For followers of Jesus Christ, worship has spanned over two thousand years to include a long and diverse history of sacred practices. The many ways in which the faithful have preserved and celebrated God’s story is limited only by the human imagination.
A History of Christian Worship: Ancient Ways, Future Paths is a six-part series that explores centuries of worship practices, as seen through the eyes of Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches and discussed by leading voices from a cross-section of the Christian community. From scripture, sermons and creeds to baptism and the Eucharist, from art and music to drama and media, from prayer and contemplation to service and ministry, viewers will discover the significant people and events that have shaped history and learn how modern worship practices are rooted in the earliest foundations of the Christian faith.
Part 1: The Word explores how the written and spoken word consisting of scriptures, sermons and creeds have remembered and celebrated God’s story throughout centuries of Christianity, including:
• What early church documents reveal about ancient worship practices and why many churches are recovering and continuing these ancient faith practices today.
• How stained glass has been used to tell the stories of scripture, including a visit to the oldest continually operating stained glass studio in America.
• Why influences such as the printing press and the translation of the Bible into the language of the people dramatically changed how scripture is used in worship.
• How great preaching movements of the church have influenced the development of sermons and homilies.
• Why creeds such as the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds are an important tool for teaching the essentials of the Christian faith.
Part 2: The Body explores how individuals are joined with the body of Christ through baptism and how the idea of community is essential to the worship experience, including:
• What early church documents and practices teach us about how baptism is celebrated today.
• What symbols are common to all Christians in the celebration of baptism.
• Why there are different forms of baptism among various Christian traditions.
• How the Scriptures and church history support the community of believers as an important part of worship.
• How one unique community of believers celebrates worship through its western-themed cowboy church.
Part 3: The Feast explores the significance of the Eucharist in worship and reveals how the observance of special days and seasons of remembrance and anticipation such as Advent and Lent is essential to the worship experience, including:
• What early church documents and practices teach us about how the Eucharist is celebrated today.
• Why the feast of the table is called by different names: Eucharist, Communion, the Lord's Supper.
• What the different methods of celebrating the Eucharist are among various Christian traditions.
• How Old Testament feast days and festivals have formed a pattern for the current Christian calendar of holy days and seasons.
• Why the liturgical year is still relevant for Christians today.
Part 4: The Music explores how liturgy and music have enriched the celebration of God’s story throughout centuries of Christianity, including:
• Why time, place, structure and symbols are significant components of worship
• What elements of liturgy lead us to experience the glories of Heaven while on Earth
• How church music has evolved, from plainsong and chant to hymns and modern praise songs
• What the history of liturgy and music teach us about the debate over worship style
• How Jason Houser, a singer/songwriter and country music producer, helps families learn Scripture through music
Part 5: The Expression explores how visual art, drama and media have been used in various times and places in Christian worship for the creative expression of the faith, including:
• How paintings, sculptures, stained glass and icons visually convey God's story.
• Why worship space and architecture influence and enhance the worship experience.
• What types of media have been used at various times in Christian worship.
• How the the digital age and the advent of advanced technology have impacted worship.
Part 6: The Embrace explores the inward worship practices of prayer and contemplation and the outward acts of worship found in service and ministry, including:
• How beloved prayers such as the Lord's Prayer have become an essential part of our ongoing dialogue with God.
• Why public and private prayer is essential to Christian worship.
• How the Church throughout the centuries has carried its message to the world through missions and caring for the poor, imprisoned, sick, and dying.
• How a ministry called Broken Chains reaches out to the biker subculture with the Gospel message.
Includes optional English subtitles and film trailers.
For these topics and more, join us on a journey from ancient ways to future paths as we discover a history of Christian worship.
The History of Worship from Constantine to the Reformation Guide takes readers on a one thousand year journey into the fascinating history of worship practices. Explore the millennium that saw Christianity move from the margins of society to the center of power as you peek into an actual service in the years 400, 1000, and 1400. You will also take an in depth look at five distinct elements of worship, and how they have changed or stayed the same throughout the centuries. Also included are recommended resources, a comparison summary table, and a challenging quiz. This resource is part of Christian History’s growing collection of guides designed for personal or group use. Quantity discounts available. 64 pages
This series is Worship Leader Magazine's 2012 Editor's Pick.