Share |

September 1995

Christingle: An intergenerational Christmas Eve celebration from the Moravian tradition

The Christingle Service described on these pages is a service of light and ceremony, of song and symbol. Christingle means "Christ light," and the service focuses the congregation's attention on the hope and joy that light brings to a dark world. In the dark of winter, the coming of Christ, the light of the world, is a powerful message of hope.



From Eve to Mary: A service of lessons and carols on the lineage of Jesus, the Christ, according to the Gospel of Matthew

The gospel according to Matthew starts out with an unusual genealogy. Matthew takes pains to point out that Jesus' human family tree included not only Jews, but Gentiles, and not only upright heroes of the faith, but also those whose stories reveal some of the shameful and sordid part of the history of God's people.

This service of Lessons and Carols reviews that genealogy through the stories of the women of Scripture, including the five women specifically mentioned in Matthew 1.

To All Generations: An Old Year's service based on Psalm 90

The Opening of Worship

"Jesus, Still Lead On" (Haan, Cherwein)

"Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise" (Burkhardt, Powell)

Reading: Psalm 90:1-2

The Call to Worship

Songs for the Season


When Luther began to prepare songs for congregational singing, he composed some and translated others. One of the first hymns the reformer chose goes all the way back to the fourth-century Ambrose, often called the father of Latin hymnody.

It Can't Be Wrong if It Brings People In

It began when Cletis Moermon died quite unexpectedly of a heart attack. He had not been a I member of Faith Church but had stopped in for | worship often enough—always in his satin joggers. For Cletis, church was just one stop along the way on a Sunday morning constitutional that, on sunny mornings, took him out of the guarded confines of the Oak Glen subdivision he'd created.

Candles in the Closet: A liturgical drama for Epiphany

Candle 1 (red, female)
Candle 2 (male)
Candle 3 (purple)
Candle 4 (female)

Large box (such as a refrigerator box) opened down one side and facing congregation
Bic lighter
Candles should dress in solid bright colors (turtlenecks and matching pants)

Video Viewpoints: A review of current worship videos

We live in an image-saturated society—a reality that brings both blessings and challenges to the church. One of the benefits is the recent avalanche of videos in the area of worship, some of which are described on these pages.

This sampling is exactly that, a sampling. Rather than attempting to view all the current possibilities, I limited my selection to those recent Protestant productions that are available through the following sources:

On blessings, "canned" music, and clapping

Q: Some ministers raise one hand in blessing, some two. Which is the correct way?

CDs: Te Deum: A Celebration in Song & When in Our Music God Is Glorified

Te Deum: A Celebration in Song, John Ferguson, organist and director of the St. Olaf Cantorei. G.I.A. Publications: Cassette (CS-321) $9.95, CD (CD-321) $15.95.

Book: Learning to Worship With All Your Heart

Robert E. Webber. Published by Star Song Group for The Institute of Worship Studies, Box 89, Wheaton, II. 60187, 1994.103 pages.

This small-group study course on Christian worship is the first of seven courses in the Alleluia! Worship series being prepared by Robert Webber.

Lighting Up Advent: Three sets of Scripture readings

Many congregations invite individuals or families to read Scripture and light candles in an Advent wreath at the beginning of Advent services. The readings provided here are correlated with the Scripture readings in the Revised Common Lectionary. Three sets are provided for each Sunday in Year A, which begins with Advent, 1995. Churches may choose readings the Old Testament, New Testament, or the salms, depending on the theme of the services during Advent.


Imaging Advent: An artist describes her process of creating a parament

The worship committee asked me to create a parament to hang in the sanctuary for the season of Advent. They wanted something that would enhance worship—that would help the congregation pause, reflect, wonder, and look during this season of anticipation and hope. I have made art for years and have occasionally had the opportunity to contribute my work to the church. But the request started me thinking again about the whole purpose of art in worship, both its pastoral and prophetic uses.

Have You Seen the Angels? A series of Advent and Christmas services: a series of Advent and Christmas services

It's fall. You are already noticing the Christmas catalogues showing up in your mailbox. Though school has barely begun, your calendar tells you it is time to plan for Advent and Christmas. And the very thought of it makes you tremble just a little.

Changing the Way We Worship: Some peaceful guidelines for ending the worship wars

We used to hear about "music wars" in the church. But have you noticed the shift? Today we hear more about "worship wars" and "culture wars." As distasteful as the war imagery is, I take some comfort (as a musician) in finally seeing the discussions about music placed in the larger worship and cultural arenas—even though musical issues are still very close to the front lines.


Thanks for a Good Service

We made use of the service of lessons and carols "Unto Us a Child Is Born" (RW 33) for Christmas Day. We had good participation from readers and a child who bore the symbols (banners for the angel and lamb) to a front table where we could all visually appreciate the rich texts of Scripture. We expanded the reading of the shepherds into a first-person account, and we incorporated the Children and Worship manner of telling the story of Jesus, the Light of the World (Christ Candle).