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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Congregational Singing in England, Canada, and The United States Since 1950

Since 1950, there has been more music published for congregational singing than at any other time in the history of the church. Nearly every major denominational body, as well as many independent congregations and publishing companies, have produced official and supplementary hymnals and related collections of songs. In almost every case, these collections evidence a recovery of traditions once lost and relentless pursuit of contemporary music that is both faithful to the gospel and representative of the languages—both verbal and musical—of modern culture.

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Music in Traditional Churches During the Modern Era

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.

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Music of the Reformation

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.

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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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Philosophy of Music in Lutheran Worship

Among Protestant churches, the Lutheran tradition has the richest heritage of music for worship. It is based on the assumption that music is a profound means by which we enter God’s presence and render our liturgy of thanksgiving to God. Bringing together insights first developed by Martin Luther and practices that have grown out of almost 500 years of Lutheran worship, this article describes why and how music is used in Lutheran worship.

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GIVE TO THE WINDS THY FEARS

Paul Gerhardt, a distinguished Lutheran minister, and, next to Luther, the most popular hymn-writer of Germany, was born in Saxony in 1607. He studied at the University of Wittenberg and later became a tutor in the family of his sponsor Andreas Barthold; whose daughter he later married in 1655.

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