Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Opus 2016-171: Mystery Music

How do you cross the culture divide between the musical tastes of the old and the young?  Churches across the nation are struggling with this.  In the past two weeks I have seen two approaches.  One works better for me.

Last week we had a hymn sung in which the musicians had taken the words to a well known piece and put it to new music.  Musicians have a need to express themselves and sometimes their ego gets in the way.  The original song was written as a march.  The words lend themselves to the idea of the church triumphant.  It had a strong, singable melody that worked well.  They felt a need to redo it in their image and took the march and turned it into a ballad.  It is hard to march to a ballad.  Ballads make you want to sit back and feel.  Marches make you want to get up and do.  It was not an improvement.

I also find it hard to pick up the music.  Much of the new stuff is rather boring, to be honest.  I am sure that in time I could learn it.  I might even get used to it.  There is a rare chance that I might like it but I don’t think it is going to happen because I don’t think it will stand the test of time.  Of course some of the old stuff was boring too.

This week we had the opposite approach.  The words on the screen were unfamiliar.  When it is a song I don’t know I usually listen through the first verse to try to get a feel for the music.  As they began singing I realized I knew the melody.  They had taken a known melody and written new words.  I was able to join in the singing right away.  Sometimes this does not work because the person writing the new music only thinks they understand rhythm.  Often the words are awkward and just don’t fit.  This one was very well done.  The words were strong and meaningful and fit beautifully into the music. 

Setting aside the music critic in me, I think it is easier to learn new words to old music than it is to learn new music to old words.  Maybe it is just me.  Then again, maybe it’s not.

I hope you were aided in your worship this week by the choices of the people leading the music.

homo unius libri


  1. I sometimes get distracted from worship by the worship leader repeating the same couple of lines of the song over and over and over. It's also disappointing when they will only one verse over and over. I think I'm becoming a crabby old lady; these things don't seem to bother anyone else.

    1. I think you have a lot of company but they are afraid to speak out. When they do, no one is listening. I know people who deliberately go late to worship so they will miss the music.

      Grace and peace.


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