To Sing is to Pray Twice

“To sing is to pray twice” is often attributed to St. Augustine, but just as I’ve seen different versions of the quote, I’ve also seen it variously attributed to Martin Luther and anonymous sources. Whoever said it first, and how ever we put it—“the one who sings prays twice,” or “singing is praying twice,” or some other variation—the point is that music can be a form of prayer.

These days the following two videos have me praying twice.

First a creative, a capella take on roughly 1500 years of worship music dating from about 560 to 2017. These songs are still sung today, and have been selected and turned into a medley by David Wesley of Cobourg, Ontario. He describes himself as a “self-producing artist creating multi-track magic in my basement to share the gospel and have a little fun on the side.”

I can’t say I’ve sung all of these songs in worship, but maybe you have. . . . How many of these songs do you know?

This next song was written by Paulist Father Ricky Manalo and Bob Hurd, and sung here by Chris Brunelle, a choir director and music minister who produces his videos not for performance but for instructional purposes. I came across this song a few months ago when I was looking for a song to go with a sermon on Romans 12:1-2 on the mercies of God, and it’s stayed with me since then.


Writing/Reflection Prompt: What songs lead you to pray twice?

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2 thoughts on “To Sing is to Pray Twice

  1. I appreciate your two videos this morning, “singing is praying twice. ” I did know most of them but not as familiar with the latest choruses 2014 & on. Music can be so worshipful & I grew up in a musical family so is my first love when meditating.
    Thank you for all your work.

  2. Thank you, April! Love that saying “ to sing is to pray twice.” That is certainly true for me, I always feel closest to God after I’ve sung my prayers, and there are so many wonderful hymns to choose from our rich Christian heritage! It sounds like something Martin Luther would have said, as he loved to sing. Really enjoyed the music you provided as well!

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