Christian churches experience both unity and diversity. For example, churches express the unity of their faith in the common confession of the Apostles' Creed, while their adherence to a particular confession, such as the Augsburg Confession, the Westminster Confession, or the Anglican Thirty-Nine Articles, sets them apart from other groups. Unity and diversity also characterize worship. What the churches hold in common is baptism, the proclamation of the Word, and the Service of the Table....
The centerpiece of Roman Catholic theology of worship is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is celebrated in worship.
Orthodox worship emphasizes the mystical presence of Jesus Christ, a presence that is experienced as the infusion of Jesus' life in the believer.
Lutheran worship calls people to faith again and again through the proclamation of the Gospel through Word and Table. In this service, God acts and the people respond. In form, Lutheran worship is both evangelical and Catholic.
Reformed worship focuses on the majesty of God's transcendence and the frailty and sinfulness of humans. Reformed worship captures, proclaims, and enacts the gospel.
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.
Although Baptists seek to develop a worship rooted in Scripture, they are more inclined to rely on general principles for guiding worship rather than on literalist models of worship based on Scripture texts alone.
Anabaptists see the church as a radical body of believing disciples. Worship arises out of this community of faith and is simple and egalitarian. It recounts God's story of redeeming love through the ongoing experience of the community of faith.
The roots of the traditional Quaker theology of worship are found in George Fox's experience of the Inner Light-that sense of the divine and direct working of Christ in the soul. He came to believe and subsequently taught that the same experience is available to all. The purpose of worship, therefore, is to wait in silence and then respond to the presence and power of God.
Wesleyan liturgical theology is deeply concerned to define worship as more than public acts. Worship has to do with all of life, with relationships, and with vocations. In deed and thought believers continually act out their relationship to Christ.
African-American theology of worship arises out of a deep sense of oppression and a high anticipation of liberation. In worship, African-Americans experience the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, which liberates them from sin and the power of the Evil One.
Restoration theology of worship arises from the rejection of traditions and creeds in favor of Christ alone and Scripture alone. Consequently all thinking about worship is shaped from this premise.
In the Holiness-Pentecostal tradition of worship, the key element is praise. Praise is not only the praise of song, but the praise of or testimony to God in this life. In worship, the Christian praises God for his character and for the deeds of salvation and healing God has wrought in the life of the worshiper.
A charismatic theology emphasizes a vital relationship with the Holy Spirit and the recovery of spiritual gifts, which are both experienced in worship.