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History of Christian Worship

Luther: Formula Missae: Order of Mass and Communion for the Church at Wittenberg (1523)

Luther’s Formula Missae, written after his break with Rome, did not suggest a wholescale reform of the Catholic mass. Rather, Luther cautiously suggested ways of adapting the Mass for use in local congregations and also proposed ways to make it more relevant to the common people.

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Calvin: The Form of Church Prayers, Strassburg Liturgy (1545) Part I

Although there is considerable diversity within the Reformed community, it is fair to say that the ideas of John Calvin strongly influenced Reformed worship practice. Calvin’s Strassburg Liturgy is presented below.

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Calvin: The Form of Church Prayers, Strassburg Liturgy (1545) Part II

Although there is considerable diversity within the Reformed community, it is fair to say that the ideas of John Calvin strongly influenced Reformed worship practice. Calvin’s Strassburg Liturgy is presented below.

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The Traditional Anglican Liturgy (1662) Part I

The Reform of the liturgy in England began in 1540 under the leadership of Thomas Cranmer. The Book of Common Prayer was revised again in 1552, and a final revision was completed in 1662. The service below is from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

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The Traditional Anglican Liturgy (1662) Part II

The Reform of the liturgy in England began in 1540 under the leadership of Thomas Cranmer. The Book of Common Prayer was revised again in 1552, and a final revision was completed in 1662. The service below is from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

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Anabaptist: Hubmaier’s “A Form For Christ’s Supper” (1527) Part I

The liturgy below is of an Anabaptist group in Waldshut. Unlike other Anabaptists, this community was not on the run, but settled in a place where the people enjoyed greater freedom of worship. These Anabaptists were also led by a minister who was a liturgical scholar.

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Anabaptist: Hubmaier’s “A Form For Christ’s Supper” (1527) Part II

The liturgy below is of an Anabaptist group in Waldshut. Unlike other Anabaptists, this community was not on the run, but settled in a place where the people enjoyed greater freedom of worship. These Anabaptists were also led by a minister who was a liturgical scholar.

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POST-REFORMATION MODELS OF WORSHIP

Between 1600 and 1900 a variety of new movements grew out of the Reformation. Believers within each of these movements expressed their faith in slightly different forms of worship. These 12 entries place these forms of worship in their historical context, arranges them chronologically, and provides text and commentary. However, except for Wesley’s liturgy, extended texts are not available, for most Protestant groups abandoned written texts in favor of extemporaneous prayers and forms of worship. Consequently this section contains orders of worship along with commentaries that explain the order and the experience of the worshiping community.

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An American Puritan Model of Worship

From the landing of the Mayflower through the American Revolution, the majority of free-church clergy probably spent more time interacting with worshipers around the Communion table than they did preaching from pulpits. The services that follow reflect Puritan worship as well as the general approach to worship in the separatist congregations—Baptist, Congregational, Independent.

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John Cotton’s New England Congregational Model of Worship

In his book The Way of the Churches of Christ in New England, John Cotton, a leading Congregational pastor of the first generation of American colonists, provided a detailed description of worship practices in New England. Although conclusive evidence is lacking, it appears that English Congregationalists used the same basic order.

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