Emily R. Brink (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Senior Research Fellow for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and former editor of Reformed Worship.
Articles by this author:
- Why This Dark Conspiracy/Psalm 2; Wordless, Ancient Earth’s Foundations; Lord, Fill My Whole Heart with Love; May the Love of the Lord
Why This Dark Conspiracy/Psalm 2
Psalm 2 may be best known through that famous aria in Handel’s Messiah in which the bass thunders and the strings shudder: “Why do the nations so furiously rage together? And why do the peoples imagine a vain thing?”
- Psalm 126/When God Restored Our Common Life; In the Heavens There Shone a Star; Psalm 30/I Will Praise You, O God; Psalm 111/The Fear of the Lord
Every year Christians celebrate the two great festivals of Christmas and Easter that give meaning to our lives: Christ’s coming to earth in human form and in humility, and Christ’s return to his Father in a glorified human body. This year, Advent begins on November 27 with the Scripture passages in the Revised Common Lectionary for Year B.
- A New Document for Worship Planners Everywhere
What worship issues or needs are of most concern in your church? This question was posed in a questionnaire sent to Reformed churches around the world (see list on website). A sample of what those churches said concerned them the most is found below:
“Training of pastors in theology of worship, preaching/leading worship”
“Inclusiveness of women, youth, and children”
“Training of musicians in theology of worship and music skills”
- God the Spirit Comes to Stay; Come Down, O Love Divine; Bonds of Peace; The Unity of the Spirit; The Church That Is One; Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow
On Ascension Day, the church celebrates Christ’s going up and returning to his Father in glory as a resurrected human being, the firstfruits of the new creation. Ten days later, we celebrate God coming down again, this time not in human form in a particular time and place—as we celebrate at Christmas—but now as Spirit, a gift to each believer in every time and place. The Christian church has also traditionally followed Pentecost Sunday with Trinity Sunday, our praise and adoration ascending to our triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Psalm 1: Planted By the Water; Psalm 63: My Soul Thirsts for God; Psalm 131: The Pride from My Heart; Like a Child
Imagine a piece of art that you would like to hang or install in your home. If it’s a painting, you’d want to frame it and then find the right spot in the right room for it, so that your viewing of the painting would be enriched by its placement. If it’s a sculpture, you’d want to find the spot that best honors the piece and allows you to enjoy it fully.
- Jesus Is Lord; Have Mercy on Us, Lord; Don't Be Afraid; Far from Home We Run, Rebellious; Gospel Acclamation: Hallelujah, Hallelujah
None of these songs can be called traditional hymns. Three of them are very short—just right for inviting churches (and schools!) to introduce them to children and for repeated use by the congregation during Lent or Eastertide. The other two songs are longer; they’re directly tied to Scripture passages scheduled for Year C in the Revised Common Lectionary that begins with Advent 2009.
- Psalm 78: People of the Lord; Psalm 113: Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Praise the Name of the Lord; Psalm 148: Hallelujah! Sing Praise to Your Creator
This column is the oldest continuing column in Reformed Worship. From the first issue (RW 1, Advent 1986, then named “Hymn of the Month”), the column guidelines set a goal that “one (or more) should be a psalm or a setting of Scripture.” That guideline has been followed more or less over the years, but in this issue, we’re happy to offer all psalm-based songs as a way of celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin (1509-1564).
- All Who Have Been Baptized in Christ Jesus; Psalm 121; God, in the Planning and Purpose of Life; No Saint on Earth Lives Life to Self Alone
I’ll never forget my visit to see the famous leaning tower in Pisa, Italy. I had not realized that the tower was a bell tower at the east end of the church in Pisa, a separate building with bells that would peal when someone died. I actually became more interested in the building at the other end of the church—the round baptistery, a separate building dating from the thirteenth century built just for baptisms, with fantastic acoustics.
- See Christ, Who on the River's Shore; What Fabled Names from Judah's Past; The Lord Is God, the One and True God; As Moses Raised the Serpent Up
The Revised Common Lectionary offers a three-year plan of Scripture readings (Years A, B, and C). The Lectionary does this so that once every three years, public worship services can include readings from every book of the Bible.