excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 148-9 (301 words)

excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 148-9 (301 words)

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Musical letters from Abroad

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The service commenced with quite a long voluntary of ten minutes or more, consisting of an introduction and fugue. The subject of the fugue was, perhaps, a little too chromatic for the dignity of worship, but it was played slowly and with great precision and certainty.

At the close of the voluntary, the minister, followed by the session, entered; the former took his place in the pulpit; the latter took their places in seats appropriated to them, on each side, facing the congregation. The organ then gave out the tune Iosco — the melody was made very prominent, the bass was played by the pedals, and an intermediate figured accompaniment filled up the harmony, producing a fine effect. The hymn, the subject of which was prayer to Jesus for his spirit, was finely sung by the whole assembly, all singing the melody. At the end of the first line of the last stanza, which was doxological, the minister rose in the pulpit, not to find his place in the Bible as if he was in a hurry to cut off the last act of praise, but apparently as an act of reverence, as he kept standing, without any movement, and was soon followed in his example by all the male part of his congregation. A short prayer followed the hymn; then an address (extempore) of four or five minutes; after this the regular morning prayer was read; another hymn was sung as before, and the sermon followed. There were two hymns sung afterwards, making four times singing during the exercises. Here was a very simple, appropriate, devotional service for a Sabbath morning, — almost the same, indeed, as is the religious service in our Presbyterian, Baptist, or Congregational churches, and vastly superior to the Lutheran or English Cathedral repetitions and forms.

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excerpt from 'Musical letters from abroad' pp. 148-9 (301 words)


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