Happy-Clappy Church Services

I’m interested in getting peoples opinions on the “Happy-Clappy” entertaining services found in some protestant demoninations, mega-churches and also filtering their way into some Catholic parishes. Is this type of service good and reverent to God? Are people getting more out these services with the stage productions? Do they honor God?

Yes to all your questions.

But what is Worship? Is it for what we get or what we give? I say it is for what we give back to God not for what we get in a feeling.

I really like praying with music and being sold out to that prayer time without thought to what other people are thinking. But is that “worship”? or is that deep prayer?

As a Catholic I see Worship in the Mass; where we as a community come together to give thanks for the blessings of God and not to get anything, but to give all. In our giving all, He then gives us His Son in the Eucharist. This is Worship.

Why wouldnt they be honoring God? Why wouldnt it be reverent to God? If they are praising and thanking God and are happy about it why not be Happy-Clappy.:smiley: We are suppose to be Joyful and shout praises to our Lord. If some services do it that way(Happy Clappy)then so be it. My church is kinda middle of the road.:thumbsup:

God created a time and a purpose for everything. He made us, all the parts of us and that includes our emotions. He is honored when we honor Him in all of our ways. There is a time for quiet reverence and a time for being excited about what God has done. Just because someone is excited about all God has done for them does not make them disrespectful to God. There is a time for it, and just because people are happy and clapping dosn’t mean they are “entertained”. Consider this passage of scripture:

37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!“
40"I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.

Were they quiet and reverent in their Praises? No, but they were Praising Jesus and they were honoring Him just as well.

Or how about this one:

Psalm 47
1 Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy
. 2 How awesome is the LORD Most High,
the great King over all the earth!

Psalm 98
2 The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
4** Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the LORD, the King. **

Here are some more:


Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. Psalm 134:2

1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands,

[LEFT] Ephesians 5:19 says to worship “in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,”

[LEFT] And all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments. II Samuel 6:5 *(:eek: even thoes evil DRUMS?!)

Psalm 66:1 Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands.

[LEFT] Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Psalm 150:4

Psalm 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance.

[LEFT] I will declare thy name unto my brethern; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. - Psalm 22:22


Praise includes many things it is not irreverent to Praise Jesus in our congregations. I listed lots of ways that clapping and loud shouting and dancing and singing, instruments etc. are apporpriate. there are times when we should be quiet and still in our praise as well. “Be still and Know I am God.” Just because people are happy and excited dosn’t mean they do it to be entertained. Believe it or not, we do it because we love God so much we can’t hold it all in.

I will admit there are some people out there who do NOT feel that excited about God and yet they shout and dance anyhow, but I can say the same thing about people in churches who do not do these things, they are not feeling like being quiet and still and reverent before God and yet they stand and sit and recite prayers at the appointed time anyhow. Either way, God knows where our hearts are when we attand a service be it a Mass or a Protestant Worship.

What this really boils down to is what is the Mass and what is an Evangelical/Pentecostal service. Are they the same things or have the same goals?

The Mass is the corporate worship of God which has various parts and functions–too many to list here for our purposes. But, the main focus of the Mass is the Eucharist–the representing of Christ’s offering of himself for our sins and our receiving his body and blood, soul and divinity. Everything that comes before it leads to it and fully appreciating all that it means.

Protestant services vary widely according to their beliefs and intentions in gathering together. For Evangelicals/Pentecostals I think it is safe to say that the main focus of the Sunday morning service is the sermon. Everything before it is meant to enhance it.

With such basic differences in intention and rites (and yes, Evangelicals have rites–they just don’t call them that) it’s no wonder that what the Catholic and the Evangelical are doing as a part of corporate worship differs so drastically.

As far as I can tell, this is a myth made up by Catholics. :frowning: The purpose of a protestant service is to Worship and Praise God, The Sermon is there to enhance it… by learning about God, we have more to praise Him for. It is totally natural for the praise to be lively when the praise of God is why we are there in the first place.

