Will the parish Christmas decorations show good liturgical sense? Here are some guidelines for planning the worship environment for the Christmas season.
The arts during Christmas may symbolize the Incarnation and thus speaks in a profound way to the meaning of “God with us.” Adapt the suggestions below to local customs.
Since the Scripture readings for Advent are filled with so many images, Advent banners are helpful in portraying their message in a colorful and powerful symbolic way. Always begin preparations for Advent by considering the Scripture lessons that will be read. The following description is one example of a visual image that is based on an appropriate Scripture reading.
As a highly compact form of speech capable of stimulating the imagination, poetry can be effectively used in almost any of the various dimensions or acts of public worship. This article catalogs a variety of ways that poetry can be used in worship and gives guidelines to worship planners for selecting poems and readers.
The most common use of poetry in worship is the singing of poems as hymns. Despite their common use, however, hymn texts are rarely thought of in terms of their poetic qualities. Yet hymn writers are among the finest wordsmiths the church has known. Appreciating their art enriches the experience of all who sing.
Writing prayers for worship calls for the creativity of a poet, the sensitivity of a pastor, the insight of a theologian, and the foundation of a living relationship with God. Weaving together these concerns, this article gives advice to the worshiper who is given the task of writing prayers for public worship. It suggests an approach that will be accessible for beginners and challenging for experienced worship leaders.
The text of a prayer is only one element important in the act of public prayer. For the way in which a prayer is spoken, the attitudes that accompany it, and the nonverbal gestures which complement it often communicate as much of the meaning of the prayer as the text itself. This article looks at the whole act of public prayer, offering worship planners pastoral, liturgical, and aesthetic guidelines regarding prayer.
Language used in black preaching has a musical ring and rhythm. The spirit and delivery of this language has much to do with the emotional vitality of worship in black churches, a fine example of how the aesthetic qualities of language shape the meaning and experience of worship.
The language of worship is responsive both to the scriptural tradition in which Christians worship and to the cultural context in which the worship event takes place. The interplay between these forces is dynamic and formative, challenging the church to examine the language it uses in worship.
The nature of language is a topic of significant recent interest to liturgical scholars. The following article outlines some of the most difficult questions these scholars address. These questions can also be helpful to worship planners and leaders as they reflect on the language they use in worship.