A Sensible Approach to Christian Truth


Biblical Worship Is Good for You!

A Music Therapist Reflects on the Experience of Biblical Worship

I am a music therapist. Music therapy is an art, a science, and a profession. Many things I have experienced as a music therapist I have recognized as spiritual experiences, but often wondered how to express them — the "scientific method" is insufficient to describe the happenings in a therapeutic relationship, especially when musical experiences are the foundation of the relationship and music has effects that may be very difficult to measure. As I have explored the use of music in biblical worship, I have found my understanding of my own profession as a ministry to be increased. This study, therefore, is personal vocational reflection as well as a study of literature on music and on biblical worship.

Most Christians would agree that worship involves both a lifestyle of obedient service and specific acts of adoration and submission. However, for the limited purpose of this study, I will use the word "worship" to refer primarily to the events that take place during a public service of worship. Although I will refer to specific acts, gestures, and rituals as part of worship, I must emphasize that these in themselves do not constitute worship nor does performing them cause the worship to be "effective." I concur with David Peterson that "worship is . . . faith expressing itself in obedience and adoration . . . relevant to every sphere of life."1 In addition to faith, acceptable worship includes ministry to one another with love, forgiveness, and encouragement (1 Thess. 5:11).

Worship Is Healthy

God's plan for humanity includes both physical health and emotional growth. For a Christian, participation in the symbolic liturgy of worship is directly related to formation of healthy attitudes and emotional experiences.2 Several contemporary studies have shown that practicing any religion is more healthy than practicing none.3 Churchgoers in particular have larger social networks and more favorable perceptions of the quality of their social relationships.4 Psychological functioning and spiritual maturity are highly correlated, suggesting parallel developmental processes, especially in the areas of spiritual well-being, worship and commitment, involvement in organized religion, and fellowship.5 Religion based in the Judeo-Christian religious tradition appears to have a wide range of positive effects on well-being and psychological stability in older adults.6 One study found that "most of the research linking religion to positive mental health focused on behavioral events that could be reliably observed and measured and were unambiguous in their significance".7

David B. Larson, M.D., states, "Statistically, God is good for you. . . . I was told by my [medical school] professors that religion is harmful. . . . If you look at the research, in area after area, it's 80 percent beneficial."8

A. W. Tozer asserted that "worship is the normal employment of human beings." It is what we were created for: a relationship with God, in which we recognize and praise him for who he is, and he is worshiped as he desires to be worshiped. William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, said, "To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God".9 Engagement in worship meets our needs as human beings for purity, knowledge, beauty, love, and purpose. Music helps enable all of these to take place in us.

Beneficial Effects of Music

There is much documented evidence that exposure to or involvement in music also has beneficial effects on both mind and body. For example, various types of music can contribute to increases or decreases in heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, muscle tension, muscle activity and motor responses. Music affects peripheral skin temperature, gastric activity, and biochemical responses in the body.10 Involvement in learning of music before the age of twelve contributes to increases in spatial intelligence and math skills.11 The implication of these facts about music, when connected with worship, is that those who are actively involved in the music of worship may be likely to experience beneficial effects that extend outside the spiritual realm to improved physical and intellectual functioning.

As a music therapist considering the music of worship, perhaps I need to present a definition of music therapy: The Canadian Association of Music Therapy has defined music therapy as follows: "Music therapy is the skillful use of music and musical elements by a trained music therapist, to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotive qualities. These are used in the therapeutic relationship to facilitate contact, interaction, self-awareness, learning, self-expression, communication and personal development" (CAMT, 1994). In treatment planning, music therapists may use any of the five possible ways to experience music: by singing, playing, moving, listening to, or creating it. Music therapists often use music as a nonverbal medium of communication, and may incorporate art forms other than music into the music therapy treatment plan, such as visual art, story-telling, and drama.

