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To Clap or Not to Clap


To Clap or Not to Clap

Before you ponder whether you agree with clapping in church or not, let me preface by saying I didn’t grow up going to church and I have no preconceived notions of whether clapping in a worship service is acceptable or not.  Personally, I love that Trinity is a “clappy” church.  As a church family, we are open, appreciative, supportive people who truly view our church as a family unit.  We clap to thank a guest musician for playing, we clap to recognize Marcin and his amazing talent, we clap to praise God, we clap to celebrate, we clap to make a joyful noise ourselves, we clap because the Holy Spirit just  can’t be contained.

I wanted to shed light on how I choose music for the flow of the worship service.  As a worship planner, I actually look at the scripture, sermon, and big picture of the whole service.  Part of my job is to make the flow of the service seamless in emotional content, style, and overall mood. Or at least, that is how I view my job.  There are times, when I pick an upbeat, high energy, joyful anthem to energize all of the congregation, including the choir and worship leaders.  And on the other side of the coin, there are pieces I pick to be reflective, thought-provoking, and calm.  Not to say, those characteristics always must go together, but I’m generalizing to make a point.  Because of the mood presented, you may not feel the need to applaud or you may feel the need to jump up out of your pew.  It is entirely up to you; clapping is not expected every time.  However, I love our “clappy” church, so clap when you want and if you feel like sitting in silence after the choral anthem and letting the mood wash over you, that is okay too.  The Holy Spirit flows over us in unexpected ways, and I want each one of us to be open to it.

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