This article offers a rationale for incorporating dance in worship as well as guidance for understanding the purpose of various types of movement.
The Eastern church has long valued the significance of icons as sources of revelation in worship. With insights from the Eastern Orthodox churches, the theological rationale and traditional practice of iconography are described here in terms of its role in worship.
This article argues that the altar should serve as a focal point in the worship space. It discusses both the theological rationale for this idea and how it can be achieved through spatial arrangements and seating patterns. It is presented from a Roman Catholic perspective but introduces ideas that can inform discussions in many worshiping traditions.
This article argues for an environment of worship that encourages the full participation of the people and complements the symbolic meaning of the actions of worship, particularly the sacraments. It is written in the context of Roman Catholic worship, but reflects the concerns of nearly all highly liturgical traditions. Many of these have been emphasized throughout the Christian church, given the recent phenomenon of liturgical convergence.
Symbols are a primary means by which the truth of the gospel is communicated. They communicate to us through all our senses and on many levels, to our thinking and our feeling, our memory, and our imagination. Further, symbolic language serves to unite Christians, giving them a common reference point and experience that transcends divisions within the Christian community.
When we think of prayer, we probably think of words that we speak, sing, or read. Yet human communication happens as much through nonverbal means as through verbal ones. This article probes the nature and influence of nonverbal communication and argues that it should be intentionally employed in worship.
The cantor played an important role in biblical and ancient worship. The role of the cantor is being recovered in contemporary worship. This article explains how and where to use the cantor in the liturgy, with reference to Roman Catholic liturgy in particular.
In the exodus event, God created a people and brought them into a covenant relationship. The covenant specified that Israelite worshipers display loyalty and faithfulness both to Yahweh, the King of the covenant, and to their fellow Israelites covenanted to that same King. In a corresponding way, God has created a people through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; these people are bound together with him and with one another in a new covenant community. Jesus’ commandment for this community, or church, is that they love him with their entire being, and their covenant brothers as themselves. It is out of this relationship with God and one’s fellow believers that worship arises. Biblical worship is intended as a corporate expression of the covenant relationship.
Although there is considerable diversity within the Reformed community, it is fair to say that the ideas of John Calvin strongly influenced Reformed worship practice. Calvin’s Strassburg Liturgy is presented below.
Churches in the African-American community share a distinct worship culture that is the result of the integration of Christian worship forms with a worldview shaped by a traditional African ontology (understanding of being). In addition to the African heritage and religious perspective, the experience of blacks in American slavery has also helped to shape African-American worship patterns.