What’s Old is New Again (continued)


A leading figure in Christian popular worship music has discovered the movement in evangelical circles towards a more liturgical style of worship.


Paul Baloche is similarly hugely esteemed for his vast contribution to the growth of modern worship in America’s churches. A native of Maple Shade Township in New Jersey the singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist and worship teacher has written some of the most performed songs in American church services including “Open The Door Of My Heart”, “Hosanna”, “Your Name”, “Above All” and, co-written with Michael W and Debbie Smith, “A New Hallelujah”.

Paul commented on those young Christians who’d grown up in the church but who were finding themselves somewhat disengaged by pop rock worship. Said Paul, “What I’ve found is a lot of kids who grew up in charismatic and evangelical churches were finding more relevance to their faith with things that were rooted and grounded in tradition, from Anglican to anything that had a liturgical, historical grounding to it.”

Worship with a liturgical flavour is now something Paul, Rita and their son and daughter are regularly experiencing at Trinity Grace Church in New York which they all attend. Paul said, “I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it an Anglican church but it has almost that sort of modern Anglican approach; there’s a call to worship, there’s liturgy and yet within that structure there’s a communion, there’s the confession of faith, but within that structure there’s a bit more contemporary worship, guitar-driven with a few orchestral instruments. I love it, it’s been really refreshing. I’ve had 25 years of rock, guitar, bass non-denominational evangelical worship expression. I still love and enjoy it. However, I’m enjoying seeing what the next generation, this particular group of 20, 30 somethings like the hymns, and some modern songs, but there’s still a reverence and a solemnity and a traditional feel to the service.”

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4 Responses to "What’s Old is New Again (continued)"
  1. This certainly played into my decision to become an Episcopalian. It wasn't the only reason, of course, but I do find the liturgy and tradition to be much more meaningful than praise choruses.

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  2. [Caedmon: pleased sign your first and last name when you comment. Thanks, Editor]
    After having spent my teenage years as a Baptist I found liturgical worship very appealing. With a fixed liturgy there is something solid even if the sermon is rubbish.

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  3. As a lifelong High Churchman, I appreciate our liturgical heritage. At the same time, my modern reading of Catholicism is open to diverse liturgical expressions. If people respond favorably to jazz Masses or praise bands, they have their places, too. I don’t have a problem with these form of worship on occasion, though I personally prefer Palestrina. My beef is not so much with style of liturgical worship as with conservative, Calvinist-oriented Evangelicalism…

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

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