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Silence in Worship: an essay and resources

I wrote an essay recently for Christianity Today in which I explored the purpose and place of silence in corporate worship, "Make a Joyful Silence Unto the Lord." It's a topic that I've thought about for years and had a chance to examine briefly in my new book Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts (Eerdmans: 2019). As I wrote there in my conclusion:

"Silence, it must be stressed, plays a determinative role in the proper experience of art in worship. In music, as scholars and practitioners remind us repeatedly, silence represents a fullness rather than an emptiness. In the interstices of musical notes, silence swells and contracts, thereby generating meaning for the listener. For poets, speech lies hidden in silence, while language often finds its force in negative spaces.

With the theatre, at the end of an extraordinarily good play an audience may sit sated and satisfied, unwilling just yet to break the silence with applause.…

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