Music in Worship Archives - Page 6 of 6 - Seedbed

The Lenten season has a rich catalogue of songs for us to sing together. As an extension of his 2012 post on songs for Lent, Drew Causey adds five more songs for those who build the liturgies and choose songs for more modern or contemporary services in the local church.

Michael Hawn, a professor of church music at Perkins School of Theology, uses two basic categories when speaking about music in the church: cyclical and sequential. Modern worship music has morphed into a form somewhere between the two.

Many forget (or don’t know) that “contemporary” worship was inextricably linked to the Charismatic Movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. This connection forged a musical style that was rooted in a particular understanding of the Spirit in worship. God was uniquely encountered, by the Spirit, in congregational singing.

Many still use the term “contemporary worship” as it was used in 1995. What should be clear is that several things have changed over the past two-decades. Here are six things that are different from contemporary worship in the '90s.

Contemporary worship music has come under fire for being flashy and theologically weak. However, always the contrarian, I have become a bit perturbed by the way that many people talk about contemporary worship. This dismissive attitude becomes ultimately unhelpful because it assigns generalities to an entire genre of music.

Worship pastor Drew Causey shares 5 of his favorite modern hymn artists and arrangements, arguing that the depth of writing in the hymnody of the Church is something people love (and desire), and when style of music can become a means to this end, the Church only benefits.

One of the criticisms of “contemporary worship” following 9/11 was that the style of worship provided no space for real lament. I would suggest that this is not a problem merely limited to “contemporary-styled” services.