not the bellowing and bawling of choristers but the Word of God and its proclamation

Bellowing and bawling.  No phrase has ever captured the true nature of most of what passes for singing in churches better.

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