Every two months, at 6:00 on a Sunday evening, three to four hundred people gather at St. Mary's Church (Lutheran) in Reutlingen, and in over fifty towns throughout Germany, to participate in an ecumenical worship service called the Thomas Mass. The service is advertised with the slogan "A worship for doubters and other good Christians." The term Mass comes partly from its Lutheran roots in Finland, but it also hints at the strong liturgical aspect of the worship. Both old and modern liturgical elements have their plate in the Thomas Mass.
Articles in this issue:
David Philippart, editor. Published bimonthly by Liturgy Training Publications. 16 pp. per issue. $20.00 for one year. 800-933-1800; www.ltp.org.
Includes sixteen pages of full-color photos of beautiful worship spaces—interior and exterior, windows, liturgical furniture, and more (also includes ads). Roman Catholics take the relationship between worship and architecture very seriously, and each issue provides teaching to ponder as well as examples of beauty for visually starved Protestants to feast their eyes on.
Though this worship service was prepared for a specific event, it was intentionally constructed with an eye for broader use. The theme is foundational to the Christian life; dying and rising. Therefore feel free to borrow from it, in both structure and detail, for a wide range of worship services—including baptism celebrations and commissioning services.
It was a typical, early winter day in Michigan. Cold and wet and gray all over. My schedule for the day was fairly light—only an RW staff meeting to attend. For some time, I'd been wanting to write something about the use of liturgical color in worship, and I was hoping to get some help by asking a few questions. Is using liturgical color in worship an idea that sounds right and logical and helpful? Or is it, in the end, just another worship gimmick? My friends didn't have the nice short answer I was looking for.
This service was built on earlier examples, especially the ordination service of Cindy Holtrop, who serves on the staff of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
As with the preceding service of installation, this service of ordination draws significantly on baptism imagery.
God's Greeting and Call to Worship
On hot summer days, Pere Marquette Park is a beachgoer's paradise. Draped along Muskegon's west side, the park features acres of fine sand, swings and slides for the kids, and a view of Lake Michigan that rivals any tourist brochure.
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Symposium on Worship and the Arts at Calvin College
For the first time, registration for the January 2003 Symposium was handled completely online. More than 1,400 people had registered by December 6, making it necessary to close registrations more than a month before the conference. The staff regretted having to turn many more people away who didn't realize it would fill up so fast. Mark your calendars now for next year (January 9-10, 2004) and register early!
Some readers may wonder whether the practice of baptism as described in this article opens a can of worms. Given the movement of understanding and appreciation of my own faith community, though, it's a can well worth opening. For the first time, many in our congregation are starting to "get" baptism. What is going on? Who is most important?