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Rock and Roll in Church

What some people say! – Image via Tumblr

By Verona Raymond

Why do some churches have old time hymns and others have several guitars, drums and other types of instruments that weren’t in churches twenty plus years ago? Are we getting away from what a Christian church should be, and forming something else that maybe isn’t acceptable to God today?

I know some conservative churches that never allow anything but a piano and a church organ for their music. They sing the old time hymns (from when I was a child in church), of which many are still beautiful and really nostalgic.

Other churches allow most any musical instrument. Christian songs by new Christian artists of today are played and sung as well. I’ve got to admit that some of the music that is popular is really beautiful, and touches my heart. One of them is “I can Only Imagine” by MercyMe. It describes what we will feel when we are standing before Jesus someday. It gives me goose bumps every time it’s played! There are many more beautiful Christian songs that are out right now as well.

Do you ever feel the Lord’s presence within you at church when you are singing? According to the Bible, singing and praising the Lord is what he loves for us to do.

Here is a verse from the Bible that talks about David:

David and Saul

David and Saul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. 2 Samuel 6:5

It seems like there was quite a collection of instruments! I don’t recall any drums mentioned in the Bible, but cymbals were mentioned and timbrels which are similar to tambourines. Psalteries were stringed instruments that were made out of a flat wooden box.

I really believe that when you are in church and praising the Lord with singing, it doesn’t matter what style it is as long as you are joyful in doing so. Singing feels good and makes your heart glad that God loves us, and at the same time you are thanking God for all he has done and continues to do. Singing out loud is a perfect release!

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Psalm 98:4

About The Author

Verona Raymond – Living Life with God’s Purpose in Mind

Verona maintains Christian websites filled with uplifting Christian articles and information.

This article may be reprinted freely as long as all links remain active.

http://christianarticles.christianrhapsody.com

Article source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/religion/article_283.shtml


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Scientists have resurrected the dinosaur from prehistoric DNA… and they’ve called it David Bowie “Rex”

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And oh, what a cool beast he is!

Word’s out that the new David Bowie lp is good. So I had to have a listen. And yes, it is… GREAT. After years of diddling around in fashion shows and patting his movie maker son on the back, The Reverend Bowie is back, and wow, this new stuff is hot.

Excuse me for mixing metaphors, scientific and religious. But I think in Bowie’s case it’s justified. I’ve just listened to The Next Day for the first time but already I can discern some really hip 70s and early 80s FM radio influences. A bit of Jim Morrison, Chicago, The Eagles, Heart, Stray Cats, Fleetwood Mac, King Crimson, Yes, Roxy Music, you name it. All the good stuff. It’s like Bowie has run it through some huge refractor lens and bounced it back in a new way for 2013. In a word, focus. And this lp has got it in spades.

A real victory, artistic and otherwise.

—MC

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Pope John Paul’s Jewish Miracle

English: Pope John Paul II during General Audi...

Pope John Paul II during General Audiency, 29 September 2004, St. Peter Square, Vatican (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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A second public miracle is needed in order to proclaim Pope John Paul II a saint, and that second miracle could be the revival of Jewish music and Jewish life in Poland, according to Reform Rabbi Allen S. Maller, who was a visiting scholar for two months at Beit Warszawa, a Reform synagogue in Warsaw, in the Fall of 2010, and returned to Poland for another 6 weeks in 2012.

Rabbi Maller points to an interview of Sir Gilbert Levine by Cecile S. Holmes, distributed by Religious News Service (1/5/11) that revealed John Paul’s role in the resurrection of Jewish music in Poland by the Jewish Cultural Festival in Krakow.

Sir Gilbert Levine, whose conducting career spanned the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and the Dresden Staatskapelle, was a Jew from Brooklyn. In 1987, Levine was invited to be guest conductor and artistic director of the Krakow Philharmonic in John Paul’s native Poland. The invitation was unsettling since Levine’s grandparents had fled Poland to escape the Nazis and members of his wife’s family had died in Auschwitz. Also living in Krakow in 1987 meant living behind the Iron Curtain, but Levine accepted anyway.

