For centuries churches have played out the Christmas story in drama and song. Todd Farley looks far back into the origins of nativity scenes and liturgical Christmas dramas, and then offers some intriguing ideas for enlivening worship today. His ideas for a complete Christmas service involving the entire congregation are not spelled out in detail; every church would need to consider their own resources and abilities.
Articles in this issue:
When our worship committee selected Peter Hoytema’s series “Six Biblical Characters, Six Traditions of Faith” (RW 65) for the 2002 Advent season, I scrambled to find a series of children’s messages that would complement the services. Unable to find what I was looking for, I turned to Hoytema’s article to see what I could glean for use with the children of our congregation.
Roger Bergs offers fresh treatments of three traditional hymns, one each for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. On these pages, Bergs, a published composer, not only provides arrangements for piano and/or organ or choir, but also offers them without charge to Reformed Worship and to our readers—a generous gift! We did not have room to include all the music, and some of what we did provide is too small for easy reading. To print your own copy of this music (PDF), please click here.
John D. Witvliet prepared this prayer for his ordination service into the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Christian Reformed Church.
This prayer is based on the ancient “O Antiphons” that are also the basis for the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” (see also p. 38). The elipses (. . .) are places for possible extemporaneous additions.
Kristy Ruthven has two titles at Princeton Christian Reformed Church: youth director and director of worship and music. In the eyes of Ruthven and her congregation, the two jobs are integrally linked. Princeton worships with a vision for intergenerational unity, and the task of reaching out to youth cannot be separated from the practice of worship.
This resource page is the result of collaborative work during the Calvin Seminars in Christian Scholarship titled “Gather into One” held in June-July 2004. A group of scholars, theologians, musicians, and educators worked together and planned worship with a global focus for those who were participating in seminars that summer.
A vibrant and living church is also a confessing church—a church that hears the good news, experiences the gospel power, and uses its own language to say what it believes. Already in the Old Testament, Israel confessed their faith in their own context: “Yahweh, One God, Yahweh, Our God” (Deut. 6:4). This confession protected true religion from the polytheism of the Canaanite idolatry. The early church confessed that “Jesus is Lord” (Rom.
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.
Q. Recent conversations I’ve heard dismiss Mother’s and Father’s Days as Hallmark holidays not suitable for worship. Aren’t these important pastoral topics in an age in which family life is so threatened?