History of Worship Paper
Worship is showing reverence and adoration to God. Since the beginning of time, God has been worship. Before there was music, worship was done acapella; without music. As the years past, music has played an important part in worship throughout the centuries. They were some that did not prefer the use of instruments. They were comfortable with the use of incenses, altars, etc. On the other hand, there were those that preferred music. During the Reformation Era, there was a still a diverse reaction to the use of instruments in churches. There are some religions to this day do not exercise the use of instruments in their church. Whether music is used in the worship or not, God is to be worship with our very souls.
Reformation is a 16th-century movement for the reform of things going wrong in the Roman Catholic Church ending in the place of residence of the Reformed and Protestant Churches. The use of the organ became a central part of Catholic worship. (Bowen, 2000) Although there were some Protestant reformers that were not in favor of it. There are several reformers that have a different perspective on worship. There were Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin. Zwingli was not in favor of instrument in the church, therefore, he and some other destroyed them. He believed that anything that was specifically mentioned or endorsed in the bible should be put an end to. According to Bowen (2008), Schaff of Church History, vol 8, said, “The churches of the city were purged of pictures, relics, crucifixes, altars, candles, and all ornaments. The pictures were broken and burned. The bones of saints were buried. Even the organ was removed, and the Latin singing of the choir abolished, but fortunately afterward, replaced with congregational singing of psalms and hymns in the vernacular.” John Calvin was important to the reformation movement. He referred to Psalm 33. Psalm 33:1-3 says, “Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song: play skillfully with a loud noise. (KJV).
17th Century and 18th Century Worship
According to Webber (1994), in the period beyond Reformation (1700-1900), the Western world continued to undergo vast changes. Some of the changes were the rise of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. There were two sides trying to make their point, the Conservatives and the Liberals. Both have a point that they were trying to prove. The Conservatives wanted to prove the truth of Christianity. The liberals wanted to give a different point of view on of Christianity in a way that is not supernatural. (Webber, 1994) These views had a progressive effect on the was that Christian exchange and direction.
19th Century Worship
From 1784-1872, Thomas Hastings was considered the most influential author. According to Anoi (2011), Hastings was a composer, hymn-tune book compiler, hymn writer and music critic. Today, some of the songs that he has written are being sung in churches. Hastings has a concern about how music would work with building religious worship. Charles Finney is considered as the Father of American revivalism and evangelism. According to Webber (1994), “Revival worship of the 19th century, under the influence of Charles Finney, actually swept away the pedagogical worship of the 17th and 18th centuries.” Evangelistic type of worship was brought to the forefront. This type of worship not only reverence God but also serve the purpose of spreading the gospel. Evangelistic worship is to reach those that do not know God and to bring them into the fold of believers.
20th Century and 21st Century Worship
The development of American church music during the nineteenth century has important implications for the philosophy and practice of church music in the twentieth century and beyond. (Anoi, 2011) The Holiness movement is introduced to worship. This movement is considered Pentecostal worship. This type of worship produced freedom. This freedom allowed individuals to be able to worship in their own way. The singing and music are increased in this movement. The music includes guitar, drums and other instruments. There is another type of worship that is being introduced. It is called Charismatic. This type worship is very different than worship from this very beginning. This is movement in some denominations that focuses on gifts given by the Holy Spirit. Tongues, given by the Holy Spirit, comes into play during this type of worship. According to Gerritt Gustafson, who is a charismatic leader, there are four principles of the Charismatic worship: 1) based on the activation of the priesthood of all believers; 2) involves the whole person – spirit; 3) experience the real presence of Christ in worship and 4) experience God’s power. (Webber, 1994) Praise and Worship movement is the new way of worship. For the last several decades, this new style of worship has spread throughout North America and other parts of the world. (Webber, 1994) There were people that concerned the traditional way of worship need a change.
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, God has always been worshipped. The method of worship has changed over centuries. John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (KJV) We are to worship God with all our being. Whether it be with music or not. The method of worshipping God has changed over the centuries. There were those that did not believe in music. They worshipped in acapella. He was worshipped with incenses, candles, altars, etc. Instruments were introduced to worship but not without resistance. Zwingli destroyed the instruments in the church. Calvin encouraged instruments to be used in worship by referring to Psalm 33. Hasting composed songs that contained both music and complemented worship. Finney combined revivalism and evangelism in worship to reach the unreachable. The new type of worship is Holiness, Pentecostal, Charismatic and Praise and Worship. Worship have evolved but God remains the same and he is to be worshipped.
Anoi, S. (2011). Reforming Influences in 19th Century American Church Music. Fort Worth. Tx
Anoi, S. (2011). Three Cultural Streams in 19th-Century American Church Music.
Fort Worth, Tx
Bowen, T. (2005). The History of Musical Worship. Thomas Nelson Publishers
Webber, R. E. (1994). Worship Old ; New. Grand Rapids, Mi.