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What's the difference between a 'praise' song and a 'worship' song. I have heard people talk about faster songs being praise songs and slower ones being worship songs. Does this mean ALL slow songs are worship ones and ALL fast songs are praise ones?

Can a slow song be a praise song and can a fast song be a worship song?

I guess another way to put it is: what is a 'worship' song and what is a 'praise' song? Are there definitions of these found in scripture or is this something we've invented to describe different types of songs?

Tags: praise, praise vs worship, worship

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So my first thoughts would be that a praise song IS a worship song because worship isn't just about singing songs. But i'd love to hear more about this from you guys...
Can a slow song be a praise song and can a fast song be a worship song? Yes!!! I think it all boils down to the lyrics & its meaning. It has nothing to do with the tempo of the song. :)
So what lyrics/meaning make a song either a praise song or a worship song then?
Looking at definitions, praise is to exalt... an expression done with joy. Worship, to me, is to adore, to honour, to give thanks because of the awe & reverence one have for God. So any song, which can be segregated into these two categories, will be classified either praise or worship songs, sometimes a song can costitute both praise & worship elements.

I can't think of a fast worship song at this moment... maybe there isn't any such song, but I'd see 'How Great is our God' as both a praise & a worship song because of the lyrics, despite it being quite a mid-tempo song--Describing God's splendour & His majesty.

Thinking in this line, a thought came to me: praise & worship songs can only be described as 'praise' or 'worship', or both only when there is a praiser or a worshipper. This means, we must mean with our hearts what we sing.
Hi Cheryl - thanks for these thoughts - very useful. I like what you said in the last paragraph especially - very true that songs are basically just words until a worshipper uses those words to praise and worship Him!
That's a nice explanation!
Is this a trick question? Are you happy because you are glad or are you glad because you are happy? Praise and worship seem to be the same thing in different aspects. Both are directed to one source: God. When I praise God in song, I am worshiping Him and when I worship God, I can't help praising Him.

The only difference might be philosophical. A chicken or egg question.

That's my take, anyway.
Interesting conversation. When I think about the word 'worship' I think of something that is a bit more broad and all encompassing (worship as an entire life response to the person and work of God in Christ). Not so much about one aspect of music, or one aspect of a worship gathering. Life in the Kingdom of God isn't segmented, all of life is to be viewed as worship, all of life is sacred.

So, at least as I think of it, praise is one appropriate response in worship, and therefore, would make up one category of song (not that all songs fit so neatly into categories). Confession, repentance, and silently standing in God's presence are all appropriate responses in worship as well, but aren't necessarily acts of 'praise'. Worship is all encompassing of these movements or responses.

I also agree with Cheryl's comment about tempo: tempo doesn't always dictate celebration. You can sing a song at a medium to slower tempo that is chalk full of praise (great is thy faithfulness).

So, in summary: worship is everything -- (songs or acts of) praise, confession, repentance, celebration, adoration, are all appropriate responses that the Spirit calls us to.

There's probably a lot more to talk about here.
Thoughts...?
The praise=fast and worship=slow idea is so old that it's become an accepted idea. Tried finding Scriptural support for it but couldn't, so I believe it's something that has been invented to describe different types of songs.

Praise (dictionary def) means to say that someone or something is good. Worship means to ascribe worth to someone or something. So they do kinda overlap, I mean, if you think something is good you are ascribing some worth to it, right?

Junjie
HI all,

This is my first post here, so 'Hello' to everyone! On to the topic at hand:

I really feel that trying to find a delineation between 'Praise' and 'Worship' is just an adventure in semantics (and futility). All of it is about FOCUS, which should only be on Him. Certainly music retailers don't make this distinction; you don't see a separate section in stores for the two. Sometimes the church tries to overcomplicate things, and I think that this is just another example of that. To my mind, just because the intention of a song is to be sung to the church instead of directly to God is no reason to assign it a different Genre.
I guess I had always thought of {praise} songs being things like "look what the Lord has done for me". Things that assign value to God but the focus is not in the "conversational" . "intimate" manner that you have in "worship".
Worship to me has always been a more intimate time/place/setting/response.

Jason Upton says "worshiping the heart of God can sometimes sound like this : 'AHHRRRHHHHHH"

And I agree.
So to me its not so much about fast or slow. As much as the level of honesty and transparency is deeper in worship.

Then again talk to most pastors and they prefer not to call the music minister the "worship leader" because preaching is a time of worship as well. But if you think about that. That is a time when he is speaking to your heart. Directly speaking over you the very heart and words of God.

I guess that doesnt really answer any questions does it?
Yeah, what they said!!

Not to get into the Philosophical debate on teh difference of worship and praise. If you are looking at it from more of a industry view. Most people in the worship ministry consider praise music to be the upbeat celebratory songs that are played to get everybody pumped. We usually refer to the more passionate, initmate songs as worship songs. That doesn't mean that one is right or one is wrong or even that we have the technical definitions correct, this is really just a way for many worship leaders to distinguish to their bands and others the different types of songs and different sections of the service.

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