What is it with worship music, anyway?

Alicia de los Reyes
5 min readJun 24, 2021
Black and white photo of a young person pointing at a band on a stage with a light overhead coming in from the heavens above.
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

This morning, my three-year-old son fiddled with the 30-year-old clock radio we keep in his brother’s room, spinning the tuning dial until he found Air1. The overpowering sound of worship music filled the room and as if on cue, my son immediately threw up his arms and spun like a modern dancer arcing through some Martha Graham choreography.

The response was so lyrical, so joyful. And also, innate. The kid has only been inside a church of any kind for a handful of events. He has not heard evangelical worship music except in passing, when we scan the car radio. My husband and I aren’t practicing anything, though I would consider myself a pseudo-wiccan, a crunchy spiritual-but-not-religious type.

Spinning around his bedroom, though, my toddler reminded me of the many folks who attend evangelical or nondenominational Christian services and sway, one or both hands up, eyes closed, as a worship band plays at the altar. His response, so pure, echoed that of people who associate worship music with spiritual experience. Heck, he looked like he was having a spiritual experience.

It made me wonder: what is it with worship music?

“Worship music” is the catchy, easy-to-follow music played by church bands across the country during all manner of Christian services. Protestant and Catholic churches play worship…



Alicia de los Reyes

Freelance writer who loves to make stuff 🧵🧶 Stories about crafts/fiber arts/art/history/women/related | aliciadelosreyes.com