Soon after Levine arrived in Krakow, the Vatican invited him to Rome for an audience with Pope John Paul. That invitation led to others, and Levine was invited to conduct a concert in 1988 to mark the 10th anniversary of John Paul’s election. Thus began almost two decades of musical collaboration and a joint mission of peacemaking. Three years later, in 1991, the first public Jewish Cultural Festival was held in Krakow. John Paul and Levine also worked together on a 1994 concert to commemorate the Holocaust.

When Levine arrived in Krakow there was no Jewish music festival in Krakow; but his presence and his close connection with the first Polish Pope inspired some Poles in 1989 and 1990 to dream of reviving the Jewish musical tradition in Poland. Today there are more than two dozen Polish (non-Jews) klezmer bands and several Polish (non-Jews) groups that play and sing both Yiddish and Hebrew songs. Today there are Liberal Reform synagogues with Rabbis in Warsaw (2) and Krakow (1) that welcome Poles to  programs of Jewish music and culture. The partnership of a Polish Pope and a Jewish conductor, stimulated a musical engagement of Poles with Jewish souls, and Jewish music for Polish souls.

Levine still recalls his friendship with the pope with a touch of wonder:

Q: Tell me how your relationship with the pope affected you.

A: It deepened my faith, and he honored that Jewish faith wonderfully. It deepened my music making. I understand the spiritual side of music in a deeper and better way than I ever did before. It made me understand that there is no such thing as judging a person by the country they come from, the religion they practice or any other surface issue. Only by the character of their soul should a person be judged.   I was always astonished by the fact that he could let me into his life the way that he did. For him to have been open to such a friendship is just amazing.

Q: What are the most important things you learned from the pope?

A: My 17 years with John Paul taught me so much. The power of music and spirit to foster hope, transformation, healing and love. And more about the mysteries of faith, not one but three—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The potential for reconciliation and redemption in the face of violence and sadness.

But Pope John Paul’s connection to Judaism was not aimply a post Holocaust reaction, He also had a personal connection from his childhood years. Jerry Kluger and Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, were classmates in the southern Polish city of Wadowice; and were friends from first grade through high school. “The young Karol Wojtyla learned a lot about Judaism from Kluger,” said Italian author Gianfranco Svidercoschi, who was an aide to the late pope and wrote a book about the pontiff’s friendship with Kluger.

“He had a great influence on the pope’s life,” Svidercoschi, who wrote about their friendship in the 1993 book “Letter to a Jewish Friend,” told Reuters.  “The young Wojtyla visited the Kluger home in Wadowice, helped Jerzy with his studies, particularly Latin, and started a friendship that would influence his relations with Jews for the rest of his life,” said Svidercoschi, who was editor of the Vatican newspaper during part of John Paul’s pontificate.

They lost track of each other when World War Two broke out with the German invasion of Poland in 1939 and did not see each other again until 1965. Early in the war, Kluger and his father were arrested by the Russians and sent to a gulag in Siberia.

After Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Kluger was freed and joined Polish forces fighting the Nazis in Africa and Italy under General Wladyslaw Anders. Toward the end of the war, when he discovered that his mother had been killed in the Auschwitz death camp, he decided to stay in Italy. He studied engineering in Turin and later moved to England.

He settled in Italy again in the early 1960s, working for an import-export company and re-connected with Archbishop Karol Wojtyla in 1965 when Wojtyla was in Rome for the Second Vatican Council. Until they met for the first time since 1938, each presumed the other had died in the war.

After Wojtyla became the first Polish pope in 1978 they intensified their friendship and Kluger helped organize reunions between the pope and classmates from Wadowice either in Rome or during the pontiff’s trips to Poland. Kluger was in Rome’s synagogue when Pope John Paul made his historic visit there in 1986 and called Jews “our beloved elder brothers”.  When the pope made his first trip to Israel as pontiff in 2000, Kluger was in attendance at the Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust. Their friendship continued right up to the pope’s death in 2005.

Rabbi Maller’s web site is rabbimaller.com


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Music in Christian Worship

A modern Western worship team leading a contem...

A modern Western worship team leading a contemporary worship session via Wikipedia

by: Robert Hinchliffe

The history of music in Christian worship is a substantial one which can trace its origins all the way back to pre-Christian times in the Old Testament. In those very early days we read of the Jewish people singing, playing instrumental music and even dancing. Such activity was widely used as a means of expressing faith. Music played an important role in many acts of celebration and worship. It was into that society that Jesus was born.

