A resource for worshipers today looking to
change hardened worship patterns
that stand in the way of
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
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
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."
Jack Moline, Agudas Achim
Congregation, Alexandria, Virginia
"Written in a very open, accessible style.... Acknowledging that change is difficult ... presents specific methods for starting the process.... Thought- provoking and sure to start productive conversations."
—Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter
"An indispensable resource as we
envision effective modes of prayer for the 21stcentury
Wolfson, co-developer, "Synagogue 2000," author, The Art of Jewish
Living series (Jewish Lights
"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."
Gil Ostdiek, O.F.M., past
president, North American Academy of Liturgy