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Does the style of worship matter?

Discussion in 'Worship Ministry' started by kbee125, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    Gregorian chant is innovative! From Wikipedia on Greek chant: The resulting eight modes (octoechos) had been identified with the seven tropes (tropoi) of the Ancient Greek harmonikai, the Pythagorean mathematic discipline of music theory as it had been formulated by the harmonikoi during the Hellenic period. Today, chanters of the Christian Orthodox churches identify with the heritage of Byzantine music whose earliest composers are remembered by name since the 5th century...


    Phos Hilaron (O Gladsome Light) - 3rd century hymn sung in Byzantine chant
     
  2. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Those of us who retain the historic Liturgy of the Church are likely to not see these things as matters of "style", but rather matters of substance.

    Liturgically-minded Christians aren't necessarily going to take issue with "style", i.e. the use of instruments (e.g. a pipe organ) or not; or whether one should use Plainsong (Gregorian Chant) or other forms of musical form (plainsong, early modern hymnody, modern hymnody, Byzantine, etc). Not that there won't be discussion and debate on these things, only that these aren't really the core aspect of the Liturgy. And it's the Liturgy that is important.

    I would be just as uncomfortable in an old style Baptist church using 19th century hymns as I would be in a modern Evangelical megachurch using upbeat contemporary/rock "worship songs". That discomfort has nothing to do with style, but substance. The substance is the underlying and essential question of what we are gathering together for as God's people. For Lutherans, the answer to that question is summed up as Word and Sacrament. That's why we gather, we gather to receive the gifts of God--Word and Sacrament--and the whole point of the Liturgy, and why it matters, is that it is the tried and trusted vehicle which since the beginning of the Church has been there for that purpose. The Liturgy isn't about how we feel, or to get us to feel something, it's not there to make us feel good, or feel spiritual, or any of these things; the Liturgy is about how we as God's people confess God's Word to one another, and receive the good gifts of God in His Word and Sacraments.

    So, for many of us, having a Sunday morning concert might be nice, it might be useful in its own way, it might be a lot of things; but it would--at least fundamentally--be a concert, not worship as the Church has always recognized it. Worship isn't a feeling, but the Christian leitourgia, the public work of God's people in unity of faith and confession, gathered in profession, confession, prayer, praise, and reception of Christ, especially in and under the bread and wine of the Holy Eucharist.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  3. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    Just chiming in that yes this is the reason that the historical liturgies and the liturgical cycle exist. These liturgies originate out of the Jewish service just as Hebrews 8 says, "They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of heaven. This is why Moses was warned is when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." This is how the people were taught service to service. For example, we have a set of hymns that follow an 8 week cycle and the first hymn of that cycle reads as follows

    While the stone was sealed by the Jews, and the soldiers were guarding Thy most pure body, Thou didst arise on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. For which cause the heavenly powers cried aloud unto Thee, O giver of life. Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ, glory to Thy kingdom, glory to Thy providence, O Thou Who alone art the lover of mankind.

    You repeat that hymn every eight weeks and within a year, you are singing it (and the other 7 hymns) while you work, rest and play. Remember, we didnt have all this wonderful technology for 1900 years. You learned from the church as a member of the church.
     
  4. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Of course worship matters, but like CryptoLutheran says, it's a matter of substance not style. In my own Church there are many different ways of worship, each appropriate to the given people who use them as a testament to their true Christian histories, but in all cases to be preserved, as this is the faith of our fathers and it is our job to pass it down as it is, and not to mess with it in any way. In no case it is it ever appropriate to innovate some kind of new thing for the sake of the youth or any other reason, as some do. The people who create such things will have to answer as to why they were somehow not satisfied with what has nourished Christian people around the world for 2,000 years already, and felt the need instead to unwisely attempt to overturn what has been preserved, or set up a competitor to it. There are ways of adapting things to youth or to the circumstances of a new land which we must do, but we must do them wisely or we will suffer the consequences (e.g., provide good, Orthodox translations of hymns with appropriate melodies that are themselves rooted in the faith and history of the Church, not things based on "hip" or assumed-to-be hip styles that will make the faith look ridiculous by its paring with them with the passage of time).

