In this edition of WorshipSongsOnline, our bloggers speak to the subject of musical and cultural diversity. At no other time in church history has there been so much variety in our worship vocabulary. From lofty anthems to the latest contemporary worship music, from intimate a cappella soundscapes to sacred songs accompanied by soaring orchestrations, there is an amazing range of styles and genres. This diversity reflects the many voices that inhabit our communities of faith. Technology has increased our ability to share and intersect with others around the world and these unique sacred cultures have had a great impact on our sanctuaries.
There are many ways that this potpourri of praise reveals itself in publications, artist projects, worship planning, and concert programming. With all of this stunning diversity, how do we maintain our own authentic voice? How do we effectively navigate this labyrinth and find our way to a centered and well-balanced approach to issues of diversity? Celebration without assimilation is hard to achieve, but is an important quest for the church. As musicians, we have a strong potential for teaching others “that many notes can become beautiful harmony.”
Through the gift of sacred art, we can build a beautiful mosaic that increasingly reveals a portrait of divine grace for our churches. This then is the great potential for celebrating diversity: to grow strong through the conversations this diversity encourages and each other’s uniqueness that we might at last claim our national motto, E PLURIBUS UNUM…. “out of many, one.”