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A Cloud of Witnesses

All Saints' Day Service

All Saints’ Day (also called All Souls’ Day) is a part of the church calendar that dates back to the early church. Originally a day was set to commemorate the life and death of each martyr. As the number of martyrs increased, a special day was set aside to remember these many saints and their commitment to Christ and his church—a commitment that led to their suffering and death. More recently this service has also come to include a time of reflection and thanksgiving for friends and loved ones who have died in the past year.

When Pastors Come...and Go

Litanies for Services of Installation and Parting

Litany for a Service of Installation

This litany was prepared by Jerry Kramer for the installation service of copastors at the beginning of their ministry. The litany could easily be adapted for the installation of one pastor. Congregations could also consider different symbols appropriate to their situation.


Meals, Nourishment, Reconciliation, and Celebration: A Service of Scripture and Song

The meal that we know as the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist is derived from a rich background of meals—meals and meal customs recorded in Scripture. Traces of these meals can be found in the sacrament.

The Forgotten Art: Developing New Writers for Your Worship

A year ago, I received a brochure inviting me to the Calvin Symposium of Worship, 2005. Even though the dates precluded my attendance, I could not put down the striking booklet, full of black and white pictures of hands: clapping, praying, welcoming, signing hands—hands performing on musical instruments, in drama and painting. The photographer beautifully depicted hands not only engaged in communal worship but also in preparation for worship, across generational and cultural divides.

The Emerging Church: A Guide for the Perplexed

The growing attention paid to the “emerging church” has certainly got people talking. And whatever the “emerging church” is, it seems to be quite a chameleon. Depending on who you talk to, it’s either the latest threat to biblical faith or that which will save us from two thousand years of error!