Friday, January 25, 2008

Praise Songs vs Hymns

I've run across some discussion about certain types of churches using Praise Songs, which are supposedly more appealing to young people. My impression has been that so called Praise Songs contain lots of repetition of a refrain, as well as lots of "I" will praise you, in other words, there might be emphasis on who is doing the praising rather than why the praising is being done.

The church I attend probably uses more variety of music than most because the pianist/choir director is very talented, has wide ranging tastes, is from a background in a different denomination, and we have a number of hymnals, including three more current ELCA hymnals, to pick from. The music for worship services is picked by a Worship Committee, so it isn't one person's taste. Lately the choir has been going over many new or unfamiliar hymns just to try them out, as well as some old standards. I said to myself one evening at practice, "These sure sound like praise songs to me."

I decided I better do a little web search just to see if I am overgeneralizing about praise songs.

I found a nice list, which contains a number of songs I already know, so I guess "praise songs" aren't so far off my radar screen.

And I found this web entry that really made me laugh. Talk about both ends of the spectrum, musically. Which end is closer to what your church does?


  1. My pastor has a horrible taste for 19th century music: neither hymn nor praise chorus. Blech. Or as C.S. Lewis once said, 4th rate sermons set to 5th rate music.

    Take care & God bless
    Anne / WF

    & Happy (belated) Birthday!

  2. that one link I've been before; it's funny. I thought Keiller wrote it.

    oh, the 19th century music. the sentimental and the social gospel. does weekend fisher hate both sides?

  3. It seems to be all over the 'net without attribution, but it does sound like Keillor. Who else would go to such lengths to write a funny "poem" or "song."


And what do you think?