In 1912, a member of the Church and Religion Forward Movement complained that trained choirs were replacing congregational singing and were becoming a form of religious entertainment. He added
What is worse than that is this: That in this tendency to aestheticism, we have brought within the pale of the church—may we blush for it—a kind of vaudeville. We have brought instrumentalities that have no rightful place there, that are a disgrace to the church. Thank God the time has come when a righteous public opinion has risen to smite this method of interpreting the dignity and the message and the glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We must away with these things. We must have within the church the things that are decent and well-ordered, whether they are interpreted through a beautiful liturgy or a dignified, extemporaneous service.
Hear, hear! Because all too often I have to hear a celebrant who obviously missed his vocation as a Las Vegas night club host and musicians who couldn’t make it in the club scene.