Bilingual Worship

When I was growing up, I think my church didn’t really understand what it meant to be a Korean-Canadian church. The language barrier proved to be too much for the first and second generation to bridge, and eventually, the English-speaking adults left the church.

I now go to a church whose mission statement is to raise spiritual leaders for the next generation. As a result, more effort is made into bridging the gap, and one thing I find is so special that I wanted to write about it. When we have joint services (like on holidays), we praise in two languages.

I don’t mean one verse in Korean, one verse in English. We have double the number of singers at the front; our projector slides have both languages simultaneously, and we have both languages being sung at the same time.  You can choose to sing in English, or in Korean.  There are people at the front singing in your language.

At first, it was a little weird because you can’t really understand what’s being sung. But I love it so much, because of the spirit behind it. It’s very easy for one ministry to feel as though they are joining the other ministry for the holiday. But by leading the congregation into worship in this way, it becomes a true collaboration. Music is perfect because it transcends all man-made barriers. Regardless of age, language, era, music is always there. What a waste it would be if we were not to use it as an opportunity to come together before God.

So, I hope that my church will always praise this way. Who cares if we can’t quite hear what we’re saying? It’s not for us anyway.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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