Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I on Sixteenth Century Blended Worship

Today's Worship Quote comes from the middle of the 16th century, a time of great transition in the history of Christian worship. It appears that the church leaders were trying to achieve a sort of "blending" of worship styles and traditions. Sound familiar?

Meanwhile in England, the Established Church substituted a vernacular prose translation for the Vulgate [Latin] Psalms. This was authorized in the three Prayer Books and was ordered to be read through in the course of a month during Matins and Evensong. Together with this official usage, there grew up the extra-liturgical custom of singing a metrical psalm before and after the prescribed order. This custom, which may possibly be traced to the influence of the returned exiles, appears to have obtained official sanction: for in her Injunctions to the clergy in 1559, Queen Elizabeth directed:

"For the comforting as such as delight in music, it may be permitted that at the beginning or end of Common Prayer, either at Morning or Evening, there may be sung a hymn or such like song to the praise of Almighty God, in the best melody and music that may be devised, having respect that the sentence of the hymn be understood and perceived."

- Queen Elizabeth I, quoted in Horton Davies The Worship of the English Puritans (Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997).


In this case, of course, the hymns and metrical Psalms were considered less formal than the prescribed Prayer Book worship.

Have a great week!

To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.