Omit the Third Verse


The whole import and substance of the Bible teaches us that the God who does not need any thing nevertheless desires the adoration and worship of His created children.

Whatever Happened to Worship?, 37.

Worship: Omit the Third Verse

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will
praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my

–Psalm 146:1-2

I suppose it is not of vast importance that the third stanza is
so often omitted in the singing of a hymn, but just for the
record let it be said that the worshipers are deprived of the
blessing of the hymn by that omission if, as is often true, the
hymn develops a great Christian truth in sermonic outline. To
omit a stanza is to lose one link in a golden chain and greatly
to reduce the value of the whole hymn.

The significant thing, however, is not what the omission
actually does, but what it suggests, viz., a nervous impatience
and a desire to get the service over with. We are, for instance,
singing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” We long to forget
the big noisy world and let our hearts go out in reverent
worship of that Prince of Glory who died for us, but our sad
sweet longing is killed in the bud by the brisk, unemotional
voice of the director ordering us to “omit the third verse.” We
wonder vaguely whether the brother is hungry or has to catch an
early train or just why he is so anxious to get through with the
hymn. Since all standard hymns have been edited to delete
inferior stanzas and since any stanza of the average hymn can be
sung in less than one minute…and since many of our best hymns
have already been shortened as much as good taste will allow, we
are forced to conclude that the habit of omitting the third
stanza reveals religious boredom, pure and simple, and it would
do our souls good if we would admit it. The Price of Neglect,

“While we don’t even sing hymns in many of our services today,
this same tendency of which Tozer warns can still be sensed.
Lord, forgive us of our ‘desire to get the service over with,’
and for our ‘religious boredom.’ Amen.”

On this day...

  1. Unshakeable Servant left a comment on June 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    June 29, 2011

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