Thinking about Worship: A Bibliography

Recommendations by
The Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
Faith Formation Ministry Team
*Indicates a UCC author or publication

Models, Planning Primers

The Africana Worship Book, Years A, B, C - eds. Davis and Fosua
© 2006 by Discipleship Resources
Lectionary based prayers from Christians in African Diaspora - wide range of themes, forms; good models

Brim: Creative Overflow in Worship Design - Andra Moran and Suzanne Castle
Chalice Press © 2013 Andra Moran and Suzanne Castle
Step by step guide to forming and resourcing worship planning teams: fun, accessible, challenging!

The Christian Year: A Guide for Worship and Preaching*
Abingdon Press © 2011 Robin Knowles Wallace
Wonderful teaching tool and planning tool.  In clear, accessible language Wallace connects the history of the church year with the possibilities of mission, offering model services and planning designs.

The Church in Her House: a Feminist Emancipatory Prayer Boo kfor Christian Communities* - Marjorie Procter-Smith
The Pilgrim Press   © 2008  Marjorie Procter-Smith
Examines elements of prayer and worship:  sound, words, space, scripture, music -  a primer for all small group worship with a feminist   perspective

Communion Services* - Robin Knowles Wallace
Abingdon ©2006
Primer on Communion designed for congregational teaching.  From theological reflection about Communion to practical helps for planning services, an accessible resource for congregations.

50 Ways to Pray: Practices from Many Traditions and Times
Teresa A. Blythe  ©2006  Abingdon Press
From praying with icons to praying with contemporary media; from traditional     "examen" to intercessory prayer, models, exercises, reflections

Imaging the Word: An Arts and Lectionary Resource*
Vol 1 ed. K. Lawrence; vols 2/3 ed. S. Blain © United Church Press
Visual arts and poetry at the service of the Sunday lectionary - a different way in to understanding the scriptures

Liturgies of Lament
Frank Henderson   © The Liturgical Press 
A beautiful, sensitive primer on creating public liturgies for times of deep sorrow;
Out of print, but available through used book on line services

Making Liturgy: Creating Rituals for Worship and Life - Eds. McEwan, Pinsent, Pratt and Seddon
The Pilgrim Press  © 2002  The Editors and Contributors
Focuses on womens’ experience, but offers a "how to" on worship prep for all:  symbol, structure, etc.

A Praying Congregation: The Art of Teaching Spiritual Practice * - Jane Vennard    
© 2005 the Alban Institute
What do you believe about prayer - how do you do it?  Draws on Christian tradition; offers reflections and exercises to get into prayer and its richness

Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God - Sybil MacBeth
Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA  © 2007 Sybil MacBeth
Not just for children!  Accesses the right brain, and takes us beyond words - delightful!

Reinventing Worship:  Prayers, Readings, Special Services and More
Ed. Brad Berglund  © 2006 Judson Press
Fresh collection of prayers for Sundays and ordinary days 

Sing! Prayer and Praise* - ed. Scott A. Ressman
© 2009 Pilgrim Press
New UCC songbook of Praise Music - working to expand traditional praise music genre with themes of justice and community

The Sourcebook Series from Liturgy Training Publications            
(LTP) of the Archdiocese of Chicago. 
Each volume looks at a season of the church year, or a theme of Christian life, and compiles quotations, poetry, song lyrics, from early church sources through modern literature.  Wonderful way of sparking ideas and images!
Themes:  Reconciliation, Death, Baptism, Eucharist, Music, Liturgy
Each Liturgical Season gets its own Sourcebook

Touch Holiness expanded edition*, 2012 - Ruth C. Duck and Maren Tirabassi
Fresh and vivid language in prayers, litanies, songs

The Work of the People:  What We Do in Worship and Why*
© 2007  Alban  - Marlea Gilbert, Christopher Grundy, Stephanie Perdew  and Eric Myers
A good resource for lay worship committees - structured study program, accessible, offering history of traditions, and offering suggestions of how they may be adapted for this new day.  Gives food for thought and lots of context.

Worship in the Shape of Scripture*, revised, 2010 - F. Russell Mitman
Classic, beautiful text integrating scripture, hymnody, liturgical forms; sets forth the best of the modern Protestant liturgical renewal.  Excellent models for all liturgical prayer.

The Worship Workshop: Creative Ways to Design Worship Together - Marcia McFee
©2002 Abingdon Press
Geared for worship planning teams in congregations, an accessible and delightful series of exercises to get imagination going and think holistically about worship and ritual, and practice creating services
Prayer Books
(Models of prayers as poetry across faith traditions)

Book of Worship: United Church of Christ* reprint 2010
© 2012 United Church Press
New edition includes inclusive marriage rite

The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayer for Daily Life, The Sabbath, and The New Moon Festival - Marcia Falk
Harper SanFrancisco  © 1996  Marcia Falk
A poet's take on traditional and new prayers - speaks to the heart, speaks of the holiness of daily life

Feasting on the Word Worship Companion - Kimberly Bracken Long
© 2013 Westminster John Knox Press
Companion to the Feasting on the Word Commentary and Curriculum series; eloquent, lectionary-based prayers for Sundays and Festivals.

A New Zealand Prayer Book; He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa
Collins ©1989 [Anglican] Church of the Province of New Zealand
Inclusive, expansive language; fresh presentation of orthodox prayers

Mishkan T’Filah: A Reform Siddur  Elyse Frishman, ed
© 2009 Central Conference of American Rabbis
Beautiful poetry; fresh translations; daily life rendered holy

Emerging Church Worship Resources

Toward a Hopeful Future: Why the Emergent Church is Good News for Mainline Congregations - Phil Snyder and Emily Bowen
Pilgrim Press  © 2010 Phil Snyder and Emily Bowen
A clear introduction to the Emergent Church movement, and models of emerging liturgies for use in congregations

How (Not) to Speak of God - Peter Rollins
Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA  © 2006 Peter Rollins
Voice from the Emerging Church movement, creating liturgies outside the box and the sanctuary

Ritual Studies

Liberating Rites: Understanding the Transformative Power of Ritual - Tom F. Driver
© 1998 Tom F. Driver
Excellent introduction to Ritual Studies


Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115