Music-Making in Church

Contextualization of Hymn in Service

Hymns play a significant role in Worship. It is a means of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, commitment and prayer, among others. Aside from the usual way of using hymns in worship service, selecting appropriate hymns can take care of a call to Worship, offertory prayer, thanksgiving prayer, benediction, and other elements of Worship. Since the hymn lyrics are bible-based, it is an excellent and valuable tool for Christian Worship. Worship is dynamic and not static; singing melody in place of verbalizing prayer creates a unique atmosphere in Christian Worship. But, as it is necessary to select an appropriate hymn, it is also important to assign the rightful leader to lead. Music ministers, choir directors, soloists, choir, musically trained pastors and deacons can also be engaged. Nigerian Baptist Convention is compiling a new hymn book for Christian Worship to have more indigenous hymns for Worship. The new hymn book will contain songs from indigenous writers not in the current Baptist hymnal inherited from the missionary.

Samples of Hymns for Elements of Worship

Call to Worship Hymns – “Breath on me, Breathe” (BH 167), “Come Holy Spirit” (BH169), “Spirit of the Living God” (BH 523), “The Lord is in His Holy Temple” (BH 515, 516)
Offertory Hymns – “All Things Are Thine” (BH 403)
Benediction Hymns – “Benediction” (BH 540), “God be with you” (BH372), “Grace, love, Peace abide” (BH 539)

Contributed by Solomon Tunde Ajayi.

Hymn singing at Caretaker BC Ogbomoso

Hymns for Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Baptism is usually observed when some individuals have given their lives to Christ, and they are followed up with converts/believers class; after which arrangement is being done to baptize them in the name of the Lord Jesus. Baptism is a form of ritual purification – a characteristic of many religions throughout time and geography. In Christianity, it is a Christian sacrament of initiation and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water (Leverkuhn, 2022). The form that Baptism takes depends on each denomination, whether by sprinkling, infanthood or by immersion. Baptists and other evangelicals subscribe to baptism by immersion. In Baptist Churches, such sacred services are usually coupled with the Lord’s Supper; whereas some other churches observe separate services for Baptism and Lord’s Supper. It is this Lord’s Supper which some prefer to address as Holy Communion (Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc). The area of emphasis here is on the type of Hymns that are being used during such liturgies. The Hymns are such that are directly proclaiming the death, burial and resurrection of Christ; and the new life that it brings to a new believer in Him.

Such hymns include: “O Happy Day,” “Jesus Paid it All,” “There is a Fountain,” “Oh Jesus I Have Promised,” “Take My Life and Let it Be,” “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus,” “Have You Been to Jesus?,” “Power in the Blood,” “Brethren We Have Met to Worship,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “At the Cross,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” among others. They are songs that connect the heart of the baptized with his/her Saviour and Redeemer, in warm love and appreciation of the great work of atonement which brings Salvation to the bearer. The singing of these reflective Hymns similarly helps to submerge every pride in human heart, enhance recommitment of growing believers to their Saviour; and restore the backslidden to the first love at Calvary.

Leverkuhn A. What is a Musical Idea? Nov. 18, 2022 ( accessed 04/12/22.

Contributed by Victoria Oyenike Ayano.

Sabon Rai Music

Sabon Rai music can be well-defined as a Christian musical genre that it’s meant for spreading the message about Jesus Christ but not necessarily limited to that in practice. It may contain praise, thanksgiving, adoration of God, admonition, comfort, prayer social and moral values, and general Christian doctrines. The significance of Sabon Rai music among the Hausa-speaking Christians cannot be overemphasized. This is because it has been one of the major styles of Music that most of the Hausa-speaking churches use as a tool for mission and evangelism among the Hausas. Besides, other music singing groups usually minister during worship services.

Most of the churches prefer the Sabon Rai music to church praise teams because the instrumentation of it does not require electricity, more so that its instruments are not expensive. Sabon Rai music has unique patterns of dance. Sabon Rai dance though does not originate from any ethnic group, it contains a lot of Nigerian cultural elements, which makes it a good tool for evangelism. Sabon Rai dance has different powerful dance styles, the dancers dance like soldiers with so much energy and vigour. Sabon Rai music has played a role in mission and evangelism globally, it plays a better role in global mission especially in terms of propagating the gospel among the Hausa speaking communities.

Contributed by Daset Fwangshak Emmanuel.