Worship Quote of the Week: Robert Johnston on Pointless Modern Worship

“To change lives, our worship must connect with its congregants. God’s story must enter into dialogue with our stories, and vice versa. Unfortunately, this is less and less the case. Too much of our worship is sadly out of step with the lives of many, if not most, of our congregants. Unwilling to address life [Read More…]

Lectionary Hymn of the Week: Longing for Light, We Wait in Darkness

Fourth Sunday in Lent Longing for Light, We Wait in Darkness Text: Bernadette Farrell, 1993 Tune: CHRIST, BE OUR LIGHT Prayer of Confession Gracious God, we are people who still love darkness rather than light. We keep shameful deeds secret, but flaunt our occasional acts of virtue. We see ourselves as blameless, but pass judgment [Read More…]

Frederick Swann on the Value of the Pipe Organ to the Worshiping Church

On a whim, I recently contacted famed American organist Frederick Swann, asking for his response on the value of the pipe organ in the life of the church. This was his reply. “As a church organist for 75 years (starting at age 10…and making it my life’s work) I have been privileged to be the [Read More…]

Worship Quote of the Week: Robert Webber on Returning to God

Unfortunately some Christians live as though the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ never happened. Our lives become absorbed in the day-to-day experiences of life. We focus on name-brand clothing, the color of our houses, the size of our bank account, the year and make of our automobile, the prestige in which others hold us, [Read More…]

Lectionary Hymn of the Week: Jesu, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts

Third Sunday in Lent Jesu, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts Text: Bernard of Clairvaux, ~1160; trans. Ray Palmer, 1858 Tune: QUEBEC Collect Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all [Read More…]

Worship Quote of the Week: Joan Chittister on the Meaning of Lent

Lent is a call to renew a commitment grown dull, perhaps, by a life more marked by routine than by reflection. After a lifetime of mundane regularity or unconsidered adherence to the trappings of faith, Lent requires me, as a Christian, to stop for a while, to reflect again on what is going on in [Read More…]

Lectionary Hymn of the Week: God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It

Second Sunday in Lent God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It Text: Erdmann Neumeister, 18th c.; trans. Robert E. Voelker, 1991 Tune: BACHOFEN Collect O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from thy ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith [Read More…]

8 Reasons Adding a Contemporary Service Might Be a Bad Idea

The High Cost of the Worship Wars The worst thing about the worship wars wasn’t the fact that churches were fighting over something that didn’t matter. Worship does matter. How we worship matters, too. It wasn’t that, as a recent comment said, “Satan rejoices when we get bogged down with issues of style.” If anything, [Read More…]

Lectionary Hymn of the Week: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

First Sunday in Lent O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High Text: attributed to Thomas á Kempis, 15th c.; trans. Benjamin Webb Tunes: DEO GRACIAS Collect Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted of Satan; Make speed to help thy servants who are assaulted by manifold temptations; and, [Read More…]

Worship Quote of the Week: Daniel Frankforter on the Sacrament of Silence

Clergy are reluctant to let silence blossom within their service plans for fear that their congregations will become bored. When worship is conceived primarily as a clerical performance and, therefore, an entertainment, silences seem out of place. They have limited uses in entertainment. Silence interrupts a show’s flow and makes its audience nervous. It suggests [Read More…]