Worship and praise music, which has replaced traditional hymns in many evangelical and charismatic churches, is finding a place in concerts and the recording world.
The New York Times (April) 17 reports that praise music, usually consisting of prayers and praises repeated to contemporary melodies, has become a booming business in the Christian music marketplace and through “worship gatherings” that draw crowds to sing along with worship leaders. Sales of praise and worship albums have doubled since 2000, to about 12 million in 2003.
The trend is viewed as a way that people dissatisfied with Christian rock and pop are searching for more depth and meaning in their music. Although praise music has been criticized by theologians for its “me-centered” approach to faith (most of the lyrics are phrased in the first person), the article adds that “praise music writers are asking deeper questions and turning to scripture.”
A recurring theme of a national participatory praise concert series known as Passion is the diminuation of the individual and the glory of God.