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The Services of the Christian Year (Library of Christian Worship: Volume 5)

, 1994

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In the past two decades the Christian community has experienced a dynamic rebirth as churches around the world have turned their hearts and minds toward a deeper understanding of what it means to worship the Living God. The Complete Library of Christian Worship brings the theory and reality of worship together in an educational, applicational, and inspirational package. The Services of the Christian Year examines the manner in which over fifty different church groups and denominations celebrate annual occasional services. A complete overview of the Christian year is provided, including its history, development, and significance. Specific articles address such topics as the problem of the civil year in worship and how the practice of the Christian year affects congregational life. A wealth of resources are given for Advent and Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter, and Pentecost. The editors offer numerous sample services as well as applications for music and the arts.

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Top Highlights

“Third, the Christ-event introduces the Christian anticipatory time.” (Page 80)

“Second, the coming of Christ is the time of salvation.” (Page 80)

“The early Christians of the East celebrated the birth of Christ on January 6 (they converted a pagan celebration of the birth of a god on this date into the birth of Jesus since the birth date of Jesus is not known). In the West, Christians began to celebrate Christmas on December 25 (they converted the pagan festival of the Invincible Sun into the birth of Jesus). Eventually these two dates became the boundaries of the Christmas season with the celebration of the birth of Jesus on December 25 representing the beginning of the festival and the celebration of the manifestation of Christ to the world through the visit of the magi on January 6 (Epiphany) representing the end of the Christmas festival.” (Page 158)

“In the first Advent, Christ the Lord comes into the world; in the next Advent, Christ the Lord comes as Judge of the world and of all the world’s thrones and pretenders, sovereignties and dominions, principalities and authorities, presidencies and regimes, in vindication of his Lordship and the reign of the Word of God in history. This is the truth, which the world hates, which biblical people—repentant people—bear, and by which they live as the church in the world in the time between the two Advents.” (Page 112)

“Rather, the point is to learn the connections between learning to live more simply for the sake of solidarity with the poor as well as for the sake of uncluttering our senses. We might then take on the discipline of relating prayer and restraint to our need to wait upon God. The image of the desert way is one of the classical expressions of the Lenten journey—clearly derived from the way of Jesus in the desert. Only by intentionally entering the desert way can we be kept from idolatry and perhaps from spiritual self-indulgence.” (Page 229)

Praise for the Print Edition

Services of the Christian Year is unrivaled in the breadth of the resources it makes available, both for understanding the celebrations of the Christian church and for the actual worship services which surround Christmas and Easter. It is enlightening and inspiring.

—Arlo D. Duba, Professor of Worship, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary

Filled to the brim and running over, Services of the Christian Year offers a wealth of guidance, resources, and wisdom for the doing, leading, and understanding of worship. Busy and thoughtful pastors and others should find themselves turning to these pages again and again.

—John E. Burkhart, Cyrus H. McCormick Professor of Systematic Theology, McCormick Theological Seminary

  • Title: The Services of the Christian Year (Library of Christian Worship: Volume 5)
  • Author: Robert E. Webber
  • Series: The Complete Library of Christian Worship
  • Volume: 5
  • Publisher: Star Song
  • Print Publication Date: 1994
  • Logos Release Date: 2001
  • Pages: 492
  • Era: era:Contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Church year; Public worship
  • Resource ID: LLS:39.10.8
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2024-03-25T18:58:52Z
Robert E. Webber

Robert Webber (1933–2007) was known for his work on worship and the early church. The son of a Baptist minister, Webber was raised in the Belgian Congo where his parents were missionaries. He studied at Bob Jones University, Reformed Episcopal Seminary, Covenant Theological Seminary, and Concordia Seminary.

Webber taught theology at Wheaton College for 32 years and was the Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary. In 1998, as a part of the Convergence Movement, Webber founded The Robert E. Webber Institute of Worship Studies school which focused exclusively on worship education.

Later in his life, Webber took a special interest in Christian worship practice and wrote and edited more than 40 books on this topic including the Ancient-Future series and The Complete Library of Christian Worship.



4 ratings

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  1. Rick Osborn

    Rick Osborn


  2. Ralph A. Abernethy III
  3. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    Whilst I am reading each volume from cover to cover, there is no need to use this resource in that fashion, especially given the encyclopedic approach. This volume in particular is a great resource for getting to know the Christian Calendar / Church Calendar in more detail. Even if you are not from a Liturgical background (though I am a Lutheran Pastor for the first 30 years or so of my life I wasn't involved with liturgical churches), this is a great way to see what lies behind the various things such as Advent, Lent, Epiphany, etc... So for example, if you decide you would like to look at having an Ash Wednesday Service, this resource not only supplies background / reasoning for the celebration, but also supplies sample services. This volume includes not only sample services, but song suggestions, prayers, bible readings, etc... Well worth having on your shelf :)
  4. Richard Villarreal


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