Through much of the nineteenth century, worship in liturgical churches followed largely low-church convictions. In the mid-nineteenth century and continuing into the twentieth, many of these churches began recovering ancient patterns of worship. In music, this meant the recovery of Gregorian chant in the Catholic church, the return of Lutherans to sixteenth-century liturgy forms, a movement in some Anglican churches away from Puritan-influenced worship to the recovery of catholic forms, and the trend in some free churches from revival-style worship to quasi-liturgical practices.
The reforms in music which attended the reform of worship in the Reformation ranged widely from the rejection of all instruments and the restriction of singing solely to the Psalms to the choral Eucharists of the Anglicans.
Anglican worship emphasizes the incarnational and sacramental motifs of the Christian faith. God was embodied in Jesus Christ. Thus, in worship the church incarnates in a visible and tangible form the embodiment of God in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world.
Wesley was an Anglican priest and organized the Methodists into small groups for prayer, Bible study, and worship. These groups would continue to worship in Anglican parishes on Sunday.
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.
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.
Worship in the Anglican Communion is structured by a liturgical celebration of the Christian year, centering on Easter. In recent decades, greater emphasis has been placed on the paschal and baptismal nature of the church year and on observing the complete yearly cycle, not just major festivals.
The growth of the African churches shows no sign of abating in the face of persecution and hardship.
As time went by sectarian differences became less important and denominations cooperated for such causes as evangelism, social action, and missionary activities.
John Milton (1608-1674) was one of the greatest English poets. He was born in London and was educated at Cambridge. His family’s wealth allowed him to travel extensively after graduation and to spend six years at his father’s estate writing poetry.