I’ve always enjoyed good gospel music. Maybe its from having lived in the south for a time (From about age 4 to age 7 we lived in North Carolina…Im a Good Ole Boy…or something). I don’t really know the appeal to it. Im not “southern”, and particularly, black gospel…Im not black/African american, obviously. No…I think I have always been keen to good worship music.
But what is good worship music. Does it match a certain style… or text? Does a composer make good worship music? The Definition of Worship from a google search says “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” . I think that’s pretty clear. Worship is something personal. Belief is personal..and as such..worship is a gift of self to God. It cant really be pigeon holed. A Motet from the Renaissance holds equal value to a great gospel piece.. in that both were created out of love for the Creator.
These days we seem to debate about form of worship… or you go to a church and they have “Traditional Worship” on a billboard like the flavor of the month at a Baskin Robins. what I think we need to get back to is understanding what worship is..a Gift.
When I hear groups like the Fairfield Four (above)… or the Opposite extreme..perhaps a diocesan choir….I hear first and foremost Love of God. That’s what worship is. A Connection. Sure, emotion can come out of it… but at its root.. its a connection.
St Augustine said “Those who Sing well Pray Twice”. As a musician, I’ve always led with that…and I certainly think its applicable here.
(Photo Credit I THINK is Father Bede Price. I recognize that Hair)