Re: Music at Theocratic Events

by pixel 30 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • pixel

    This is a crappy letter from The Watchtower. I'm only posting it to show how micro-managers these fools are. And at the end, they say: "We should avoid making specific rules about somewhat technical matters". But this is what this stupid letters IS in the first place!

    It is definitively a cult!

    Dear Brothers:

    This letter replaces the letter dated March 27, 2008, to all bodies of elders on the same
    subject. Paragraphs 6 and 7 of this letter contain updated information regarding the music played
    before and after congregation meetings and before assembly and convention sessions.

    A number of reports have been received indicating that some congregations consistently
    play the music for singing so softly that it is difficult for some to sing in a heartfelt manner. In
    other cases, it appears that the volume of the music is normally so loud that it drowns out the
    voices of the congregation. The brothers who operate the sound system in the Kingdom Hall are
    encouraged to avoid both extremes. Some thought must be given as to how this can be accomplished.

    Brothers assigned to operate sound systems must take seriously the fact that instrumental
    music is rightly featured in true worship, whether it is played to be listened to or used as an accompaniment
    to singing. Music and song are gifts of God by which Jehovah’s faithful servants
    can render praise and thanksgiving as well as give expression to deep emotions of both sorrow
    and joy. Jehovah’s angels have raised their voices in poetic expressions of praise upon observing
    the wondrous works of our magnificent Creator. (Job 38:7; Luke 2:8-14) The Bible record shows
    clearly the wide range of expression in music and song. Consider, for example, the triumphant
    song of victory on the lips of Moses and the sons of Israel on their being delivered from the
    Egyptian military forces at the Red Sea, or the numerous prayers and supplications of David set
    to music in the Bible book of Psalms. Also, give thought to what would have been the tenor and
    tone of the singing of Jesus and his eleven faithful apostles at the conclusion of the Lord’s Evening
    Meal and before going out to the Mount of Olives.—Matt. 26:30, ftn.

    It is important to take note of the tenor and tempo of our Kingdom songs. Some of them
    are expressions of fervent prayer to Jehovah, thanksgiving, or heartfelt supplication, while the
    words of others remind us of our Christian responsibilities. Some songs are written to bring comfort.
    Others reassure us of Jehovah’s protection and the promised reward for faithfulness. All of
    us enjoy raising our voices in singing the lively encouragement to remain steadfast and to keep
    busy serving Jehovah, declaring his glory, and making new disciples.

    So it is that a little increased volume may be appropriate for full-throated singing of the
    lively, more vigorous songs. However, many prayerful expressions would naturally be rendered
    with a somewhat softer voice and perhaps with slightly less volume. Keep in mind that the music
    is to lead those singing the song. The important thing for the brothers who handle the sound
    equipment is to remain always alert and attentive to their assigned responsibilities in this matter.

    Bodies of elders should make arrangements to play Kingdom songs over the sound system
    before and after congregation meetings. Such music should not be allowed to drown out
    or overshadow the interchange of encouragement that comes from Christian association and theocratic

    The situation is different at assemblies and conventions. Prerecorded musical preludes
    are provided for use at the start of each session. These are part of the program, and are usually
    ten minutes in duration. The purpose of these preludes is not to provide background music for
    conversations and association. Instead, they are a means to indicate that the large crowd should
    end their conversations and be seated. Sitting and quietly listening to the music also helps us to
    prepare our mind and heart to absorb the spiritual program to follow. The prelude is considered
    part of our worship, similar to the singing of the assigned songs at these events. Hence, the volume
    should be at a higher level than the volume of the background music that congregations play
    before and after their weekly meetings. The prelude music should initially be loud enough to be
    heard clearly over the conversations that have been in progress. As the audience settles into their
    seats and listens to the music, the volume level may be lowered so as not to overpower the now
    quiet and attentive audience. Good judgment must be used to accomplish the purpose of the prelude
    music while ensuring that it is not uncomfortably loud. The session chairman should enthusiastically
    invite the audience to be seated to listen to the prelude music.

    If on occasion there are different opinions as to the application of what has been set forth
    in this letter, no individual should resort to forcing his personal opinion on others. All matters are
    to be resolved by the local elders or, in the case of assemblies and conventions, the brothers responsible
    for oversight of the program.

    May you find these comments both helpful and encouraging. We should avoid making
    specific rules about somewhat technical matters. However, if we understand the spirit to be displayed
    on every occasion with regard to the use of music in our worship of Jehovah, this will assist
    us greatly in determining what is appropriate. Similar principles could be applied to other
    public and private gatherings of Jehovah’s true worshippers, such as wedding receptions, dinners,
    and other social occasions. Of course, at all times and under all circumstances, our endeavor
    is to do all things for God’s praise and glory.—1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17.

    Be assured of our warm Christian love and greetings.

  • sir82

    I honestly thought this was one of those parody letters at first, but no, this is legit - it was posted recently to JW dot org.

    I'm a little surprised they didn't indicate the exact decibel level.

    The letter is sad enough...but to me, it is even sadder that there will elders who will treat this missive as so, so important. There will be BOE meetings on this, meetings with "sound attendants", maybe even a local needs part incorporating parts of this, elders glaring at people having a conversation during the "prelude" for the circuit assembly, etc.

  • punkofnice
    May you find these comments both helpful and encouraging.

    By the cringe, these bozos get worse. Yes, you're right micromanagement.

  • wifibandit
    Thanks pixel! For the curious, here is the March 27, 2008 BOE that got replaced.
  • pixel
    Thanks wifibandit!
  • Splash

    I guess that when you have given your thinking abilities wholesale to someone else, you should expect this level of control and interference.

    Anyone with a functioning ear should be able to tell when music is too loud or too quiet, but no, Jehovah's people are not even up to that basic task.

    No wonder they don't have TV's at home, they don't have the skills needed to set the volume correctly.


    How can people be so F****ING stupid?!?! Seriously?!?!! Kids are being molested and THIS f****ing watchtarded letter is written???


  • hoser

    I'm a little surprised they didn't indicate the exact decibel level.

    It would be easier for the poor bastard running the music if they did. What a crappy job. No matter how you put the sound levels someone is always complaining.
  • the comet
    the comet
    This actually makes sense and is pretty standard for most businesses with franchises. They want the music to be the same volume at all their stores, so send out a memo to all stores telling them what volume to play the music at. Things make much more sense when I think of them as just a run of the mill corporation.
  • Hold Me-Thrill Me
    Hold Me-Thrill Me

    Listen Robot, Listen.

    Jump Robot, Jump.

    Give Robot, Give.

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