House of Worship

by: Twila Paris

In March 2003, singer/songwriter Twila Paris released House of Worship, her first full worship album since her 1991 project, Sanctuary. Although the album could be seen as a reaction to the prevalence of worship projects in Christian music at the time of its release, House of Worship is a continuation of Paris' lengthy ministry, one that has been marked by worship songs throughout the years. Of the project, Paris says, "I love that these songs have been born in this season in which God has been reigniting a passion for worship in His people -- preparing us for something...I pray that more than ever God will lead each of us into a place of true worship, that we will encounter His presence and power and that His desire will be accomplished in us." The album features ten new songs as well as two new versions of the well-loved classics "We Bow Down" and "We Will Glorify." Highly piano-oriented, the release can best be described as simple, yet moving. The album's production tends toward organic, not striving to dazzle listeners with innovative approaches, instead seeking to draw them into worship through simplicity. Songs include "God of All," "For Eternity," and "Christ in Us." Paris' voice continues to achieve greater maturity with each release. Her vocals are bathed in what seems a contradiction: confident humility. While her voice comes across as confident and strong because of years of experience and faithful use, at the same time her vocals contain a gentle humbleness as she acknowledges her need for God through song. In the end, the album is namely a testament of who God is. It is Paris' proclamation of the purpose and need for worship: "God uses worship to heal us, to win battles in the spiritual realm, to draw those who don't know Him, to encourage His children to refocus, to prepare, to realign our priorities...and ultimately to change us and make us more like Him. But all these reasons are secondary. Worship is not about what we get out of it. At the end of the day, we only need one reason. We worship Him because He is worthy. We worship Him for who He is...And if no other reason existed, that would be enough." ~ Ashleigh Kittle Slater

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