The Theological Foundations Of Music In Worship

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Music has played a prominent role in nearly every service of Christian worship ever conducted-in any culture, period of history, or worship tradition. Music has accompanied every liturgical act, from Entrance rites to sacramental liturgies; it has been used to express every emotion, from grief to joy. It is no surprise, then, that a major portion of this category should be dedicated to discussing the role of music in worship. The following entries include both theoretical and historical...

Music And Musician In The Service Of The Church

Music has great power to both reflect and shape human experience. In worship, as in other activities, music is able to express the most profound thoughts and emotions in ways that words cannot. Music in Christian worship is a powerful-even a risky-force that must be used thoughtfully, imaginatively, and prayerfully.

The Functions Of Music In Worship

Music in worship serves many purposes and manifests itself in a variety of expressions. It is used both to praise God and to proclaim the Word; it both expresses prayer and relates the Gospel story. This article examines the various functions of music in worship and describes their implication for the church musician, who is the leader of the people's song.

The Difference Between Concert Music And Music For Worship

Although the technical aspects of music are the same for concert and worship music, the function and purpose of music in these settings is different. Understanding these differences is important for church musicians, ultimately changing the criteria by which music is selected and influencing the way in which music is rehearsed and presented.

The Place Of Praise In Worship

Worship in the praise-and-worship tradition is based on the assumption that praise is not identical to worship. Praise is the prelude to worship, our entrance into God's presence, which is the locus of true worship. This article describes this distinction.

Philosophy Of Music In Roman Catholic Worship

Roman Catholic directives in music have restored a sung liturgy and developed a liturgical role for music. What is true in Catholic circles is also true among other liturgical communities. The goal of music in worship is the text of the liturgical service.

Philosophy Of Music In Lutheran Worship

Among Protestant churches, the Lutheran tradition has the richest heritage of music for worship. It is based on the assumption that music is a profound means by which we enter God's presence and render our liturgy of thanksgiving to God. Bringing together insights first developed by Martin Luther and practices that have grown out of almost 500 years of Lutheran worship, this article describes why and how music is used in Lutheran worship.

Philosophy Of Music In Reformed Worship

Although the Reformed tradition has been more restrictive about the use of music in worship than the Lutheran tradition, it nevertheless highly values the role of music in worship. This article describes emphases important in the Reformed tradition, largely in terms of the writings of Reformer John Calvin.

Philosophy Of Music In Free Church Worship

Music in free worship is not bound to the text of worship itself, but appears here and there as separate, special, occasional, and incidental to the order of worship. This approach has led to a wide divergence or practice among churches.

Philosophy Of Music In Praise-and-worship Tradition

Praise music emerged from the revival atmosphere of the Jesus Movement and the charismatic movement of the mid-1960s. Its purpose is to make singing relevant to the worship experience of the believers. It is designed to express the renewed spiritual fervor of those who are rediscovering their personal faith in a personal God.

Philosophy Of Music In The Charismatic Tradition

Unique to music in the charismatic worship is what is known as "singing in the Spirit. " This form of music is characterized by a spontaneous response to the work of the Spirit in the worship service. It is based on a theology that emphasizes the dynamic and ongoing presence of the Spirit among believers.

Philosophy Of Music In African-american Worship

Music in black churches an is exuberant celebration of Jesus Christ and realization of the power of the Spirit. It is necessarily shaped by the unique experience of black Christians and emphasizes themes-such as the need for liberation in Christ-important to this experience.

A Roman Catholic Document: Music In Catholic Worship Part I

In 1972, a committee appointed by the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions examined post-Vatican II documents on worship and music and issued the following document, Music in Catholic Worship, a revision of the earlier document The Place of Music in Eucharistic Celebrations. This document includes a thorough discussion of theological issues related to liturgical music, along with guidelines for planning music for worship, especially for services that include the Eucharist.

An Anglican Document On Music In Worship: In Tune With Heaven

The following paragraphs are selected from the 1992 report of the Anglican Archbishops' Commission on Church Music, the third such report issued in the twentieth century. These paragraphs, here identified by the paragraph numbers used in the full report, outline theological considerations for the use of music in worship and reflect a convergence of worship styles within the Anglican communion.

The Relationship Of Church Music And Culture

Throughout history, the church has related to the culture in which it exists in very different ways, choosing in some cases to oppose cultural developments and in others to adopt them to a greater or lesser extent. Such variety is certainly evident with regard to the contemporary church's response to cultural developments in music.

Popular Culture And Congregational Song

Over the past generation, congregational song has been influenced by developments in popular music in an unprecedented way. This article describes this phenomenon and raises some important philosophical questions that arise out of it.

The Issue Of Contemporary Christian Music In Worship

One of the largest repertories of Christian music developed in recent years is the genre known as Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). This music unites texts that express aspects of the Christian faith with a variety of popular musical styles, including rock. This article describes some philosophical perspectives relating to this genre and its use in worship.

Music In The Multicultural Church

Many congregations today consist of people from a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Music in worship is one means by which this rich cultural diversity can be expressed. This article challenges congregations to sing the music of many cultures in worship.

A Paradigm For The Church Music Of The Future

This chapter has presented a variety of ideas and ideals about music for use in worship. This article describes one approach for synthesizing many of these ideas, an approach especially suited for charismatic churches. Based on Paul's references to "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs," this article argues for a balanced and visionary approach to the use of music in worship.