Can oohs be holy?

During one of the songs last night at church, there was a part where there was no words…just oohs.  You know those parts?  Where it’s just a lot of aah-ing or ooh-ing during what would otherwise be an instrumental part of the song?

While I love those parts of the song when I’m in the car, I’ve often felt they were a little awkward in corporate worship because they just didn’t say anything.  Sometimes when leading worship during one of those parts, I’d look out at the congregation and sometimes think, this feels a little weird.  I mean, were just singing a bunch of oohs.

And sure, those parts sound really pretty, but are they necessary?  We’re supposed to be offering up worship, but we aren’t even saying anything.  Does God appreciate our oohs as much as our words?

So I’m standing there last night ooh-ing along with the worship leaders and the rest of the congregation and that’s when it hit me.

You won’t always have the words.

I had to just let that settle for a second.

Because there will be seasons of hardship when words fail.   And I thought at that moment about times in my life so difficult that I’ve been at a complete loss as to how or what to pray.  I thought of situations I’ve seen my friends walk through that were so hard, so gut-wrenching that I didn’t even know how to pray on their behalf.

And in the middle of that part of the song that was without words, I was reminded of this verse:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

~ Romans 8:26

There will be those moments where all I can get out of my mouth is an “ooh” or “aah.”  We’ve all had them.  Life happens and we are left feeling confused and hurt, angry and frustrated, or frightened and alone.  Sometimes your brain just can’t get it together.  And when we land in that spot, the Holy Spirit steps in and prays the words on our behalf.

And you know, there’s even a flip side to that coin.  I’ve found myself in moments where I have been so stunned at God’s love and His mercy that I can’t think of anything that even comes close to saying how wonderful and beautiful He is.  All I can do is stand there and “aah.”  I bet you’ve had those moments, too.

So then…can oohs be holy?  Yep.  I’m thinking absolutely they can.  🙂

 

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14 thoughts on “Can oohs be holy?

      • There are songs from the late middle ages that still bless my spirit in worship. This is in contrast with little 4-line choruses repeated only to put a congregation into a state of partial hypnosis. I seek depth in music, be it old or new. Also, it is easy to sense whether His Spirit authored it or whether it comes from the human soul.

      • I love the theological depth of old hymns…definitely something that is lost to some more recent worship music. I don’t mind the 4-line choruses too much when they are a scriptural truth I need to drive home in my heart. But I know what you’re saying. Sometimes it’s feels like mindless repeat for the sake of repeat.

      • 🙂 Or when I sing it for the Lord (who else??) ten times, then the worship leader announces “let us sing it for the Lord THIS time.” That is where I feel like leaving church….

        I cut my teeth on worship music with Silverwind – By His Spirit album, 33 years ago

      • Totally get that. We as worship leaders have to remember not to judge the condition of our congregants hearts by the positions of their bodies in worship. Sometimes we can forget that it’s not our job to make people feel things, but rather to worship together.

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