Styles Of Worship

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

A glance at the orders of worship of various churches gives evidence of both commonalities and distinctives. This section provides specific resources for the range of possible service parts included in the Entrance rites, the Service of the Word, the celebration of the Lord's Supper (service of the sacrament), and the acts of Dismissal. These are introduced by a general descriptive and theological approach to the nature of the worshiping assembly itself and to the various styles of worship...

Assembling The People

In both early Israel and the church, the assembly of the people is essential to worship. The act of assembling constitutes the ekklesia, the people of God, who come together in response to the Lord's call and celebrate communally Word and sacrament. This act of assembly begins by gathering together the people of God.

A Case For The Plurality Of Worship Styles

Christian worship from the beginning has been characterized by a variety of styles. Contemporary scholarship suggests that there was no single original style of worship, but rather that worship patterns varied from place to place in the early church. Knowing this fact, we can see the current range of worship practices as a positive characteristic that enriches the church.

Story, Structure, Style

Story, structure, and style are three elements of a paradigm first formulated by family therapist Salvador Minuchin. To the person interested in finding a useful way to think about the act of divine worship, this paradigm may be helpful.

The Traditional Fourfold Pattern Of Worship

The order below represents the traditional worship of the Western church. With some variation, it is found today mostly among liturgical and mainline churches.

The Style Of Contemporary Worship

Sustained sections of praise are now being used successfully in worship by young congregations. Instead of organizing their services into a series of discrete events-a single hymn followed by a prayer, another hymn, the choir, the offering, a solo, a Scripture reading, and then the sermon-they make time for sustained, unbroken, flowing praise that often lasts anywhere from ten to fifty minutes. After a time of teaching, people are invited to come forward for salvation, healing, and deliverance.

A Pattern For The Convergence Of Traditional And Contemporary Worship

Worship that draws on liturgical and historical resources as well as charismatic and contemporary sources will vary from church to church. Churches that are liturgical will likely continue to follow traditional styles but may incorporate contemporary elements at appropriate places. Likewise, charismatic or contemporary churches may find certain liturgical practices helpful and will incorporate them in their worship. Below is a basic pattern of convergence worship.