NOTEworthy: With a Voice of Singing

With a Voice of Singing

Martin Shaw

“With a Voice of Singing” by Martin Shaw is an absolute Choral Classic just nearing its 100th anniversary. Written by the self proclaimed “cockney” composer in 1923, it quickly became a staple of the Anglican Church repertoire, and outwards from there ever since. You would be hard pressed to find a church choir musician who has not sung or heard the piece.

I think I would be in the majority if I were to say that reading Deuteronomy does not give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. A book of declarations, of “Thou Shalt’s” and “Thou Shalt Not’s,” it is a book that tempts many Christians to be a bit legalistic with their faith. This week’s passage from Deuteronomy 6:4-25 falls right in line with that expectation of the book.

However, before the long list of specific commandments and promises, in verse 5, the writer of Deuteronomy penned, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Sounds a lot like what Jesus listed as the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:35-38.

Now, I am by no means an Old Testament Scholar, so, rather than offer any more exegesis on this text, I would like to offer another Commandment for you consider:

With a voice of singing declare ye this, and let it be heard, Alleluia!
Utter it even unto the ends of the earth. The Lord hath delivered His people, Alleluia!
O be joyful in God, all ye lands.
O sing praises to the honor of His name, make His praise to be glorious.

We know God to be good – let the world know through joy and praise!

Andy Eaton
Director of Music
First Presbyterian Church