Music is the vehicle for the liturgy. It is the canvas upon which words may have both sensual meaning and intellectual meaning. In this two-part blog, Dr. Adán Fernández shares ten practical ideas for music ministry during COVID-19.
Let worship words speak within a stone’s throw of worship itself. Let worship throw open windows for us to sense the bigger-than-words realities to which our words refer.
- The global COVID-19 pandemic has exposed centuries-old, unresolved racial disparities and injustices that are groaning for the reconciling grace of the gospel. Amidst this reality, what is the shape of honest worship in your context?
Many people are counting the weeks until we can reopen the building and welcome people back, but even/especially then the liturgical creativity is only starting.
Worship practices during the COVID-19 pandemic have opened up opportunities for worship leaders to reflect the principles and the most important elements of corporate worship.
These Sonnets are written to follow the order of worship and can be used by individuals for personal reflection, or in worship with households, small groups, or full congregations interspersed throughout worship or as a poetic offering.
While these days we readily associate the word Corona with the COVID-19 virus, in English literature it has another meaning entirely. Bethany explains:
Church choir directors are pastoral musicians. Choose songs that are theologically sound, musically rich, and vocally healthy for singers.
Jesus doesn’t forget those who are forgetting or have forgotten, nor those who are themselves forgotten, and neither should we. Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence shares five tips for leading worship in memory care residences.
Glo-o-o-o-o-ria, in excelsis deo, we sang, responding to Luke’s narrative of the angel army proclaiming the birth of Jesus.
During this Advent season, are you the one knocking or the one invited to express God’s love and mercy and open the door?
My daughter and I took a road trip one summer and because I wanted some scheduling freedom we didn’t book campsites ahead of time. Given just how many campgrounds there are I naively thought we would have no problem securing a site each night. How wrong my assumptions were and as place after place said they were full I felt my anxiety rising.
God is challenging us to look past the tyranny of the urgent and plant some shade trees, creating what will eventually be a stronger and more cohesive outpost of the Kingdom.
The anti-idolatry response [to worship’s “de-Christianizing of God’s people] is to make sure that our worship leaders and planners from pastors to musicians, artists, tech, liturgists and elders, and yes also those gathered, understand that it is God who calls us to worship, it is the Holy Spirit who enables our worship, and it is Christ who perfects it.
The Worship Sourcebook is valuable as a teaching tool to expand our concept of worship’s purpose. Underlying all our worship is a rhythm of call and response and the understanding that worship is the work of all the people, not just those leading us.
We love weekly communion. And we love how the Epiclesis reminds us of our dependence on the Holy Spirit.
During Lent a few years ago, our congregation began celebrating the Lord’s Supper weekly. At last, more than twenty years into our church plant-turned mission-oriented congregation, we became truly Reformed and truly ecumenical, honoring the best wisdom and practice of the global church.
Is it ever OK to be intentionally exclusive in worship?
I’ve been having this internal argument of late about whether or not it is ever OK to make a worship decision that you know will result in some demographic being left out when it is within your power to be more inclusive? In other words, is it ever OK to be intentionally exclusive in worship?
Think through these scenarios with me:
The creational nature of the garden-kingdom metaphor can help build visuals and object lessons for preaching, enrich the worship environment, and shape how a congregation walks through the big movements of the biblical story.
A hymnal is a treasure trove for learning and equipping Christians in all different settings with the tools and resources to worship together. A collection like this serves as an invitation for worshipers to speak about the unity found in the diversity of a common body of song.
Since we invite people of all ages to receive baptism as a sign of God’s never ending grace-filled love for them, why not also let people of all ages also receive communion as a sign of God’s never ending grace-filled love for them?
The array of worship services during the Holy Week is meant to be, as described by some Millennials, an “embodied practice of faith—a liturgy that shapes our stance toward heaven more than our intellect about heaven.”
Sound and light in worship services excite our God-created sensory systems. While some worshipers welcome them, they could make others feel uncomfortable. Barb Newman shares some ideas on “sensory friendly” worship environments.
Even in the midst of falling steeples, in the face of the crucified Messiah, in our own baptismal drowning we are assured that the church won’t fall.
Like many people around the world, my social media feed has been filled with images of the burning Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France. Knowing its history and having been privileged to visit it many years ago I was saddened by its partial destruction and can understand the grief of those with closer ties. As I watched the video of the falling cathedral spire the words of this hymn came to mind:
Choral music itself will never be a thing of the past, but impoverished are the congregations who are forcing their people to experience singing in secular settings.
How important are church choirs? How vital are they to a healthy ministry? Why have them at all?
Epiphany might not be on every congregation’s calendar. But perhaps some simple frames can enable worship leaders and worshipers—veteran and novice—to add it to theirs.
Confession is a good and fitting dimension of what we do in worshiping the One who is completely holy and righteous.
The change of the church season and the participation of the democratic process remind us of the privilege and the call to participate in a greater story being told.
Finding ways of connecting Scripture and culture in worship.
Can pop culture be redeemed for Christian purposes? This is a question often asked by worship leaders.