The purpose of the music of biblical worship is to enable the worshiper to encounter the living God. The musical experiences of worship are able to communicate both verbal and nonverbal messages to the worshiper; they "speak directly to the intuitive capacities . . . bearing a sense of majesty, wonder, mystery, and delight, and bringing a release of the soul even without recourse to words".12

Music is essential in biblical worship. All five of the above listed ways to experience music — sing, play, move, listen, create — are included in the biblical examples of music in worship. There are many references to singing and playing instruments in the instructions for and descriptions of worship in the Bible. Many are phrased in the imperative, and the language implies enthusiasm and exuberance:

Come before him with joyful singing (Psa. 100:2, NASB)

Praise him with trumpet sound;
Praise him with harp and lyre.
Praise him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise him with loud cymbals;
Praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord! (Psa. 150:3-6, NASB)

When preparing songs suitable for group therapy sessions, a music therapist will find or compose songs with certain characteristics that cause the songs to lend themselves to participation by the group members:

  • a simple melody that can be sung in unison with an uncomplicated accompaniment by the therapist
  • often a "verse-refrain" structure that permits clients to memorize and repeat a simple chorus
  • words that are easily understood.

The songs of the temple worship in ancient Jerusalem shared similar characteristics. The music was chant-like, of limited range, sung in unison, and sung from memory since there was no system of notation on paper.

We have no way of knowing how the music of the Old Testament really sounded, but musicologists have established a relationship between ancient Jewish singing and Gregorian chant. It is probable that the melodies were based on a pentatonic scale.13 While Moses' directions for worship in the tabernacle in the wilderness do not include music, David appointed musicians to accompany the ark of the covenant when it was eventually brought to Zion (1 Chron. 15:16-24). He also established professional guilds of hundreds of singers and instrumentalists, specially trained to lead worship both day and night at the ark's temporary lodging in a tent in Jerusalem (1 Chron. 16:4-7, 25:1-7). Their music continued when sacrifices were reinstituted with the dedication of the temple during Solomon's reign (2 Chron. 5:11-14, Psa. 30). The music had a dual role: it accompanied the offerings, and was itself a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving (Pss. 23; 24; 27:6; 50:14, 23; 65:1). (See the study on Music and Worship in the Bible on this web site.)

While there are no specific instructions for the use of music in worship in the New Testament, it is evident that there was a familiar music of Christian worship in the early church. Luke includes early Christian hymns in his account of the birth of Christ (Luke 1—2). Paul and Silas passed the time in jail by singing hymns of praise to God (Acts 16:25). Paul, in his letters to the churches, often seems to be quoting from contemporary hymns in his epistles, and frequently quotes from the Psalms. He encourages the church at Ephesus to address one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:18-20), and the Colossian church (Col. 3:16) to do the same to teach each other and as a sign of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit.14 John, in the Revelation, depicts a chorus, eventually joined by people, angels, and every living creature, singing hymns and doxologies to God on the throne as they celebrate Christ's victory (Rev. 5:11-14). Religious awakenings and revivals through the history of the Church have always been associated with new songs: revivals of faith seem to have gone hand-in-hand with revivals of the music of worship.

Generally, vocal and instrumental music in the Scriptures are functional: they have a particular use in the life of the Lord's people. Though musical skill was admired, the purpose was not to call attention to the composer or the performer, but to lead the whole celebrating community.

Gesture and Movement

Often connected with music is a language of gesture and movement in biblical worship. The way humans move has profound effects on not only their physical health but on their feelings, their affect, and even the choices they make.15 There are many biblical references to the expressive movements of worship, which include bowing, kneeling, lifting and clapping the hands, processions, and festive dance. Human beings are creatures of rhythm; the many systems of our bodies operate in their own rhythms, we walk and breathe and our hearts beat in rhythm. Some of the earliest non-verbal communication of an infant can be clapping the hands or bouncing to music — and the Scriptures also teach about the childlikeness of trusting faith (e.g. Luke 18:16-17, Rom. 8:15). Rhythmic movement and dance, like music, is unique to human beings and may be seen as evidence of the image of God in which we were created. Just as worship involves the whole life, the gestures of worship denote a visible involvement of the whole person, and as such "are an important statement about the philosophy of worship."16

