In Splendid Song

It's always a good time for singing.

[The angels] proclaimed and exalted him without cease, as was fitting,
and gave thanks to the Lord in splendid song –
out of love and free will, not simply from inborn nature.

  - Colum Cille, Altus Prosator, Irish, 6th century[1]

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

  - Revelation 5.11, 12

The angels in heaven sing to the Lord, but not just because that’s what angels do – like wolves or coyotes, baying at the moon because that’s what wolves and coyotes do.

The angels and all the host of heaven – all those saints who have already arrived in glory – sing to Him because they choose to, so filled are they with admiration, wonder, gratitude, love, and joy. They cannot contain themselves, but the love they have for the Lord spills out in ceaseless splendid song to exalt their Creator and Lord.

What’s more, they delight to sing to the Lord. They find singing His praises a very pleasant and enjoyable activity (Ps. 135.3), and so they sing with gusto, and continuously. Singing the praises of God, celebrating His greatness, goodness, wisdom, power, love, and all the rest in song, is a way of entering the pleasure and joy of the Lord, which He takes in Himself. The Lord dwells in the midst of the praises of His people (Ps. 22.3), and when we praise Him, we can know Him more truly present with us.

Singing God’s praises is like entering one of those revolving doors. Revolve is what those doors do, and so, as you enter it, its momentum carries you forward and through.

And singing out of love and free will is what they do who long to know the joy and pleasure of the Lord. Begin singing the praises of God, and they will draw you into His Presence, and you will find yourself in the midst of shining company, delighting in the very thing we, sadly, so infrequently do.

The Members of the eternal Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – constitute a spiritual society of mutual admiration that is always glorious, pure, true, and joyful. When we sing praises to the Lord, we enter that joyful society, right along with the saints and angels, and so we know the joy of the Lord as we participate in Him.

Believers who are not inclined to sing to the Lord are missing a sure way to realize more of His pleasure and joy, and to strengthen the bonds of their relationship with Him.

God commands us to sing. He has given us ample reasons to break forth in joyous song. He provided an entire book of songs for us to use in praising Him! The saints from every age before ours were much more engaged in singing than we in our day tend to be. We have lost the joy and power of singing to the Lord as an integral part of our regimen of spiritual disciplines.

It was reported of the Cherokee nation, a great Christian people, ruthlessly uprooted from their native land and marched 1,000 miles west, that as they trudged along in the midst of their sorrow, they could be heard singing, “Lead on, O King eternal,/we follow, not with fears,/For gladness breaks like morning/where’er Thy face appears.” Here was a community of believers who truly understood the power and value of singing to the Lord.

Singing is one of the evidences that we are filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5.18-21). For just that reason, they who sing often to the Lord, making a joyful noise to their Savior and King, are apt to find the Spirit of God making Himself right at home in so agreeable an environment.

Why not make singing to the Lord a part of your daily discipline of knowing and enjoying Him? I mean today, right now, beginning with the excerpt printed below. Make it a point to find some celebration of the Lord that you can sing heartily to Him throughout the day, and let that singing – as it joins with saints and angels – revolve you right into the pleasure and joy of the Lord Himself.

Psalm 96.1-4 (Mit Freuden Zart: All Praise to God Who Reigns Above)
Sing to the Lord! O bless His Name! All nations tell His glory!
Salvation’s tidings loud proclaim; let earth rehearse His story!
For God is greatly to be praised; His throne above all gods is raised –
Fear Him, and sing His glory!

Lead me to sing Your praises today, Lord, so that I may…

Come on and sing!

The melodies in The Ailbe Psalter are from familiar hymn tunes, and can enable you to sing the psalms throughout the day. What better place to begin in singing the Lord’s praises than with His own words? You can order The Ailbe Psalter by clicking here.

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Susie and I give thanks for you each day, for your friendship, support, and collaboration in this work. God supplies our needs as we look to Him day by day, and He may be pleased to do so, at least in part, through you. Please seek Him in prayer concerning this matter. You can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

T. M. Moore
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All psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Carey, p. 37.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore