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 following article examines the process of commissioning and creating visual art for worship from the point of view of an artist, exploring, in particular, the unique concerns of the liturgical artist.
Many technical terms are used to describe the variety of vestments and textile arts used in worship. These terms are defined here.
Vestments, which have a long and venerable history in liturgical practice, provide many opportunities for artistry and creativity. The following article outlines guidelines for the use of vestments, taking into account both the history of their use and the differences of a variety of worship traditions.
This article discusses both theological and historical perspectives on the use of vestments in worship, referring both to vestments for worship leaders and for important objects used in worship.
This article clarifies the purpose of the lectern (here discussed using the synonymous term ambo), pulpit, and Bible. Embellishments that characterized these items in earlier times are less appropriate when the action of proclamation is emphasized over the adoration of beauty.
The following article examines every aspect of the worship space, reflecting the unique perspectives of the Reformed tradition. With regard to many concerns, the similarity of the Reformed view with other views expressed in this chapter is quite striking—a reflection of how much various worship traditions have learned from each other. One point of contrast among traditions concerns the understanding of the sacraments and how that understanding is reflected in the design of the worship environment.
The following comments discuss the relationship of the design of the worship space to the actions that take place there. The function and significance of these actions provide the needed guidelines for liturgical architecture.
The church building is the home for God’s people, providing identity and a place in the world. The article illustrates how the change in liturgical understanding since Vatican II has changed the understanding of what a church building wants and needs to be for God’s people.
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.