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Darrell A. Harris, D.W.S.

Ancient-Future Worship: Always Both-And, Never Either-Or, Part 1

by Darrell A. Harris, D.W.S.

“What has been before will be again,” my paternal grandmother said. She often saw the events of the past not only recurring in the present, but giving shape to the future as well. While the term ancient-future appears at first glance to be a construct comprised of mutually exclusive terms, my grandmother’s wisdom may offer some insight.

After nearly twenty years of friendship with Bob Webber and then having read his Ancient-Future Worship, I am overwhelmed at the scope, the sweep and the comprehensive richness of his concept. As contemporary worshippers hunger for the authenticity of the worship of ancient Israel and the early church, we may be catching glimpses of the eternal future of worship.It occurs to me that there are five paradoxical dyads always in play in ancient-future worship.

John Wesley’s Directions for Singing in Worship with Commentary (from Select Hymns 1761)

by Darrell A. Harris, D.W.S.

In an era where we can often not hear out own voice and the voices of those next to us, these directions can easily  seem archaic. However, imagined in an unplugged, acoustic context, they readily spring to contemporary life!

   I. Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please.

   It is always good to have shared repertoire . . . shared musical touchstones.

II. Sing them exactly as they are printed here, without altering or mending them at all; and if you have learned to sing them otherwise, unlearn it as soon as you can.