You argument also dosn’t stand… There is a huge Charasmatic movement among Catholics that, last I heard, has not been condemned by the Catholic Church the one such mass I attended had the very same style of music as well as many of the exact same songs we sing in my Protestant church.

Well, yes, the Charismatic masses have the same kind of music as Protestant churches (when in college I attended one that had the priest playing a mandolin to the greats of Gospel music – I Saw the Light, I’ll Fly Away…), but at their heart, they are a mass. There are still the same readings from Scripture in the same order one would expect them, the Creed is still recited, the Eucharistic prayer is still chosen from among the legitimate ones available and so on. There may be speaking in tongues, prophesying and other gifts of the Spirit on display and yes, there is joy!

I also thought that the centerpiece of an Evangelical service was the sermon. It does seem to take up the most time. Of course, you’re right too, the purpose of people going to the service is to glory in and worship God.

Folks are different. Some like raucous worship, some want silent worship, some want something in between. And they all hope their worship is beautiful to God.

Some protestants also have liturgical services. :wink: Believe it or not, most of the churches I’ve attended had the sermon last an equal time with the worship (if you are basing it only on time) My current church frequently skips the sermon because they don’t like to stop the worship. :smiley: Only church I know of that takes way longer than worship for the sermons are some Baptists I’ve visited.

Yes, I know some Protestants have liturgical services, I am an Episcopalian now. I guess I was judging based on non-denominational services, which all seem to be about the sermon.

Actually she said that in most Protestant Churches that the “main focus” is the sermon. I think that is absolutely true, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been reminded in Protestant circles that faith comes from hearing…a justification by many Protestants to make the sermon the centerpiece of the worship service. Not *all *that takes place in the service by any means, but the centerpiece. As noted, some Protestant denominations may have a different approach.

Consider what you see, centered, as you enter most traditionally laid out protestant churchs: the pulpit. Consider what you see, centered, when you enter most liturgically based churchs: the altar.


Anglicanus Catholicus

An astute observation

The Prtestant churches I attended would spend about half of the time singing, then they would take collection, sing some more, have a three point sermon on whatever the Pastor felt led to talk about that week. Then they would wrap up with an altar call and some more singing.

The entertainment aspect of Protestant services is vital, Why? My guess is becuase they do not have the real presence in the Eucharist they have to keep sending people away with the “feeling”. Where in the Catholic church you can have really bad music, a horribly boring homiy, but the reason you come is to recieve Christ in the Eucharist. Which still happens no matter how entertaining the service is.

I think its disrespectful. I made an excellent lengthy post on this in the speaking in tongues thread.

Its horrifying. IMHO.

God doesnt need to reminded how much we love him by our shouting and circus antics.

At the spa party I went to last night I met a woman who visited my church and I asked her what she didnt like about it she said it wasnt spunky enough for her. She is currently going to a catholic church. Go figure. So I guess my church would meet your standards.:thumbsup: :smiley:

Spunky enough?

I will not comment further. This kind of comment speaks for itself in regard to lack of reverence.


God hears us without our actions. We are only drawing attention that should be on Him alone to ourselves if we participate in an unruly slap happy way.

Spunky? She is very lost. You can pick a spunky toe nail polish but not a spunky church. How sad.

Ask her if she is in the Charasmatic “renewal”


No, but I know the CC she goes to is very popular in our area because they have young priests who are very energetic and they have a fantastic youth program. I have never gone to their mass so I dont know how spunky it may or may not be.

Came from my priest.


I went to one of those charismatic Masses at my church. It’s not really my style of worship, but several of my friends really liked it. They were clapping, raising hands and shouting “Amen”. And one of them is a woman who never enters the church without wearing a mantilla, and she attends Mass every day, be it regular Mass or charismatic Mass. Her motives are right. She is there to worship God, not be entertained.

IMO, those services downgrade worship to God because they turn worship as a form of entertainment, which is more of an insult than worship.

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