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Them That BelieveThe Power and Meaning of the Christian Serpent-Handling Tradition$
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Ralph Hood, Jr. and W. Paul Williamson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520231474

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520231474.001.0001

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Music among Serpent-Handling Churches

Music among Serpent-Handling Churches

(p.185) Chapter 11 Music among Serpent-Handling Churches
Them That Believe

Ralph W. Hood Jr.

W. Paul Williamson

University of California Press

This chapter describes music as a crucial part of worship in the serpent-handling tradition. It presents research on the types and meanings of songs that are popular among the serpent-handling churches. The serpent-handling churches share with the larger, mainstream Pentecostal denominations the use of music as an essential component in worship. At a typical serpent-handling meeting, it is most likely that instrumentals and singing will provide a prelude to the service as members enter the church and fellowship with one another. The importance of music is such that services rarely begin “on time” but usually whenever the musical prelude happens to end or, more often, as it swells and rises to a level that elicits participation from congregants to join in with singing.

Keywords:   music, Pentecostal denominations, serpent handling, serpent-handling churches, worship

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