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Nov 11, 2006


How to Merge Modern Music into Our Traditional Hymns


Introducing modern music into a traditional church can generate a unity among our church members and new generation and by fastening their chain together and praise our lord Jesus Christ.

It appears to me most religious believes there are certain things that will not go together, praying and dancing, and traditional churches and modern music.

Strongly, I had this feeling that contemporary music would make a big difference in reaching our goal to link our new generation into our church. I like modern music better than traditional music in our church. I understood my feeling were not so different from the generation I was a part of.  I knew that to reach people, you have to eat their food, dress their dress, and play their music. I knew if I go to Africa, the Africans religious would employ drums, not pipe organs in their worship service. Why we are using traditional hymns in our church while new generation that listened to drums, guitar and synthesizer? Why did our hymns sound so different from others hymns? I experienced several churches that were employing modern music. I noticed more than 100 different contemporary praise and worship CDs and tapes available in the bookstores. Somebody is buying these CDs and tapes because somebody likes contemporary worship. These are not for “listening to music” they are live worship services.  In reality, we wanted that this link to be happened. In other words traditional hymns should be modernized into contemporary worship. 

Contemporary earnings varied things to diverse people. To understand the definition of modern hymns I will format three elements. It has to do with selection of songs, instrumentation, and "feeling" and taste. The most of the hymns in a modern church have been written for the youth and today’s generation. New songs will bring new feeling to our youth. Every generation has their own principle why we should keep them away from their feeling and taste.

It is crystal clear selection of songs; however, is not a big issue as most people think.  You could take a very traditional selection of hymns, add the right instruments and the right feel and it would sound logical modern music. I knew it drums and beats are the biggest issue in our church. More than possibly any other single factor, drums split contemporary from traditional.

 My perception is music with out drums is absolutely far away to the modern ear. Unfortunately drums or beats may bring a unique problem to the traditional church. Drums or beats appear to be just about the last instrument to be accepted to employ in our church. I think acoustic guitars and any orchestral instruments can form their way into a traditional service without too many problems. We have people in our church who do not even like to see any modern instruments in the church. 

 The last issue of modernized music is what I will call is "feel". It is very hard to define

the “feel”, but, like being in love, you know when you have it. I had my first experience to modern worship at my neighborhood Catholic Church. I attended a few times there and I was drawn to the spirit of the modern music .That brings me up this experience that contemporary music nearly has to understood. If I had not had these experiences of attending these mass services, readying any article or book could be substituted to explore contemporary music. There is only the music language will communicate the feel of the music. If there are some catholic churches in your area that employ contemporary music, it will be significance value if you to take a weekend off and experience it for yourself.

I am  coming from a traditional church, but  let me confess if our  church were more open to change and innovation in our liturgy  we were not losing our youth in our church and there were no hesitation for them  to attend to the Sunday  Mass. I believe any innovation will establish our legacy as a traditional church.

There are some basics of modern worship that can be merged into a traditional service without too much irritation or unsuitability. I am totally confidence blending of old hymns and contemporary music wouldn’t irritate our liturgy and we observe an attraction not only from our youth side but from the adults who regularly attended to the traditional mass.

  About that time I was really enjoying our traditional service, but today we are ongoing getting more and more complaints about traditional service no innovation in our services. At one point I thought this was not an issue for our liturgy, but as conclusion people does like to worship God in term of Contemporary worship and is an issue of taste. Tastes are acquired and take time to change.

Let’s be realistic over time, we will reach a whole new strain of people who love contemporary music. It is obvious contemporary music attract them to the church and taking contemporary worship from them would be as like separation of their soul from their body. We don't have to ask people to change their traditional worship in order to reach people who want more contemporary worship. All we have to do is get them to contribute to accept another type of worship. Our people will do contribute as long as we don't gradually introduce more and more contemporary elements into traditional services. There is no question we want to have a high quality traditional worship because we believe it is gratifying to God and tactically precious in ministering to our community. But contemporary music has very perceptive taste in terms or quality. I think the contemporary worship helps the people it reaches to worship better than they would in a traditional worship. I think it would be very difficult to start a contemporary service in our church unless the leadership does enjoy it and support the change in our liturgy divine. I worship better with contemporary music than I do with traditional music because I am not fighting against my own tastes. 

 Paul Caldani Los Angeles November 2006