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.
Articles in this issue:
Church-goers these days have rising expectations for the quality of worship. We want worship to be an authentic encounter with the living God, a quality gathering for the Christian community, and an effective means of reaching those exploring Christian faith. In fact, we have gradually placed more weight on the role of worship in accomplishing the church’s mission.
If your congregation always sings from a hymnal or other songbook, you won’t need this information. On the other hand, if your congregation sometimes uses projected songs or prints them in the bulletin, this article is for you. These FAQs will cover everything you’ve ever wanted to know (and maybe more) about copyright issues pertaining to music. Read it! You’ll be glad you did. And you’ll sleep well knowing your congregation is complying with copyright laws!
Q. Is every song protected by copyright?
This past year Unity Christian High School in Grandville, Michigan www.unitychristian.org/ about.htm#mission), planned two chapel services during Holy Week. The first chapel was a time of reflection on Luke 22-23. The Good Friday chapel included a moving juxtaposition of a Christmas carol with the reading of the Passion narrative (see box).
After many years at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, Bert Polman (bdp5@ calvin.edu) recently joined the staff at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, as chair of the music department and professor of music. He is also a senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He is currently writing two books, one on contemporary Praise and Worship songs, the other on musical settings of the Magnificat.
Q. My pastor is reluctant to celebrate the Lord’s Supper more frequently because he doesn’t want to preach more sermons about the Lord’s Supper. Is this practice necessary?
A. The impulse to preach on the Lord’s Supper comes from the Reformation concern that people participate in the Lord’s Supper with understanding.
Many people are used to the idea of Lenten practices—giving up coffee or chocolate, perhaps, or doing some kind of regular spiritual discipline during the weeks before Easter. The worship planners at All Nations Church took that concept and applied it to Easter. What would Easter practices look like? Why do we do what we do every Sunday? Why do we go through the same motions? These practices are for Easter, but since every Sunday is a little Easter, they are encouragement for all Christians, in every season.
This service is adapted from the forthcoming Volume 2 of Ten Service Plans for Contemporary Worship (2006, Faith Alive Christian Resources). The original Ten Service Plans (2002) is also published by Faith Alive. Available at www.faithaliveresources.org.
Last year for Good Friday, we planned a service that followed a modified “stations [or way] of the cross.” Each station was framed by the traditional ancient text Adoramus te.