Below is an excerpt from an explainer I co-wrote with Brent Leatherwood and Travis Wussow for ERLC.com.
For Christians, singing together in corporate worship is about more than entertainment or even tradition. Christians are commanded to sing together, offering their praises unto God, when they gather for worship (Psalm 68:4-5, Col. 3:16). And throughout their long history, the people of God have been a singing people.
In light of COVID-19, the Trump administration earlier this year, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released guidance for churches that encouraged them to “consider temporarily suspending singing, chanting, or shouting during events especially when participants are in close proximity to each other.”
As the COVID-19 outbreak persisted and even escalated in some parts of the country, various state and local authorities have provided directions consistent with the above guidance from the Trump administration. However, there are instances in California and New Mexico where officials have taken actions that move beyond guidance and instead have issued what appear to be bans on singing in worship services.