History of Worship

Outline of the History of Christian Worship
A condensed outline of the key developments in the history of Christian corporate worship from the early church to the present with an emphasis on the Reformed/Presbyterian churches in the context of western church history.

Early Church Worship
Brief articles from Christian History magazine on the worship of the early church.

Worship from the Early Church to the Reformation
Brief articles and pictures from Christian History magazine tracing the developments in Christian worship between the 4th and 16th centuries.

The Roots of Reformed Worship

Zwingli’s Reform of Medieval Worship

The Reform of Worship at Strasbourg

The Liturgy of the Word at Strasbourg

Bucer’s Eucharistic Liturgy

Calvin’s Use of the Sursum Corda

The Westminster Assembly and Worship

The Westminster Directory for the Publick Worship of God

Worship Diversity among Presbyterians

These brief essays by Presbyterian pastor and theologian Jack Kinneer explain some of the foundational teachings and practices of corporate worship in Reformed churches in the 16th century and the developments of the tradition of Reformed worship in the English, Scottish, and American Presbyterian traditions.

Ten Worship Planning Ideas from John Calvin
An article from Reformed Worship magazine by Westminster Theological Seminary professor Larry Sibley on the structure and prayers of John Calvin’s liturgy in Geneva.

Where the Reformation Was Wrong on Worship
Liturgical historian James F. White critiques some aspects of worship in the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, and he thus challenges modern churches to avoid treating the Reformation as a perfect pinnacle or golden age of worship.  White calls for churches to heed the Reformation’s call to be always reforming according to the word of God.

Recapturing the Liturgical Essence of the Reformed Tradition
A survey of the history of worship in Reformed and Presbyterian churches with an emphasis on recent movements of liturgical reform and renewal during the past 200 years inspired by models from the early Reformation and the early church.

Disclaimer:  Worship Is Central provides links to external websites and files for educational purposes, and we aim to provide access to resources that are theologically sound and spiritually edifying.  However, the presence of a link to an external site does not constitute an official endorsement of any specific views expressed therein by Central Presbyterian Church or any of the church’s individual members.  Nor does a link imply that opinions or positions expressed at an external website necessarily represent those of Central Presbyterian Church or any of the church’s individual members.