Music In Worship

1892 Words 8 Pages
In Psalm 149:3, the psalmist writes, “Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp.” This scripture verse encapsulates the overall sentiments of music found in the church and worship throughout history. Music, to both the historical and modern day church, is a vehicle used in worship to praise God and deepen the worship experience through corporate worship. Because of this, music in worship is viewed as a precious experience, a spiritual endeavour, and an essential function of the church. However, because of these strong sentiments towards music and the relationship that has been formed between music and worship, the ways in which the church has experienced great uncertainty and debate over how to produce …show more content…
Whether it was songs of deliverance, songs of lament, or songs of thanksgiving, music, specifically singing and dance, acted as a way for God’s people to worship and experience the glory of God. Therefore, it is no surprise that churches today still hold similar biblical mentalities and use music an extension of worship and even a mandate from God. Music, for early Christians and specifically Roman Catholics, tended to be more simplistic, sung in Latin, typically by a priest or clergyman, and included very few, if not any, instrumental accompaniment. As a result, music was seen as incredibly sacred, having spiritual power that should be respect and thus sung only by high figures of the church, creating a disconnect between congregational participation and the church. However, during the Protestant Reformation, music’s role in worship began to shift dramatically. Although music was still viewed as sacred and to still contain immense spiritual power, music vocal point shifted and began to be seen as more interactive, expressive, and even to contain more worldly, or secular, components. By incorporating more of the congregation in singing, using more popular melodies to accompany the hymns, as well as using more instrumentals, worship music became increasingly inclusive, using more “ordinary people” and “simple plainsong” within the church services (Bethke …show more content…
Through my fieldwork at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, I discovered a church with a unique approach to religious music. Instead looking at secular and sacred music by question either sides’ legitimacy, they collectively decided to incorporate both genres of music. Trinity did not simply acknowledged the boundary between sacred and secular, but embraced it. After spending over a month at Trinity and observing their worship team’s rehearsals and services, talking with the faculty, as well as examining the atmosphere of corporate worship, I found a church that actively blended the boundaries between sacred and secular music. The most apparent way in which they accomplished this was through their production of “Bifrost Arts.” Bifrost Arts is a religious organization created by Isaac Wardell, the “Director of Worship Arts” at Trinity, and other musicians both in and outside of the church. Although Bifrost Arts still produces “religious music” and is considered devotional and contemplative, it also incorporates popular styles, melodies, and genres of popular music such as indie and folk. Bifrost Arts, as a result, caters to both the Christian community as well as outside community as its “success exists outside of the Christian Music Industry” as well, targeting both the internal congregation and the external

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