RE:QUESTA space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith
Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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Different Styles of Christian Worship
How do Christians use music in worship?
Music has always been important in worship. You’ll find a lot of singing in the Bible. It talks about angels singing constantly to God to praise him. The longest book in the Bible – the book of Psalms – is actually a collection of song lyrics that were used by the people of Israel to worship God when they went to the temple.
When good things happen to people in the Bible they often respond by singing praise to God, for example, after Mary hears that she is going to give birth to Jesus (Luke 1:46-55).
But why do people use music? Maybe it’s because music can reach people in a way that just saying things can’t. Often the mood of the music expresses how people feel, as much as the words that they are singing. There is also something special about joining in with other people to express the same things, being part of hundreds or thousands of people together singing very loudly is pretty amazing!
Singing in the Bible
Singing also has the power to change the way we feel about things. There is a story about two men who sang praise to God in prison! The two men were called Paul and Silas. They had been put into prison as a punishment for telling people about Jesus. At about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. The story shows how God gave these frightened Christians courage and peace as they worshipped him in a dark and dangerous place. You might like to read the rest of the story to see how it ended. You can find it in Acts 16: 25-34.
People are all different, with different likes and talents, so you can expect the songs being used to worship God to be different too! Although the style of music may be different, you will find some themes running through the worship songs. Themes in songs include God's love, saying thank you to him, praise for who God is and singing about a desire to see God's Kingdom come on earth.
- What aspects of the Christian faith do these worship songs show?
- Are there any common themes in the songs?