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New Horizons

January, 2018: John Calvin and the Directory for the Public Worship of God

New Horizons Cover

Contents

The entire issue is available in the following formats: PDF  ePub  and  Mobi 

John Calvin and the Directory for the Public Worship of God

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

Glory Veiled in Simplicity

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 [2013], 32). Read more

A Greater Priest, A Greater Sacrifice, a Heavenly Place

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.

Old Testament Worship

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