Gestures and movement are part of the symbols of worship. Symbols have both aesthetic and didactic value.17 The use of symbol requires the worshiper to exercise mind and imagination in his offering of praise. Worship is always symbolic; even in worship settings where visual symbols such as movement or art are avoided, linguistic symbolism will still be used.18 In worship, liturgical gestures are non-verbal communicators, engaging senses of touch and kinesthesia as well as sight, hearing, mind, and will in order to fully engage the spirit.

An important symbolic gesture of worship is lifting the hands, an ancient universal symbol of covenant loyalty. The people of ancient Israel would extend their hands toward the sanctuary (I Kings 8:28-30, Psa. 28:2); toward the ark of the covenant, a symbol of God's throne on earth (Lam. 2:9); or toward heaven (Lam. 3:41). In the New Testament, the practice of raising the hands in praise or supplication was maintained. Paul desired that all believers should "lift up holy hands" (1 Tim. 2:8).

In the ancient world such gestures as bowing, kneeling, or falling prostrate were the suitable acts of humility before a king, demonstrating respect and fear. Yahweh was Israel's King; therefore Israel bowed before him (Psa. 95:6; Isa. 45:23). Later, the Magi bowed before the infant Jesus, indicating they recognized his identity as King. There are instances of Solomon and Daniel kneeling in prayer in the Old Testament, and Peter, Paul, and Jesus all knelt to pray in the New Testament. Clapping the hands is often mentioned in the Psalms (e.g. Psa. 47:1) and was symbolic of a king's victory over his enemies; in Christian worship, it is a declaration of the victory and dominion of Christ. These gestures continue to be practiced in the church of today.

Drama and mime are also part of the symbolic gestures of worship. The prophets used symbolic gestures to demonstrate their messages; Jeremiah broke a potter's jar (Jer. 18:1-6), and Ezekiel drew a picture of Jerusalem on a brick and besieged it (Ezek. 4:1-3). Jesus painted vivid word pictures in his parables, to give his hearers an imagery symbolic of spiritual truths.

Dance also served as a powerful "symbol of the worshiper's abandon before the holy, as the creature forgets self in the presence of the Creator."19 Miriam led the women in an spontaneously improvised dance, with tambourines and singing, to praise God for Israel's escape from Egypt (Exod. 15:20). David "danced before the Lord with all his might", leading the celebration when the ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:14). The dancing of a group could symbolize the corporate nature of covenant worship, in which each individual is a member of a larger community; David's solo dance before the ark seems to have been an act of personal worship, though in a public place. Centuries later, the prophet Jeremiah speaks of the cessation of dance as part of the results of breaking the covenant with God (Lam. 5:15-16), and the restoration of dance as a sign of God's blessing in the new covenant (Jer. 31:4, 13).

Worship and Celebration

Effective biblical worship builds to a climax or central event. In ancient Israel, this was the appearance of the Lord, the manifestation of his glory in the sanctuary (Exod. 40:34; 2 Chron. 7:1-3). In the New Testament, the climactic event is the ritual drama of the Lord's Supper. Movement, often associated with music, as experienced in the biblical gestures of worship in processions, dance, and drama, and in the overall rhythm of the whole service, contributes to "the sense that something is happening in worship."20

Creating, that is, composing or improvising, new music was also part of biblical worship. The Psalms four times repeat the invitation, "Sing unto the Lord a new song" (Pss. 33:3; 96:1; 98:1; 149:1). Improvised music was also associated with prophecy, special messages from God. The Israelite prophets were musicians who composed and improvised songs, laments, and poetic compositions (1 Sam. 10:5; 2 Chron. 35:25; Isa. 5:1-7; 26:1-6).21 There are also examples of spontaneous song in private worship, such as Hannah's song of thanksgiving at the birth of Samuel (1 Sam. 2:1-10).

