The three major components of Canaan's Afro-centric worship service are the sermon, the prayer and the singing. The sermon is rooted in the African oral tradition and is biblically based. Canaan's sermons will sometimes be very long or sometimes short, but no matter the length of the sermon the preaching will be dynamic, and filled with emotion to evoke responses from the congregation such as “Amen!” “Hallelujah!,” and “Thank you Jesus!” Prayer is the medium in which we "talk" to God and in which He responds to our heartfelt petitions. Prayer is key to our worship service, just as it was a liberating source for our ancestors.
Our singing is uplifting, inspirational and moving especially when the words of the song and the rhythm of the beat brings people to their feet in total praise to God.
In his book The Soul of Black Worship: A Trilogy (Martin Luther King Press, 1984), Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker says, “Preaching is the heart of Black Worship, praying is the strength of Black Worship, and singing is the joy of Black Worship.”
Canaan’s preaching is centered on the word of God. Our praise and worship are free and open to the welcomed activity of the Holy Spirit.
I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1
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In the African-American religious experience, music plays a very important part in the worship service. The significance of our church music is rooted in the history of the slave experience in America. Our ancestors, as slaves, sang spirituals to keep them spiritually connected to the God they prayed to. Music was a means of survival.
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