Monday, April 30, 2007

Where Did Selah Go?

Originally uploaded by podso.
I took my mother to her old church yesterday. It's a big church in a beautiful building. I opened my eyes during the prayer––I confess––and what to my wandering eyes did appear––but musicians and others scurrying around the platform. Getting themselves ready for the next thing. (And probably not focusing on God in prayer.) The second syllable of "Amen" was barely out of the pastor's mouth before music broke forth in full force. Apparently we have so much to include in a service we can't waste a "nano second." It's not this church alone, it seems to be a trend in all churches.

I don't like to be one who recalls and compares to the old days ... but there is something to be said for a pause, a "selah," so indeed, one can pause and meditate. Yes, in the old days, after a prayer, for instance, there would be quiet, the rustling of pew sitters changing position, while a quartet or soloist made its way to the pulpit to sing (yes, a lot used to go on "behind" the pulpit). Back then they even had a book to sing from, and, I might add, the harmony was beautiful.

Technology has probably enabled crammed-full worship services. There is just so much we can include. And we are almost out of breath by the time we settle in to listen to the preacher. I think my vote, not that anyone is asking, is to slow things up a tad and have room for more "Selah."


  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  2. Anonymous5:09 PM

    I totally understand about the seemingly rush to fit everything in a service. That is one thing that drives me nuts about our church. We sing one song and need to sit down for the next part. I long to sing 2 -3 songs one after another and not rush!


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