Activities of singing the scriptures with Chinese rhythm were held in Fujian on December 12, 2021, Chinese Bible Day.
In the early 1990s, China Christian Council & Three-Self Patriotic Movement (CCC&TSPM) set the second Sunday (including Saturday) in December as the Bible Day of Chinese churches.
Sponsored by CCC&TSPM and co-organized by Fujian CC&TSPM and Fujian Theological Seminary (FTS), the 2021 Bible Day activities were launched in the chapel of FTS with the theme of "Rhymes and Verses: Singing the Word out with Chinese Rhythms", according to CCC&TSPM.
Rev. Yue Qinghua, chairman of Fujian CC&TSPM and president of FTS, pointed out that in the early years of the Republic of China, the Bible had been translated into a variety of Fujian dialects and circulated throughout the southeastern Chinese province. Since 2016, Fujian churches had launched three collections of original sacred music works. In this year’s campaign, attendees interpreted God's words in Fujian’s local languages and music.
Rev. Shan Weixiang, vice president and general-secretary of CCC, preached a sermon titled "We Want to Sing Words of God", citing Psalms 119:172 and Colossians 3:16. He stated that as Christianity was a religion of music, believers worshipped God through hymns and music, which helped them remember His word. The theme of the 2019 Bible Day was "Copying the Bible in Chinese Character", and last year’s "Reading the Bible From the Perspective of Chinese People", while activities of singing the scriptures with Chinese rhythm were conducted this year in Fuzhou. Shan finally shared that Christians should not only "copy", "read" or "sing out" the Bible verses, but more importantly, "act out" God's words, which was the foundation foothold for the copying, reading, and singing of the scriptures.
Next, the choir of the seminary performed three hymns to interpret Psalms in a rhythm reflecting Chinese taste. Later, three songs in Southern Fujian dialects were presented, including "The Lord is My Shepherd" from the Minnan singing team of Gulangyu Trinity Church, the solo song "The Heaven Declares God's Glory" from the faculty of FTS, and the chorus "Praise the Lord All Ye People" by the choir of FTS, which combined the characteristics of Han folk songs, Foochow opera, and western tunes.
- Translated by Abigail Wu