The handbell choir may be the ultimate expression of music-making as a community of believers. The ensemble cannot function without each individual; at the same time, the contribution of each individual is meaningless apart from the whole. This reality, however, makes supporting a handbell choir difficult for churches that simply cannot enlist enough qualified ringers to rehearse on a regular basis.
Articles in this issue:
Lord’s Supper Responses from Readers
Previous issues of RW invited readers to share reflections of their participation in the Lord’s Supper as well as creative expressions of the teaching related to the Lord’s Supper. Included below are some reader responses. Please continue to send us your thoughts and creative ideas in anticipation of RW 88, a theme issue on the Lord’s Supper.
The service of Tenebrae, meaning “darkness” or “shadows,” has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Once a service for the monastic community, Tenebrae later became an important part of the worship of the common folk during Holy Week. We join Christians of many generations throughout the world in using the liturgy of Tenebrae.
Tenth Anniversary of CICW
The staff of Reformed Worship would like to congratulate our ministry partner the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. We are very grateful for the way God has used the CICW to promote a healthy dialogue and practice of worship, and we’re grateful for its ongoing support of Reformed Worship.
This service presents a dramatic reading of Matthew 26 and 27 with an introduction from Matthew 21. A narrator reads all the sections that tie the dialogue together. Songs are used at the end of each logical sequence to bridge to the next section.
Good Friday is a day of confrontation, a day when the forces of hatred and evil tried their best, or rather, their worst, to destroy Jesus. This is no “warm fuzzy” worship service. Instead it dramatically challenges participants to experience the reality of Christ’s crucifixion through all five senses, so the significance of Christ’s sacrifice is not only understood but felt. Here we acknowledge the ugliness of sin and our own participation, through our sins, in Christ’s death. We are there when they crucify our Lord.
Lent begins in dust and ash: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return.” Many an Ash Wednesday I have left worship and gone into grocery stores or ridden public transportation with ashes on my forehead. When I next glance at myself in a restroom mirror, I quickly wipe off the smudge. The dust is met with water and washes clean away.
This column has addressed the “cross/screen” dilemma once before (“There’s an Elephant in Our Sanctuary,” RW 79). Here you’ll find another proposed solution to the problem.
An artist I worked with some time ago said he would never include a cross in his art in any form. It was simply too powerful a symbol for him. At the time, I didn’t know how to respond. His reverence humbled me and changed the way I think about this most-recognized symbol.