Art of Public Prayer, 2nd Ed.: Not for Clergy Only

For laypeople and clergy of any denomination. Examines how and why religious ritual works—or doesn't. Uses social science, theology and common sense to explain the key roles symbolism and liturgy can play in meaningful and fulfilling communal worship.

Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman

Paperback         6 x 9, 272 pp | 978-1-893361-06-5
$19.99

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A resource for worshipers today looking to change hardened worship patterns
that stand in the way of everyday spirituality.

All too often, those who attend church or synagogue find themselves bored or baffled by the service. Their predominant thought is how slowly the time ticks by—and that the service never seems to end.

Written for laypeople and clergy of any denomination, The Art of Public Prayer examines how and why religious ritual works—and why it often doesn't work.

The Art of Public Prayer uses psychology, social science, theology and common sense to explain the key roles played by ritual, symbolism, liturgy and song in services. Each chapter features "conversation points" designed to get you and your faith community thinking and talking about your own worship patterns—where they succeed, and where they need improvement.

The Art of Public Prayer can help you and your fellow congregants revitalize your worship service by allowing you to organize and direct your own worship, making it a meaningful and fulfilling part of your life.

“Offers great wisdom about the way religious rituals can help people make sense of their lives.... This book is for all Jews and Christians who hope for religious ritual that speaks to deep human hungers and helps people discover God's presence in their daily experience.”

Rev. Ruth Duck, Associate Professor of Worship Art, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

“Lawrence Hoffman shows us how, by understanding the dynamic between a person and God and among people gathered for prayer, the length of our communal reach can exceed the sum of our individual efforts. In doing so, he helps us discover our collective heart.“

Rabbi Jack Moline, Agudas Achim Congregation, Alexandria, Virginia

“An indispensable resource as we envision effective modes of prayer for the 21stcentury synagogue.“

Dr. Ron Wolfson, co-developer, “Synagogue 2000,“ author, The Art of Jewish Living series (Jewish Lights Publishing)

“A captivating work solidly grounded and eminently readable in which Rabbi Hoffman draws on a variety of cultural and religious analogues to help us understand the renewed liturgy and what makes it work. Highly recommended for liturgical practitioners wishing to reflect more deeply on the art of public prayer.“

Father Gil Ostdiek, O.F.M., past president, North American Academy of Liturgy

Introduction: Is Ecstasy Enough? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1 _ Structuring Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2 _ Lost Symbols. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3 _ Worship Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
4 _ Mistaking the Code, Mixing Messages,
and Managing Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
5 _ The Presence of God at Worship. . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6 _ The Script of Prayer: Words Spoken . . . . . . . . . 144
7 _ The Script of Prayer: Words Sung . . . . . . . . . . . 171
8 _ Sacred Space: The Message of Design . . . . . . . . 201
9 _ Fixing the System to Make Worship Work . . . . 235
For Further Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
About SkyLight Paths Publishing . . . . . . . . . . . 271

 

 

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