Music in Christian Worship explores Charlotte Kroeker's conception of church music as sung prayer. Kroekers lifelong experience with church music has allowed her to see that church music as sung prayer requires faithful theology, quality music, and accessibility for parishioners. Church music is interdisciplinary, requiring astute theologians, knowledgeable and competent musicians, and pastoral sensitivities for working with congregations.
In addition to addressing the overarching issues in sacred music and the church, Music in Christian Worship demonstrates that music as sung prayer requires much more than music alone and approaches church music from a unique perspective, stressing the theological, musical, and pastoral aspects of sacred music. Kroeker's work contains essays by various philosophers, theologians, musicians, and historians who have contributed much to the creation of dynamic music for worship. The result is a work that truly demonstrates how music can effectively serve the liturgy.
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. . . those primarily charged with the selection and composition of music in the liturgy will undoubtedly obtain fresh insights and stimulation from encountering what these celebrated authors have to say on the subject of the role of music in the church today.
Reading this book, whether as a musician, a liturgist, a theologian, a pastor, or a person in the pew will move us beyond facile answers to the more challenging process of careful and reflective discernment. The choice to enter this process bespeaks a willingness to be who we profess ourselves to be: a community of disciples gathered for worship, not of ourselves, but of the God who called us into being and who continually calls us to fuller being.
Music in Christian Worship forthrightly, seriously, and substantively addresses issues about church music. A dozen skillful and seasoned authors come at the topic from various points of view. They indicate the richly layered texture, fabric, and scope of this topic. Their care and competence are a treasure. Church musicians, clergy, and Christian congregations will find this book a valuable resource, well worth their time and effort.
This interdisciplinary book provides a broad-based discussion of the complexity of church music, a discussion that acknowledges the interaction of music with a congregation's theology, liturgy, ethnicity, locality, and degree of involvement in worship.
...this little volume should be on every church musician's reading list.
.provides a set of thoughtful reflections on the place of music in Christian worship.
This book, considered chapter by chapter, could well be used as the basis for a series of parish adult education or faith formation discussions.
Editor Charlotte Kroeker's collection of essays is a marvelous reminder that pastor, congregation, and musicians need to understand and respect one another. . . . [A]ny reader will have plenty to think about, agree with, and take away from this engaging volume.
Forty years after the Second Vatican Council, the pioneering, adventurous spirit it engendered is yielding to the sobering realization that the Council's mandates can be achieved only through thought and effort sustained far into the future. Music in Christian Worship, an ecumenical collection of essays by a group of distinguished, renowned authors, is a wide-ranging, probing contribution to the continuing quest to define the role of music and the arts in the life of the Church.
This eminently helpful book aims to aid music ministers to address some of the most difficult questions we encounter in carrying out our ministry.
How can the singing that makes our worship be anything but a bone of contention? Or discussions about it be stimulating as well as practical? This rich symposium opens us to hear practiced voices fairly sing their wisdom, both reflective and practical. A rich ecumenical medley illuminates as it reflects practice and is directed to improving it, so as to cumulatively reinforce the ministry of music in the life of Christian congregations.
Music in Christian Worship is by far the most helpful volume addressing the current complex of issues surrounding the choice of music for Christian worship to come across this reviewer's desk.
I recommend this book for your conversations around worship. It will . . . encourage you to think about what you do and to use the best resources that you have. It would be a good book for your Worship and Music Committee to read and discuss.
This volume brings together a welcome collection of observations on the roles of music in worship by experienced and perceptive representatives from a variety of Christian traditions. The selections gathered here are valuable not only for their content but also for the range of methods they represent, from close analysis of specific documents to broad-focused essays surveying many considerations. Taken together, they effectively show that the music used in worship deserves careful attention because it has the power to shape and convey the faith of those who sing and play and listen, both for good and for ill. The opportunities are greater than ever, but so are the challenges.
Charlotte Kroeker, PhD, is director of church music initiative at the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and a trained performance pianist and teacher.