Over the two thousand years since Christ’s life the use of music in Christian worship has gone through many phases and many musical idioms. It is really over the second of those two thousand years that church music, as we know it today, has developed.

One of the most important events in the whole of the world of music came about through the work of a Benedictine monk, Guido of Arrezzo who lived from about 995 to 1050. He didn’t actually ‘invent’ staff notation but he perfected it, completing the evolution of the earlier neumes into plainsong script, which was the forerunner of what we know today as ‘tonic-solfa’. All music had previously been passed down by aural tradition so the facility to write down music for others to read and perform was a massive step forward. Almost all musical expression since that time has come as a direct result of that development.

From that time on, composers were able to create substantial works for use in worship. This early church music was written to form the framework of an act of worship. The music was performed primarily by professional musicians attached to the church and was not for congregation participation. Composers did eventually begin to incorporate chorales (hymns) into the liturgy which gave the congregation the opportunity to join in at certain points in the service.

Many of the greatest composers over the centuries have added their voices to the ever growing repertoire of great church music. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and many others have given us masterpieces adding to the wealth of music in Christian worship. We tend to know many of these works today through concert performances, forgetting that many were originally created as liturgical pieces for use in church services.

At times of spiritual revival (the Protestant Reformation, the missions of Moody & Sankey, the evangelical energy which led to the founding of Methodism and the Salvation Army, etc.) there was a burst of hymn writing surrounding these events. These highly creative times in church music led to the appearance of many of the greatest and most popular congregational hymns of all. The hymns from these eras of church history have stood the test of time and are still to be heard today in even the most contemporary of worship situations.

Over the last 50 years worship music has gone through a whole new phase of development. Since the early 1960’s composers of church music have gained much inspiration from the popular music of their day. We now regularly encounter worship bands accompanying church singing rather than the traditional organ. More and more, we hear the term “worship song” rather than the word “hymn” and congregations are becoming much more attuned to worship music in a popular contemporary idiom. This can be a contentious issue at times but it is important that all Christians have the right to express their faith in a manner which suits them. Many churches are coping with this by having both traditional worship and contemporary worship on a Sunday.

So, music in Christian worship continues to develop and change. We now have a massive repertoire of music in many, many different styles and idioms to choose from. At all costs, we must avoid the blinkered view of focusing on music of one idiom and ignoring the rest. Every generation adds to the rich tapestry of worship music we have available to us.

Copyright (c) 2010 Robert Hinchliffe

About The Author

Robert Hinchliffe is a professional musician and Methodist local preacher. This article is a result of his recent research into the history and development of music in Christian worship. Would you like to know more about his research? If so please visit http://www.robsworshipmusic.com/mcweb.htm and find out how you can access a FREE copy of Robert’s contemporary Christmas song, “The Greatest Gift”.

The author invites you to visit: http://www.hinchliffe-music.com


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Michael Jackson will be a “subject” at A.R. Rahman’s Music Conservatory

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson: Cain and Todd Benson

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Entertainment icon Michael Jackson will be a subject at Oscar winner musician A.R. Rahman’s (Slumdog Millionaire) KM Music Conservatory, according to reports.

Rahman himself will reportedly give the inaugural lecture on Jackson. Rahman loved Jackson’s music and has said about Jackson in the past: “one of the greatest musicians of our time… pushed the milestone of Pop music to unbelievable levels… I am yet to find an artist with that energy, perfection and vision…”

During their meeting in Los Angeles (USA) earlier this year, when Jackson showed Rahman a five second example of his dance move, Rahman stated: “It was like a lightning strike”. Jackson even reportedly asked Rahman during this meeting to compose a unity anthem. Jackson collaborated with Rahman on Ekam Satyam track in 1999. Rahman is reportedly developing an album in memory of Jackson, which will include musicians from all over the world.

Founded by Rahman (who is also its Principal), KM Music Conservatory in Kodambakkam area of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state of India envisions expanding the horizon of musicians in India by offering education in both Indian and Western music besides music technology and its mission is to provide students with a strong artistic, intellectual, and technical foundation. T. Selvakumar is the Managing Director of this international school of music and music technology whose tagline is “Become the Future of Music”.

