Monday, November 02, 2009

Why raise hands during praising session in the church?

Andreas shared an interesting note on Facebook and on his blog:

Some people will lift up their hands up when they sing. Interestingly, they only do this when they sing contemporary songs. More interestingly, usually they only lift up their hands during the refrain. Most people, if not all, will never lift up their hands when they sing "old songs," known as "hymns"...

I have been pondering on this question as I also sometimes do lift up my hands when I sing, and I do sometimes lift up my hands when I sing "hymns" privately in my own room. I wonder if I am actually satisfying my own desire, rather than satisfying God's when I do that. Why so? Because usually I lift up my hands when I "feel" like lifting up my hands. When I don't "feel" like doing so, I won't do it. So, at the end it seems that my singing is all about me, myself, and I; and not about God. I wonder...

This is my reply:

It's a ritual. Human beings are creatures that love rituals. Even atheists love rituals. They blow candles on top of a cake during birthday celebration.

I held up my hand and shook them a bit during the worship session at class' trip to New Creation Church. A classmate's wife saw it and thought that I was trying to blend in well into the environment. Her husband on the other hand is rather skeptical.

As for me, why I raised my hand and shook is simple because I was too bored.

Other friends said that they lift their hands because they feel 'encouraged' to do so by the atmosphere or it is a 'personal preference' style of praising. Then I further commented:

All are correct, and I want to emphasize that all our 'expression' in worship is primarily our OWN human expression and is not special or exclusive than other religious people's expression to their own religion.

However the 'specialty' is not entirely absence. I think human's 'specialty' in religious expression which are accompanied by musics (like most sunday services) found in an important point Ian has raised: "God created music and human emotion for a reason and the two are so interconnected with one another."

That was a point which I have tried exploring theologically and amateurishly in one of my social activity, namely 'clubbing'.

The 'specialty' is an "invocation to convergence": Be it Bach or Armin Van Buuren, when we received enough auditory stimuli, we react in a controlled and expected way. It is as if there exists a synchronizing relationship in the fabric of our body in connection with music.

It seems that there is correspondence between our bodily movement and rhythm. As though the noumena world of music is apprehensible by our phenomenal mind, and resulting our expression in the form of bodily movement which converges with the noumena."

Anyway here's a YouTube clip (HT: Robert Cargill) to help you to obtain better worship experience:


blogpastor said...

This video is so shingz!
I felt put down as a Pentecostal. :)
I don't ever want to meet you for coffee ever again!! :)

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Kenny,

I'm showing my Pentecostal friends (including you) how ppl are laughing at them. So you guys should create one and laugh back at them! So in the end, everyone can laugh! :)