Prophecy could be instrumental as well as vocal. Saul met a group of prophets who apparently sang and accompanied themselves on instruments (1 Sam. 10:5, 6). David appointed 228 musicians to "prophesy with lyres, harps, and cymbals" (1 Chron. 25:1-7), music which also seems to have had an improvisational character. On other occasions, the instrumental music apparently enabled prophecy: Elisha, when asked for a message from God by the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom, first said, "Bring me a minstrel," or harpist. While listening to the music he was given the prophecy (2 Kings 3:15). The term selah, which occurs 71 times in the Psalms, could also mean an opportunity for improvisation in worship; it is thought to mean an instrumental interlude, or a vocal and instrumental reflection on what has just been sung.22

The singing, dancing, and playing of instruments in the worship of the ancient Hebrews often took place in the context of a ritual procession which was not at all solemn! When the rebuilt wall of Jerusalem was dedicated, the book of Nehemiah describes two choirs, with cymbals, harps, lyres, and trumpets, which led the people of Jerusalem in a great dual procession in opposite directions on top of the city wall and through the city, eventually meeting in the temple (Neh. 12: 31-42). The shouting and celebrating were loud enough to be heard outside the city, "from afar" (Neh. 12:43).23

Silence and Listening

The sounds of biblical worship include "the sound of silence." I am reminded of the old saying, "There is no music in a rest, but there is the making of music in it." Therefore, the silences of worship are just as important to the rhythm of the total experience as the auditory music and words.24 "In the presence of the mystery of the being of God, silence is an appropriate act of worship."25 The prophet Habakkuk announces, "The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him" (Hab. 2:20). One of David's Psalms mentions silence along with praise (Psa. 65:1).

The silences of biblical worship are not for prayer but for response "to the manifestation of the majesty and mystery of God, and therefore a part of his praise."26 "Silence takes the worshiper out of time and into God's eternity."27 In musician's language, there is a rhythm to the times of celebration, the times of solemnity, and the times of silence, and there is a timelessness in the absence of tempo and rhythm. In the waiting on God in silence no human being is in control of the experiences of any other, and the worshiper is free to listen to God.

The one experience of music that has not been mentioned yet is listening, yet all the sounds of biblical worship imply that there must be hearers. The important aspect of the implied listening in the biblical commands and examples of worship is that there is no provision for passive listening to the words or songs or music of others. E. Schweitzer remarks, "It is completely foreign to the New Testament to split the Christian community into one speaker and a silent body of listeners."28 The "hearing" of worship is attentive, involved, and participatory. In his final words to Israel, Moses makes a connection between hearing and covenant-keeping: "See, I have set before you this day life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God . . . that the Lord thy God may bless you in the land. . . . But if your heart turns away and you will not obey [Hebrew shama', "hear"], but are drawn away and worship other gods . . . you shall surely perish" (Deut. 30:15-28).29

Also related to Israel's failure to keep the covenant with God are the prophet Amos's warnings about the music that God would not hear:

Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:23, NASB).

Woe to those who are at ease [i.e., complacent] in Zion. . . .
who improvise to the sound of the harp,
and like David have composed songs for themselves. . . .
yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph" (Amos 6:1, 5, 6).

In a service of worship, it is God himself who is the great Listener, who will refuse to hear if the music of the worshiper is not coming from a life that shows justice, holiness, and compassion. As bearers of God's image (Gen. 1:26), even human beings are symbols of God.30 God's image in humanity includes the need for aesthetic experience — the need for beauty. The beauty of artistry of the tabernacle and later the temple, the singing, playing of instruments, the dances and gestures of worship, the silences, all contribute to the meeting of this God-given need for beauty in a manner designed by God himself for our good.

