Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hour of Worship

Dancin at Church
This past Sunday I had my first Ghanaian church experience. A friend from school plays the keyboard for his church and invited myself and two other Americans to a music program the church was putting on. By now I am getting used to the fact that the sense of time in Ghana is very different than time back at home. So when he told us the 3pm service wasn't starting until 3:30, I wasn't very surprised. We took a tro-tro from campus and met up with this friend and he took us to his large chruch, which was under construction so it was semi-outside. When we arrived, there were only a few other people there (and no other Americans) but we figured it was an afternoon service and not too many people would show up. We kept waiting and pretty soon it was past 4 and more people slowly trickled in, decked out in bright colors and fancy suits. The band finally began playing and the pastor welcomed us to the Hour of Worship, only a little bit late.

The opening number was quite a shock to me. There were three backup singers, a lead singer, 3 keyboards, drums, guitar, bass, and backup percussion and the place came alive. Everyone was singing along and dancing in their seats, and halfway through some people went to the front and began dancing. Pretty soon half the congregation was out on the dance floor, doing any sort of dance moves they felt like. They band would slow down for a bit and some people would sit down, but then they would pick it up and everyone would come back out dancing down the aisles.

We were welcomed again to the Hour of Worship and the band played another number. At about 5, a new man came to the front and officially welcomed us to the Hour of Worship which is when we learned that this program was a collection of choirs who would each perform a few numbers. By now the church was full and a new choir took the stage. All of the voices in these choirs were amazing and the band was spectacular. Some songs were in English, some were in Twi, but they all had everyone singing along.

The Hour of Worship ended at after 8pm but was well worth the time. I have never experienced such an energetic service where anyone could sing whenever they wanted and dance when they felt moved.

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