Posted: September 8, 2022
- Check with Africans in your own community about incorporating their own worship traditions.
- The first hour of worship in Ethiopia is dedicated to prayer, including Scripture texts and songs guiding the hearts and minds of those who are praying, often on their knees
- Many traditional hymns are adapted to an African rhythm, and will include dancing, clapping, ululating, and whistling. These are actions that are used in praise to God. Drumming enhances the beauty of each song.
- Often church members are all encouraged to come up to the front to put their offering into a basket. In many places, people sing and dance while giving their offering, because giving is accompanied with much joy.
- Many people in Africa wear beautiful traditional clothing, or a church uniform when they go to worship. Worship is a time to bring out one’s very best in praise to God.
- In Ethiopia, right before the sermon, the leader calls on children to come forward who have memorized Scripture or are ready to sing a song. There is a rush as the children push to get ahead of each other. If a child is to sing, the congregation joins as an encouragement to the child. Even children who cannot yet read will recite memorized Scripture and receive cheering and clapping from the congregation.
- In some congregations in Africa, at the end of the service, every person greets every other person with a handshake or hug. This is done by people forming a line inside the building and greeting the first person at the door to the outside. One by one, people inside the building go through the door, joining the line on the outside of the building after greeting everyone who is already in the line outside. Everyone greeting everyone on their way out of the church building strengthens the experience of community for all.