Worship Brings Blessing and Health

David Peterson cautions, "Mere performance of a rite does not make it effective."31 If there is no faith in the heart of the "worshiper", no worship results from the practice of any of the above symbolic acts. The acts and rituals are not magic — there is no superstitious need to "do it right" in order to get God's approval, since "his covenant love is great toward us" (Psa. 117:2), and he looks on the heart rather than the offering (Psa. 51:16-17). In the ancient world, this fact about Israel's worship was unique. In other ancient religions, rituals were performed to appease angry or capricious gods, or to persuade the gods to do what the worshipers wanted.

To the New Testament believer, the meaning of grace is that God already approves of the redemption that Christ purchased through the perfect sacrifice of himself, and not because it is deserved or earned through the practice of rituals. When we worship God using the symbolic acts of biblical worship, it is to express our offering of thanks to God for his provision of our salvation. We worship him because he deserves it, and we worship him in the biblical manner as an act of obedience, and because his word tells us it pleases him (Psa. 69:30-31, Heb. 13:15-16). Worship is both generated from and completed in a personal lifestyle of obedient service.

The breaking of the covenant with God involved sanctions: blessings if the covenant was kept, and curses if it was violated (Deut. 11:26-28). The predicted effects of violation of the covenant could include the loss of health, in the form of pestilence, illness, plague, famine, drought, and the end of joyful sounds such as music and dance (Lam. 5:15).32 The restoration of the covenant was to include the opposite, the blessings of the restoration of health and music (Jer. 31:1-14). Like the other symbolic acts of biblical worship, music is a gift of God, intended to be used for sacred purposes, but is not magic to accomplish an individual's own desired results.

Among the health-enabling qualities of biblical worship is the freedom of emotional expression, both verbal and nonverbal, that is available in the singing, improvisation, and movement. The 1993 study by Berry and Pennebaker suggests that people who "actively inhibit emotional expression are a greater risk for a variety of health problems"; they speculate that the nonverbal expression of emotion also bears a relationship to health status.33

The frequent rehearsal of the "words of the covenant" in song could potentially have had a beneficial effect on the whole society of ancient Israel. In our present century. H. M. Zullow analyzed the lyrics of the top 40 popular songs of each year from 1955 to 1989, searching for depressive psychological traits, and compared these with the results of consumer surveys.34 He found that pessimistic ruminations in popular music predicted, with one to two years lead time, increased rumination about bad events in the media, changes in the media and public's world view, and pessimism about the economy. These in turn predicted changes in consumer spending and GNP. Obviously, God knew that if all Israel worshiped him by singing about his goodness and constant provision for his people, the whole nation would prosper.

Worship and Therapy

In reflecting on these characteristics of biblical worship, I have been struck with the fact that they sound so similar to what I have experienced in some music therapy sessions. Often, something familiar has been evoked in myself during an effective session: it is the same feeling that I experience at an "effective" service of worship. Several significant aspects of biblical worship are reenacted or simulated within a music therapy session. The greeting song or "check-in" improvisation of a music therapy session could be analogous to the Act of Entrance of a worship service, and the closing song can be like a Benediction — a blessing by the therapist as the client goes back into his daily world. In a way, the non-verbal communication that takes place in instrumental improvisation resembles a Service of the Word, in that it is a symbolic truth-telling without words. The instruments themselves may become both visible and auditory symbols, and the silence before beginning to play can feel like "all the earth keeping silence before him."

The five experiences of music with which music therapists work — move, sing, listen, play, create — are all included in the descriptions of biblical worship above. The examples of worship in the Bible are full of singing of "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs"; expressive movements like clapping hands, raising the arms, and dancing; playing of instruments both professionally and spontaneously; and the creation of music both composed and improvised. All of these are activities music therapists use to promote health in an individual. Every way in which a human being can experience music has been included in God's plan for worship.

Music in worship does not just have value from participating in the five experiences of music outlined above, but in the spiritual experiences and insight that can be the result. Music, whether composed or improvised, whether sung or played, can evoke an experience of the numinous for the worshiper.35 The music therapist's goal in the therapeutic relationship with a client is change in the client; the result of truly participating in worship is transformation and change in the believer's life.36 While God desires and is pleased with our praises directed to him, his goal for us is our transformation through the experiences of worship.

