A pithy summary from R. de la Broise, Bossuet and the Bible, 1890, pp. 160-1:
“To preach the word of God, to go hear the word of God,” these are the expressive words of the Christian language. They neatly outline one of the distinct characteristics of preaching, one of the points which make the genre absolutely proper to Christianity, and nothing else in antiquity corresponds to it. In the Christian Church, the Bible is the “word of God,” and the preacher is only its herald and interpreter; his first duty is to know it well, to also know well the most established commentaries, and to transmit it without alteration or corruption; his originality, to distribute it a propos, to take from this bottomless treasure that which meets the circumstances and the hearer, to make heard from this divine word justly what is necessary, and from there appropriate applications.
Jack Miffleton started out at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. That shouldn’t be strange to regulars on this blog: it was also the starting point of the trio who produced Songs for the Masses. It’s a pedigree that has largely been forgotten. And that’s sad; this is a good folk production that needs a revival.
The title wouldn’t pass muster in this obsessive day of ours, but the “skins” part refers to percussion, something that didn’t always pass muster in a day when percussion was thought in some quarters to be secular at best and pagan at worst. But Miffleton and his musicians make good use of it; the album is reminiscent, more than anything else, of God Unlimited, although some of the pieces echo The Keyhole as well. There are some very powerful pieces on the album (“Cry Alice.”) The Mass propers are at a minimum here.