Conservatory offers Preparatory Program (2-5 years), Foundation Program (1-2 years), and Degree Program (three years) under affiliation of Middlesex University in United Kingdom (UK), and has proposed to offer Diploma Program (one year) for international students) and Masters Program (two years) with concentrations in music performance-composition-technology-education. Many faculty members have degrees from USA and UK. Sound editor Joe E. Rand (Titanic) has lectured here besides demonstration by Vienna Chamber Orchestra.

Indo-American leader Rajan Zed has applauded Rahman for creating a bridge between the music of east and west and for strengthening the worldwide market and stature of Indian music. Zed, who is the chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Rahman to help nourish the next generation with the richness of Indian music, elements of whose theory were first found in ancient Hindu scripture Sama-Veda. Rajan Zed further said that Michael Jackson’s personal life might had been controversial, but he did provide “joy” to a large populace of the world through his music. One of the ancient Hindu scriptures “Taittiriya Upanishad” talking about “joy” says: From joy are born all creatures, by joy they grow, and to joy they return.

Rahman, who has reportedly recorded sales of over 300 million, was called “Mozart of Madras” by Time magazine. Rahman sees music “as a way to connect to spirituality and embrace it” and for “creating harmony in troubled times”.


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Queen organizes Bollywood dance at Buckingham Palace

Backview Bollywood #39: Meena Kadri

Backview Bollywood #39: Meena Kadri

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Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom has invited Bollywood dancers for a first-ever such performance at Buckingham Palace in London, according to reports.

Fifteen minute long performance with three male and five female dancers will be held in the lavish Ballroom, where German composer-organist-conductor-pianist Felix Mendelssohn performed organ recitals for Queen Victoria. It will include seven costume changes and a romantic boy-meets-girl storyline.

The performance has been termed as “sexy and hot”. It will be held in the shadow of red-gold canopy once used in 1911 for Delhi Durbar. It will include a sequence from 1955 Filmfare Award winner “Shree 420” starring Raj Kapoor. Two Indian chefs will work with palace chefs to prepare canapés for guests.

Queen had already seen the Bollywood dancing during a visit to Bradford in the past. Besides Queen and Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, other members of royal family expected to be present include Duke and Duchess of Wessex and Prince Michael of Kent.

Seeing Queen’s interest in India’s culture, Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged her to visit a Hindu temple. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that traditionally Lord Shiva invented dance who first danced the cosmic tandava. Sage Bharata first codified rules of classic Indian dance in Natya-sastra treatise.

Bollywood dancing is a high energy vibrant dance performed to the Bollywood tracks and is fusion of traditional Indian dances, folk dances (including Bhangra), and western influences; popularized by Bollywood movies which usually feature about seven song-dance sequences, mostly involving two people falling in love. Bollywood dance craze is spreading across USA, Canada and Europe. It is a free dance, an expression of joy, Rajan Zed adds.


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Pope to release his own music album

Photo: Sam Herd

Photo: Sam Herd

Special to Earthpages.org

Pope will release a music album in November next, according to reports.   His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will release “Alma Mater – Music From The Vatican” featuring Marian hymns, prayers, chants, etc., including “Regina Coeli”, by California (USA) based record label Geffen Records owned by Universal Music Group (UMG), which is a subsidiary of Vivendi.

Pope, accompanied by the choir of the Philharmonic Academy of Rome and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, will sing specially-commissioned pieces from international group of composers of various faiths, a collection of Lauretan Litanies and Marian popular chants, in French, Latin, Italian, German, and Portuguese.

With this album, Pope will be joining Ashlee Simpson, Guns N’ Roses, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana, Elton John, etc., on this label. UMG, headquartered in Santa Monica (California), is the world’s leading music company with offices in 71 countries. Vivendi, based in Paris, is a world leader in communications and entertainment. Jean-Bernard Lévy is the Chief Executive Officer of Vivendi while Jean-René Fourtou is its Board Chairman. “Alma Mater” is Latin for “nourishing mother”. Proceeds from this album will go for providing music education for underprivileged children around the world.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has commended Pope for helping for music education of world’s underprivileged children, his love of music which is a unifying force, and for using composers from different faith groups thus sending a message of unity of mankind.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, also applauded Pope Benedict for reportedly including verse from ancient Hindu scripture Upanishads in the last Good Friday Meditations and Prayers led by him at Roman Colosseum; and also incorporating a verse from India’s Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali and reference to peace icon Mahatma Gandhi in these prayers.

Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, stressed that all religions should work together for a just and peaceful world. Dialogue would bring us mutual enrichment, he added.

Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.


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Hindus & Jews express solidarity with Madonna, who was booed for backing European Roma cause

Photo credit: comicbase / Jeroen Mirck

Photo credit: comicbase / Jeroen Mirck

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus and Jews have come out in support of entertainer Madonna who was reportedly booed and jeered by thousands of fans in Romania Wednesday night when she sympathized with Roma people, who they say face apartheid in Europe.

Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a statement in Nevada today, said that Romania and Europe should apologize for blatant show of prejudice shown towards fellow Roma brothers/sisters when Madonna spoke against Roma discrimination during her concert in Bucharest.

Zed and Freirich pointed out that alarming condition of Roma people was a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world as they reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, etc.

It was like an undeclared apartheid and it was almost total societal exclusion of Roma. The maltreatment of Roma was outside even the European Union norms. Roma issue should be one of the highest priorities of human rights agenda of Europe and world, Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Rabbi Jonathan Freirich argued. According to a recent report of European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, one in two Roma considered that they had been discriminated against, at least once, in the previous 12 months.

Hindu and Jewish leaders have urged other Hollywood and entertainment celebrities of the world not to stay apathetic and silent spectators and use their status to highlight the apartheid conditions faced by about 15-million Roma people of Europe. Many Hollywood and other entertainment bigwigs had successfully worked against South Africa’s apartheid in the past.

Cheers reportedly gave way to jeers, when Madonna paused midway before a sell-out crowd of about 60,000 in Bucharest during her song La Isla Bonita in her about two-hour concert, part of her worldwide “Sticky and Sweet” tour,  and touched on the plight of Roma people, showing the deeply entrenched prejudice against Roma in Europe. She reportedly continues with concerts in Sofia and Tel Aviv during the coming days.

Rajan Zed and Rabbi Freirich further said that references to Roma people in Europe reportedly went as far back as ninth century AD. How many more centuries Roma had to reside in Europe to prove that they were “real and equal” Europeans like any other, they asked.

Golden Globe winner Madonna (Evita) is a singer-actress-dancer- songwriter- record producer- film director & producer-author-entrepreneur- fashion designer-etc., and Rolling Stone described her as “one of the greatest pop acts of all time”. Roma are believed to have their roots in the Indian subcontinent.


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Hindus ask Hollywood star Natalie Portman for “public apology” for participation in a denigrating video

Kali

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus have asked Hollywood actress Natalie Portman to tender a public apology for partaking in a music video Carmensita, which they say mocks Hindu concepts and symbols.

Acclaimed Hindu and Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although the apology might not completely undo the hurt sentiments of the community, but it might help heal somewhat the pain of Hindu populace of the world.

Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that ksama (forgiveness) was one of the main virtues of Hindu ethics. If Portman offered sincere public apology, Hindus would not only absolve her but might also pray for her success in future ventures, if asked.

Goddess Kali, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Shri Hanuman Chalisa, etc.., were highly revered in Hinduism and were not to be thrown around loosely for dramatic effects, as this video appeared to be doing, Zed argued.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion followers and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at, Rajan Zed said and added that mocking and inappropriate use of Hinduism concepts and symbols was not okay.

Hindus welcomed Hollywood to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not just for indecorous showing of Hindu symbols and concepts to advance its agenda. Hindus would gladly provide genuine Hollywood seekers the resources they needed for their study and research. Casual flirting sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees, Zed pointed out.

Meanwhile, various other organizations, including Hindu Alliance of India, Shri Ramayan Pracharini Sabha, India Heritage Panel, have also demanded public apology from Natalie Portman over this issue.

Natalie Portman of Star Wars fame, Oscar and BAFTA nominated actress and winner of Golden Globe, who has acted in few dozen films, plays Princess Carmensita Saplingita in this music video created by Devendra Banhart, a Venezuelan-American musician and folk rock singer-songwriter.

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