by Terry L. Johnson
It can be argued that John Calvin is among the most important liturgists in the history of the Christian church. Indeed, I have attempted to make the case that his Genevan Psalter of 1542 and its Form of Church Prayers established a norm for worship.
The Form’s stress on the ordinary means of grace (word, prayer, sacraments), its emphasis on preaching and congregational singing, its elimination of extra-biblical ceremonies, and its relative simplicity and austerity, have had a decisive influence on all subsequent worship, whether Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, or even post-Vatican II Roman Catholic. Read more
by Joel D. Fick
In the sixteenth century, a French monk named Antoine Cathelan visited a Genevan church and contemptuously opined on its simplicity of worship: “When the preacher appeared, all the people knelt down, except the preacher. And he began praying, with uncovered head, and his hands joined.”
“His prayer was entirely in French,” continued Cathelan, “created out of his own imagination, which was concluded with the Lord’s Prayer but not the Ave Maria. Then all the people responded quietly ‘Amen.’ And two times a week, [they] sing a Psalm before the sermon (but only in the cities). Everyone sings together while seated, men, women, girls, and infants” (Scott M. Manetsch, Calvin’s Company of Pastors , 32). Read more
by Everett A. Henes
It doesn’t take much time reading the Old and New Testaments to notice some significant differences between them when it comes to corporate worship. The differences are clearly seen when considering the three primary elements of Old Testament worship: the place, the priest, and the sacrifice.