It was very interesting hearing about the experiences people had at their congregation visits. It seems like we all had similarities in our visits, however, each congregation had something unique to offer. What really stood out to me was the effect music could have on worship. It seems like almost every church had some sort of musical aspect incorporated into the service. This showed me that music can be for more than just entertainment value: it can help people connect to their faiths.
Music can be the deciding factor for people to choose what congregation they attend. For example, in the Marti case study, people decided to stay in the congregation because the music was so unique and interactive. In addition, people also left the church because it “was not traditional enough”. It is interesting to see the way worship music has evolved. Churches are now incorporating music genres like rock and pop into their services. Some people find the “concert atmosphere” to be too intense and they say that it can take away from the worship aspect of church. However, others really enjoy finding new ways to worship. They really enjoy breaking tradition and listening to music that is fun to sing along to. Many churches still use traditional hymns in their services. Even though hymns are traditional and relatively unchanging, they can still have tremendous meaning to people. The LDS church that I attended still uses traditional hymns. I could tell that the choir singers, violinist, and pianist put a lot of effort into their performance of the hymns. I really admired their dedication to using performance as a means of worship. In conclusion, whether it is hymns or rock music, I am glad to see that despite all of our differences, music can still unite us.