This study reflects on worship, on the experience of music in a service of worship, and briefly on the spiritual experiences in the practice of music therapy. It has been a personal effort to explore why the practice of music therapy has been in so many ways an experience of worship for me as the therapist, and to explain for myself why music therapy is such a uniquely Christian profession and calling for me. It has also been an effort to discover more of all the health that God meant to give us when he gave us music for the purpose of praising him.

[ Return to beginning of study ]

Lynda A. Tracy was formerly coordinator of supervision for the music therapy program at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, and maintained a private practice in music therapy. She earned the B.Mus.Th. degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and holds two Associate degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, in the teaching of piano and singing. She is a member of Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly. This study was originally submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for a master's degree program at Ontario Theological Seminary (now Tyndale Seminary), Toronto. To contact Lynda Tracy about this study, use this link.


 1 D. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), p. 283.

 2 J. Astley, "The Role of Worship in Christian Learning," Religious Education, Vol. 79, No. 2 (1984), pp. 243-251.

 3 E.g., J. S. Levin and H. Y. Vanderpool, "Is Frequent Religious Attendance Really Conducive to Better Health?", Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 24, No. 7 (1987), pp. 589-600 [Abstract, PsycLIT Database, American Psychological Association, 1988].

 4 C. G. Ellison and L. K. George, "Religious Involvement, Social Ties, and Social Support in a Southeastern Community, " Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 33, No. 1 (1994), pp. 46-61.

 5 T. W. Hall and B. F. Brokaw, "The Relationship of Spiritual Maturity to Level of Object Relations Development and God Image," Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 43, No. 6 (1995), pp. 373-391.

 6 H. G. Koenig, "The Relationship Between Judeo-Christian Religion and Mental Health Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults," Advances,Vol. 9, No. 4 (1993), pp. 33-39 [Abstract, PsycLIT Database, American Psychological Association, 1994].

 7 J. Gartner, D. B. Larson and G. D. Allen, "Religious Commitment and Mental Health: A Review of the Empirical Literature," Journal of Psychology and Theology, Vol. 19, No. 1 (1991), pp. 6-25 [Special Issue: Spirituality: Perspectives in Theory and Research]. Interestingly, Gartner et al. also commented that many of the studies which claimed to show a negative correlation between religious belief and mental health had used subjective pencil-and-paper questionnaires, which were more apt to be phrased so as to reflect the bias of the researchers (pp. 6, 15).

 8 Cited in L. Dossey, Prayer Is Good Medicine (New York: HarperCollins, 1996), pp. 2-3.

 9 Quoted by C. Tuttle, "Foundations of Praise and Worship," in R. Sheldon (ed.), In Spirit and in Truth: Exploring Directions in Music in Worship Today (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1989).

10 Numerous studies are cited by D. L. Bartlett, "Physiological Responses to Music and Sound Stimuli," in D. Hodges (ed.), Handbook of Music Psychology (San Antonio, IMR Press, 1996), pp. 343-385)

11 Several studies are cited by A. M. Green, "Music Is Instrumental in Brain Development," Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association: Notes, Spring, 1997, pp. 29-30.

12 R. Leonard, "Biblical Philosophy of the Worship Arts," in. R. E. Webber (ed.), The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Vol. 1,The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993), pp. 221-222.

13 K. E. Osbeck, The Endless Song: Music and Worship in the Church (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1987). In the Kodaly system of music education, tones in the pentatonic scale are taught to young children first, because this scale, having no semitones, is easier to sing in tune, and because pentatonic songs are found in the early folk music of almost every culture.

14 As such, spiritual songs were set apart from other songs, inspired by the Spirit and possibly composed spontaneously: a New Testament example of vocal improvisation in worship.

