Free Church to allow hymns and instruments
Following a special Plenary assembly (17/18 Nov 2010) to discuss the issue of sung praise, the Free Church of Scotland has decided to allow for the singing of hymns and the use of musical instruments in its congregations.
The Free Church of Scotland, at a special Plenary Assembly which took place on 17th and 18th November, decided to give liberty to its congregations to sing hymns and use instruments if individual kirk sessions so choose.
The special Assembly, which consisted of all its ministers with an equal number of elders, met in Edinburgh and debated over whether to overturn the 100 year old prohibition which has identified the Free Church as a psalm singing church.
The debate over its form of worship has lasted for the last five years since the moderator at that time, Rev Donald Smith questioned the prohibition of musical instruments in its services.
The main motion which came from the church’s Board of Trustees sought to retain the “status quo” which is the ”avoidance of uninspired materials of praise and musical instruments” but give more flexibility in understanding as to what is meant by that. But this motion was opposed by Rev Alex Macdonald who proposed that the Free Church give liberty to individual congregations to sing scriptural hymns as well as psalms if their elders so chose.
The debate which lasted Thursday evening and most of Friday, was harmonious throughout. Rev Macdonald’s motion carried by a majority of 98 to 84.
Read Free Church statement by clicking here.