Should Christians Sing During the Lord’s Supper?

Clem Thurman

I wonder what is next -- singing during prayer or singing during the sermon!? I really don't understand why people think that the Lord's Supper needs some kind of "crutch" or "support" to make it meaningful and relevant to Christians. When the Lord gave the bread and the cup, He said, "This is My body...This is My blood" (Matt. 26:26-28), and He added: "This do in memory of Me" (1 Cor. 11:24,25). Does what the Lord said fail to do what He designed the Lord's Supper to do? The assembly of the church "on the first day of the week to break bread" (Acts 20:7) is to focus our attention on the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice for us. It seems to me, that, if we "dilute" the purpose of the Lord's Supper by focusing on singing, it detracts from what should be our focus.

The Lord's Supper is one of the last remaining parts of individual expression in worship. The prayers are led. The songs are selected and led by someone else for the church. The sermon thoughts are directed by the preacher. And I have no complaint with all that. It is as it should be, for that is what corporate worship is all about. But in the Supper of the Lord, each one of us can "discern the Lord's body" (1 Cor. 11:29). In partaking of the Lord's Supper, I may dwell on the scene of the cross, or the ministering that Jesus did with the poor and helpless or the example of a godly Christian who epitomizes the life of Jesus in His life.

The person choosing a song to use during the Supper can hardly know the mind of each one in the audience, and the song chosen may actually lead one's mind away from the meditation in which one is engaged. And it is strange that in many cases, those who cry for more individual expression in worship are the very ones who try to stifle that in the one part of the worship where it is possible to have it. For me, the symbol of the bread and fruit of the vine are enough to call to mind the body and the blood of Christ.