    Right:



    • It's an actual hymn text (the Seven Tunes, chanted during Matins for the Nativity)
    • It's sung reverently, the translation is well done and sounds like it was done by a native speaker (at least to this native listener, anyway)
    • It's not burdened with a bunch of twiddly instrumental stuff or things that would make it sound like an Arabic-language pop song

    Wrong:



    • This is a popular "taraneem" (essentially what might be called a "praise song" in other churches, rather than a hymn), and while its lyrics are Orthodox ("We prostrate before the Holy Trinity, the Almighty God, one in divinity, in three hypostases...", and then it just lists a bunch of saints and their virtues before asking that they all pray for us so that we too may win mercy), its mode of delivery is not
    • It sounds like a 'boy band' :scratch:
    • No guitars or other melody-producing instruments are allowed in our hymns
    • You couldn't find some Coptic or maybe even Syriac icons for your official video? Western Jesus belongs in Western Christianity, not here
    Obviously the standards for songs not to be sung in liturgy are different (though everything is required to be theologically sound), so it's not a matter of yelling at these guys for having made a pretty good thing (production-wise, I guess, and I would hope it gets people to remember to pray), but when people start blurring the lines between what is acceptable where and why because they like this better than that or whatever, then we have problems.

    And it is not as though the type of music or whatever that is consumed/participated in makes no difference so long as everything is kept within its own sphere, because it does! You can't have a sound faith if you go to liturgy for 4 hours every week, but then spend the other 20 listening to Satanic death metal or whatever, you know? Whatever you surround yourself with will influence you, and you should not welcome the influence of that which eats away at your faith.

    HH Pope Tawadros II explains it here starting at 1:05 in the video (in case the time specified in the link doesn't work):



    HH Pope Shenouda III of blessed memory puts it even more bluntly: this stuff is insidious and poisons our Church and we need to stand for our own faith, because only Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy.



    (Yes, I realize that this is on a general board and I do not post it to insult or degrade anyone or their Christianity; the point is applicable to all churches anyway. If you substitute whatever your church is, you too can say the same thing: I don't want my Lutheranism/Methodism/Presbyterianism/whatever watered down with a bunch of foreign teachings and practices that seek to make it into something else! I am whatever I am for solid reasons, and hence will not accept this other stuff, etc. That's the problem with this stuff about 'styles', too: if you are not solidly grounded in whatever your own is, then whatever you or others are replacing it with will creep in eventually and hollow it out and then you'll be left with a mess that was completely avoidable had you cared for your traditions in the first place.)
     
  5. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. whereloveandmercymeet

    whereloveandmercymeet There but for the grace of God...

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    Style isn’t important to me as long as it has substance. A contemporary style is great as local by as it’s nit all show no substance. On the other end of the scale, a very formal, traditional liturgy is great, as long as it’s not being recited by memory with no meaning behind those words.

    I think as long as it’s genuine worship (without heresies), and your heart is truly in it for God, it’s all good, and what works for one may not work for another.
     
  7. Dave-W

    Dave-W Grandparent of six grandchildren, #7 on the way! Supporter

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    Among other things.
     
  8. Dave-W

    Dave-W Grandparent of six grandchildren, #7 on the way! Supporter

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    When. I was young (< 10 years old) we attended a COGIC frequently and the pastor there would often break into a chant style of preaching that resembled rap that would come a decade or more later.

    I loved it.
     
  9. Dave-W

    Dave-W Grandparent of six grandchildren, #7 on the way! Supporter

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    OR go back to singing the psalms in Hebrew.



    Or passages from the Prophets:
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019 at 12:55 PM
  10. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Or sing them in Syriac, the Christian descendant of Aramaic:



    Or sing them in Coptic, the language of the people evangelized by the Lord's disciple and our evangelist to Egypt St. Mark:



    Or sing them in English:



    Or sing them in Romanian:



    The point is; Sing the Psalms. It's the best. :oldthumbsup:

    "He who sings prays twice." -- St. Augustine of Hippo
     
  11. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    In the EO, public readings of the Scriptures are supposed done with a slight intonation. This removes the inflections that we might put into public readings that would alter the meaning of the text. Go to 2:45 to hear it:
     
  12. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    A slight intonation? Oops...



    Boy...the things that 1,500+ years will do, huh? :D
     
  13. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    You crazy Copts! :) 8 minutes for the Gospel reading? No wonder why y'all spend all Sunday in church!
     
  14. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    It's true...it's all true. Hahaha.
     
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