How the Architectural Setting for Worship Forms Our Faith

Every liturgical space reflects the theological commitments of its designers. Every time a liturgical space is used, those ideals shape the experience of those who worship within it. Space for worship must be designed with concern for the theological and liturgical commitments of a given worshiping community.

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Methodist Worship in the Post-Reformation Period

John Wesley was an Anglican clergyman who sought to bring new life to the Church of England through conversion and enthusiastic response to God in sacramental worship. In America, Wesleyan forms of worship did not survive. There Methodists tended to follow the frontier-revivalist pattern of worship.

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Anglican Worship in the Reformation Era

Anglican worship has a variegated history, having fluctuated between worship forms similar to those of Catholicism and worship influenced by the Puritans. This accounts in part for the variations in worship within the Anglican communion of today. Nevertheless, The Book of Common Prayer is basic to all Anglican churches.

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Reformed Worship in the Reformation Era

Calvin argued that only practices explicitly taught in Scripture could be used in worship. For this reason, churches influenced by Calvin have been less inclined to restore pre-Reformation practices of worship perceived as unbiblical or “Catholic.”

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Lutheran Worship in the Reformation Era

Luther’s liturgical reform was guided by the principle that if the Scriptures did not expressly reject a particular practice, the church was free to keep it. Consequently, Lutheran worship retained much of the ceremonial practice of Catholic worship.

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Roman Catholic Worship from the Council of Trent to Vatican II

The Council of Trent (1545–1563) initiated a period of liturgical standardization in the Roman Catholic church. Catholic worship remained largely uniform throughout the world until the appearance of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council (1963).

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