"Praise Song" or Hymn

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by David Lamb, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. David Lamb

    David Lamb
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    On the thread "Praise Songs for Easter", some of the suggestions made seem to be what I would call "hymns", ("The Old Rugged Cross", "Blessed Redeemer" - assuming it is the one that continues: "Jesus is mine, Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!" - "He Arose!" - again making an assumption, that this is the one which starts: "Low in the Grace He Lay, Jesus my Saviour" - "Power in the Blood", "Fairest Lord Jesus" - Ruler of all nature, Son of God and Son of man?? - "In Christ alone" - my hope is found???

    So my question is this: What is the difference (if there is one) between a praise song and a hymn?
     
  2. Sopranette

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    The "Blessed Redemer" song we sung last Sunday is different from the one I'm more familiar with. It starts:

    Up Calvary's mountain, one dreadful morn
    Walked Christ my Saviour weary and worn.
    Facing for sinners
    death on the cross,
    That He might save them
    from endless loss

    I'm not sure what the difference between a "praise song" and a "hymn" might be, other than a "praise song" would include CCM, maybe.

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  3. USN2Pulpit

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    I think of a praise song as a song we sing to God. There are other wonderful hymns we sing about God. Subtle difference - but I believe both please God when done sincerely.

    There are praise songs that are hymns...
     
  4. J.Wayne

    J.Wayne
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    Is it really important? Does God care, as long as we are praising and worshiping HIM?
     
  5. swaimj

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    Praise songs, as I see it, are songs whose words are addressed to God. Hymns can be addressed to God, but are often summaries of stories from the Bible or words (verses) revolving around a theological idea, then set to music. They are more like confessions of truth expressed in unity by the singers, but are not necessarily addressed to God. I think both types of music are appropriate for worship.
     
  6. David Lamb

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    I don't think I can agree. We are surely singing to God when we sing hymns about Him. "Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father", "O God of Bethel, by Whose hand", "Great God of wonders, all Thy ways" are just a few examples of what I mean.
     
  7. David Lamb

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    I am quite sure that it worshipping and praising God is infinitely more important than the names we give to the musical pieces we address to Him. But the reason I started this thread is because I believe that for meaningful discussions to take place, we surely need to know what others mean when they use certain words and phrases in their posts. (This is especially important when we remember that BB membership, though mostly American, is spread worldwide). I didn't know what was meant by a "praise song", and how it differed from a hymn, so I asked. I assure you I attach no more importance to the matter than that.
     
  8. Joshua Rhodes

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    Bro. David -

    While I've never made much of a distinction other than age between a praise song and a hymn, there are stylistic and more importantly formative differences between the two. Whether a song is horizontal (about God and for encouraging the Body) or vertical (to God, for His benefit only) really doesn't enter into the discussion FOR ME. As there are horizontal and vertical songs in each group, that makes this discussion harder when that enters into the mix. But since I brought it up, let me give you examples of what I mean.

    Horizontal Hymns and Praise Songs
    Majesty (worship His majesty, unto Jesus be all glory, honor and praise!)
    He Leadeth Me! O Blessed Thought)
    Awesome God (Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above)
    He is Exalted (the King is exalted on High, I will praise Him)
    Seek Ye First (the kingdom of God and His righteousness)

    Vertical Hymns and Praise Songs
    Great is Thy Faithfulness (O God my Father)
    Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us (much we need Thy tender care)
    Be Thou My Vision (O Lord of my heart)
    Lord, I Lift Your Name on High (Lord, I love to sing Your praises!)
    God Who Comes to Save (Jesus, hope of heaven, for us Your life was given)

    To me, a praise song is one that is less formal in structure (like Lord, I Lift Your Name on High) as opposed to a hymn that is strict like Holy, Holy, Holy or A Mighty Fortress. Again, this SOMETIMES has as much to do with age, as it does form. There are current "new" songs such as In Christ Alone that I would classify as a contemporary hymn.
     
  9. David Lamb

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    Thanks Joshua. That makes sense to me.
     
  10. rbell

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    David, I don't disagree with Joshua. But I think (IMO) the reasoning is fairly simple.

    The word "hymn" carries a more formal connotation. I think that if a church considers themselves less formal, you might hear "praise song" instead of "hymn." I asked a church member about this very question a few weeks ago...his response? If the song was in our Baptist Hymnal, it was a hymn. Otherwise, it was a praise song.

    I'm not really looking in a controversial direction...I guess what I'm saying is this: there are really two questions at work here:

    1. What is the theological difference between the two? (the direction this thread seems to be going...and a good discussion to have)
    2. What does the typical church member see as the difference? And I think the answer to this question is more along the realm of semantics.


    Did that make any sense? I know what I was trying to say..... :D :D
     
  11. David Lamb

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    Yes, that made sense to me; I know what you were trying to say, too! :D
    Over here, I think terms like "praise song" and "worship song" tend to be used more in Charismatic circles, though not exclusively so.

    I cannot agree with your church member (and I am fairly sure you don't) that anything not in one certain hymn book cannot be a hymn. Isaac Watts wrote over 600 hymns, John Newton almost 300, and Charles Wesley a staggering 6,000, yet only a fraction of these appear in any one hymnbook (though "Olney Hymns" does contain all of John Newton's).
     
  12. J.Wayne

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    Talk about hitting the nail on the head! Most churches are STUCK in formalities and tradition, which is worship of a religion. God is not about religion (religion is man-made), God is simply about a relationship!
     
  13. rbell

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    Oh, we agree...I just think the average church folk probably don't think through that.
     
  14. USN2Pulpit

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    Actually, we are in agreement...my statements were incomplete before. There are several beloved hymns that I would consider "praise songs."
     
  15. bfluid

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    I lead the youth's music team and I participate in our churches worship team also. :)

    My opinion...

    P&W Song Purpose: This is for the edification and greater glorifying of God through music.

    Hymn Puropse: Though it gives God glory just as a praise and worship song... its main purpose is too endoctrinate believers with the truth of Gods' word.

    Ty Maier
     

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