Posted December 23, 2013 by Michael Ernest in Culture

Exclusive: Paul Baloche talks about new Christmas album, ‘Christmas Worship’

Paul Baloche quote

For veteran worship leader, singer, songwriter and New Jersey native Paul Baloche a Christmas album was long overdue.

Baloche who has been in the Christian contemporary scene since 1992 has worked with some of the most prestigious Christian artists, and his songs have been performed by the who’s who of Christian music.

Baloche’s focus has always been on making worship music for the church as a whole, so it is no surprise that his songs rank among the most-performed songs in services according to Christian Copyright Licensing International.

Following the recent release of Paul Baloche’s first Christmas album “Christmas Worship,” Baloche took time out to answer some of the questions I had for him.

Read below as he talks about worship, recording “Christmas Worship,” the joy of being a grandparent and his favorite Christmas tradition.

ME: Why title the album “Christmas Worship?”

PB: Because that’s essentially what the album is.  The primary intention of the album was to serve the local church: worship pastors, worship teams, and local congregations, by combining classic Christmas carols with vertical “choruses” to help keep a sense of worship throughout the Christmas season.  Of course anyone can listen to the project and hopefully be inspired to worship with these songs that were written primarily from the church for the church.   Most of the Christmas carols we sing such as “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” were written by ministers and were meant to be sung in the context of Sunday morning worship.

ME: The album got me thinking about the act of worship and worship done during Christmas. Is there any difference between worship and Christmas worship?

PB: I don’t think so…not in my mind.  Worship is much more than just the songs we sing.  However, singing Christmas songs during this time of the year allows us to focus on a particular aspect of God’s story with Jesus giving up his glory in heaven, coming to earth in the form of a common man, being born as a humble child, and ultimately to redeem the world and fulfill the properties as a wonderful Counselor and the Prince of Peace that are found in Isaiah and throughout the Old Testament.  The bottom line is: songs are simply tools to help us worship regardless whether they’re a Christmas song or an every day worship chorus.

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ME: The album features some traditional Christmas tunes we have all come to know and love. Was there a criteria or process in selecting the songs that made it to the album?

PB: The process came about during the last few years for me as a local worship pastor in my church.  I wanted to emphasize Christmas carols that were more “Christ related” and “God related”.  Once again, it’s important that we continue to sing God’s story whether it’s His birth, His life, His resurrection.

ME: When was Christmas Worship recorded? And how long did the recording process take?

PB: Christmas worship was recorded in June, July, and August.  During these three months, we worked on final touches to the actual songs, the production, mixing etc.

ME: How did you recreate or ignite the Christmas spirit and atmosphere since the album wasn’t recorded during Christmas.

PB: I thought about those who live in the southern hemisphere who celebrate Christmas during the summer months like Australia, South Africa etc.  So I imagined what it would feel like for them to sing these songs right in the middle of their summer season.  However, we did set up a Christmas tree, Christmas lights, and we tried to re-create some of the Christmas environment during the recording process.

Paul Baloche’s “Christmas Worship” is available at all Christian stores, iTunes and Amazon.