15 G. Tom, P. Pettersen, T. Lau, T. Burton et al, "The Role of Overt Head Movement in the Formation of Affect," Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 3 (1991) pp. 281-289 [Abstract, PsycLIT Database, American Psychological Association, 1992]. The researchers found that nodding head movements up and down resulted in increased positive feelings, and side to side movements resulted in increased negative feelings. Participants in the study who nodded their heads even felt more positively toward a pen that had been left on the desk in front of them while nodding their heads, and were more likely to state that they would like it as a gift. Shaking the head side to side resulted in a decline in preference for the pen. As a music therapist, I would suspect that music could be used to enhance the effect! These results suggests to me that our physical movements during worship are likely to have an effect on how we perceive the worship experience. There is something to be said for deciding to offer physically active praise — and perhaps it is even more a "sacrifice of praise" when we don't initially feel like moving.

16 R. Leonard, "Acts of Entrance in Traditional Worship," in The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, pp. 288-291.

17 A. E. Hill, Enter His Courts with Praise! Old Testament Worship for the New Testament Church (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), p. 134.

18 J. E. Leonard and R. Leonard, "Symbolism in Biblical Worship," in The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, pp. 38-55.

19 R. Leonard, "Biblical Philosophy of the Worship Arts," in The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, p. 222.

20 Ibid., pp. 221-222.

21 Ezekiel apparently had a complaint about the receptiveness of the people who heard his songs of prophecy: that they were paying no more attention to his prophecies than if he had been singing popular love songs. (Ezek. 33:32)

22 R. Leonard, "The Psalms in Biblical Worship," in The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, p 244; Osbeck, The Endless Song, p. 44.

23 Unfortunately, many instances of dance in worship in the Old Testament are obscured for English-speaking readers: a number of Hebrew words for dancing, of which some indicate a corporate round dance and others express an individual's leaping for joy or "dancing in the Holy Spirit", have been translated "rejoice" or "tremble", or even "fear." For example, a more accurate rendering of Psa. 96:9 would read "O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; dance with joy before him, all the earth." In the New Testament also, various Greek words describing dancing that occurred on 43 different occasions in the NT are often translated as simply "rejoice" (L. M. Petersen, "Dance and Banners in Worship," in The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, pp. 263-268). Therefore, it seems that many Christians in the English-speaking world may not even be aware of their heritage and the Biblical examples of dance in worship.

24 Hill, Enter His Courts with Praise! p. 106.

25 R. Leonard, "Acts of Entrance in Traditional Worship," in The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, p. 290.

26 Ibid., p. 291.

27 Hill, Enter His Courts with Praise! p. 106.

28 E. Schweitzer, "Worship in the New Testament", The Reformed and Presbyterian World, Vol. 24, No. 5 (1957), p. 295; quoted in R. P. Martin, Worship in the Early Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), p. 135.

29 The Hebrew word shama', often translated "hear" in older English versions, means to hear intelligently, with the implication of attention and obedience. Contemporary translations of this passage have rendered it "obey". The same word is translated "hear" in many other instances to express how God hears us, and how we ask God to hear us (e.g. 2 Sam. 22:7 and many psalms).

30 J. E. Leonard and R. Leonard, "Symbolism in Biblical Worship," in The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, p. 39.

31 Peterson, Engaging with God, p. 41.

32 J. E. Leonard, I Will Be Their God (Chicago: Laudemont Press, 1992), pp. 62, 23.

33 D. S. Berry and J. W. Pennebaker, "Nonverbal and Verbal Emotional Expression and Health," Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Vol. 59, No. 1 (1993), pp. 11-19 [Abstract, PsycLIT Database, American Psychological Association, 1993].

34 H. M. Zullow, "Pessimistic Rumination in Popular Songs and Newsmagazines Predicts Economic Recession Via Decreased Consumer Optimism and Spending," Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 3 (1991), pp. 501-526 [Abstract, PsycLIT Database, American Psychological Association, 1992].