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History of Christian Worship

Methodist Worship

John Wesley was an Anglican clergyman who sought to bring new life to the Church of England through conversion and enthusiastic response to God in sacramental worship. In America, Wesleyan forms of worship did not survive. There Methodists tended to follow the frontier-revivalist pattern of worship.

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Salvation Army Worship

The Salvation Army, founded in London in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth, is an international, evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination.

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American Revival Worship

A definite pattern of worship developed in the revival movements of the American frontier and in the campaigns of American evangelists. This “revivalistic” approach to worship has continued as the dominant tradition in the “free churches” of America, and is found today particularly within the fundamentalist and evangelical communities.

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African-American Worship

Churches in the African-American community share a distinct worship culture that is the result of the integration of Christian worship forms with a worldview shaped by a traditional African ontology (understanding of being). In addition to the African heritage and religious perspective, the experience of blacks in American slavery has also helped to shape African-American worship patterns.

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Restoration Worship

The restoration movement of the early eighteenth century in Britain and the United States attempted to return to the practices of worship outlined in the New Testament. This movement has shaped the worship life of several Protestant groups that use the name “Christian Church” or “Church of Christ.”

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Holiness Worship

The holiness movement traces its origins to John Wesley. The worship of the holiness churches, however, was shaped primarily by the liturgical forms of the camp meeting movement.

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Adventist Worship

Adventist worship from the beginning followed a simple format, marked in its earlier stages by enthusiastic outbursts and an emphasis on singing. Worship was not a distinctive emphasis of the Adventist tradition, and its worship patterns were adapted from other movements, with one major exception: most Adventists meet for worship on the seventh rather than the first day of the week.

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MOVEMENTS OF WORSHIP RENEWAL IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Perhaps more attention has been given in past few decades to the deliberate renewal and revision of Christian liturgy than in any previous era in church history. The renewal of worship that began with the neoorthodox movement in Protestantism took root in the Roman Catholic church and has extended to nearly every denomination and community of faith. The following 11 entries discuss the rise of the Pentecostal, charismatic, and praise traditions that have changed the shape of worship throughout the world. Today the two major streams of worship renewal—the liturgical and the charismatic—are converging into new patterns that bear a strong similarity to what some believe early Christian worship was like.

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The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement

The origins of the Holiness-Pentecostal movement are found in the work and teaching of John Wesley. Worship within the movement varies widely, but it seems to thrive in contexts that encourage spontaneity and freedom. Traditional Pentecostal worship is currently undergoing significant change because of the growing popularity of contemporary worship choruses.

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The Impact of The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council is one of the most influential documents on worship renewal in the twentieth century. It has resulted in vast changes in Roman Catholic worship and has also made a noticeable impact on Protestant worship, especially in the mainline denominations. The intent of the document is to call the church back to early Christian worship and spirituality.

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