Congregational participation in corporate worship is in fact a direct application of the biblical doctrine of (and the Reformation re-emphasis on) the priesthood of all believers: unlike Israel, we have no priestly mediators who perform the rituals of worship on our behalf – our great High Priest has, by the offering of Himself as a sacrifice, opened forever the way for us through the veil and into the presence of God (Hebrews 8–10). Thus congregational participation in worship is in itself a powerful testimony to the nature of the New Covenant.
The Singing Congregation
Music is a gift of God ideally suited for the praise of the Creator — in heaven and in the church on earth. The congregation is, as William Rayborn has pointed out, the most important singing group in the church (the wonderful ministry of the choir notwithstanding). Following are some ways the congregation can be brought into a greater participatory role in worship through song: