Every Sunday millions of Christians leave home to attend church. While many do surely go to hear the Word of God, they also go to praise the Lord and be uplifted through song. Praise and Worship is an integral part of Sunday morning service, especially in the Black Church. Be it Baptist, AME, COGIC, Pentecostal, or a Presbyterian church, the majority of denominations or non-denominational black churches engage in this liturgical rite.
With hymnal in hand, many traditional churches sing and syncopate to songs born in the era of the old Negro spirituals. Today, many churches praise in singing more contemporary songs by artists such as Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary as well as songs from the devotional genre of the late eighties and early nineties such as “Lord I Lift Your Name on High”. Songs are the highlight of the black praise and worship experience.
The black praise and worship experience has Southern Baptist roots, yet it has evolved into a unique and enriching experience that drives many of us to church on Sunday. A good praise and worship service stirs the spirit and always leaves you wanting more. Musical instruments enhance the tone and beat of the songs. However, it is the lyrics and the uniquely African rhythmic patterns in which they are resounded that lift the spirit and remove all burdens for that period of time.
Our eyes close, our hands clap, and our feet tap to the beat and rhythm of praise and worship songs. We shout, dance, and sing along all in unison. The praise dancers usher in and dance gracefully in praise of the Lord that makes it all possible. After this deep immersion in praise and worship our cups are full and running over, we are now ready for the worship service.
“Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.”