The History of Christian Worship: Vol. 1 – 6

DVD Release: June 29, 2010
The History of Christian Worship: Vol. 1 – 6


“A History of Christian Worship: Ancient Ways, Future Paths” is a six-part series that explores centuries of worship practices, as seen through the eyes of Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches.

“Part 1: The Word” explores how the written and spoken word consisting of scriptures, sermons and creeds have remembered and celebrated God’s story throughout centuries of Christianity.

“Part 2: The Body” explores how individuals are joined with the body of Christ through baptism and how the idea of community is essential to the worship experience.

“Part 3: The Feast” explores the significance of the Eucharist in worship and reveals how the observance of special days and seasons of remembrance and anticipation such as Advent and Lent is essential to the worship experience.

“Part 4: The Music” explores how liturgy and music have enriched the celebration of God’s story throughout centuries of Christianity.

“Part 5: The Expression” explores how visual art, drama and media have been used at various times and places in Christian worship for the creative expression of the faith.

“Part 6: The Embrace” explores the inward worship practices of prayer and contemplation and the outward acts of worship found in service and ministry, including: How beloved prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer have become an essential part of our ongoing dialogue with God; why public and private prayer is essential to Christian worship; how the Church throughout the centuries has carried its message to the world through missions and caring for the poor, imprisoned, sick, and dying; and how a ministry called Broken Chains reaches out to the biker subculture with the Gospel message.

Dove Review

“A History of Christian Worship” shares Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox practices from over 2,000 years as people have united in Christian worship. You will hear and see compelling personal stories, along with elements of worship from many perspectives; and you will learn the history of Christianity and meet many scholars and religious leaders from around the world. Each DVD offers bios on each scholar and includes small-group study sessions. The whole family will enjoy the journey portrayed in this series. It will surely generate wonderful conversations down the road.

“Part 1: The Word” explores both the written and spoken Word. You learn about original documents in Christian worship, then a detailed lesson on the use of stained glass in Christianity. Next, discover the history of printing and translating the Bible and how Scripture is both spoken and sung. The film encourages Christians to read the whole Bible, remembering that God’s story is essential for all Christians and is rich and eternal. Creeds are statements of faith about what Christians believe in relation to Jesus Christ. Two creeds from early days are explored in detail: the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed, and the fact that many early hymns sounded like creeds. This section ends with the Reformation and Charles Wesley and a few key teachers using the Word. Viewers will find this section very engaging.

“Part 2: The Body” is about shared experiences within the practice of baptism and Christian community within worship. Baptism is a public declaration of faith using water. The history and symbolism of immersion, sprinkling, clothed or unclothed, and pouring are explored. Worship allows individuals to build on their relationship with God and each other to unite all believers. A sense of community is found in the affirmation of a gathering of people. Many interviews with key authors and evangelists are included. The sharing of faith and sense of community is reviewed throughout the world. Worship becomes a way of life for those in the body of Christ.

“Part 3: The Feast” is the Eucharist, Communion, or Lord’s Supper in a worship celebration and its mystery is celebrated differently in Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox practices. The Last Supper is the earliest ritual we can find that still continues today. You will learn how each group celebrates Communion and its history over the past 2,000 years. Feast celebrations and Holy Days on the Christian calendar are explained clearly in this video. You will learn how everything works together on this journey of faith.

“Part 4: The Music” is about the profound experiences each individual has via music. Many of the Psalms were adopted as hymns, and the chant is a memorable experience for many. You will learn the true meaning of raising hands and its interpretation. Worship occurs regardless of how and what we sing, and regardless of style though there will always be contemporary and traditional styles. Music also helps with memorization. Kids love music and families join together to listen and make music fun. Absolutely awesome stories told in this section that the family will enjoy,

“Part 5: The Expression” is awesome. It’s about creating icons or iconography for the church. In the church today, architecture is mainly Westernized: choir stalls and/or baptismal areas are built within churches. Also, stained glass windows spoke volumes as worshipers were surrounded by the story of God. Artwork and architecture made churches seek out nontraditional places for worship, though traditional worship is explored here. The beauty of God is that He comes to us where we are, regardless of denomination or building. Traditional human expression through the arts is a fundamental part of worship. The effective use of communication mediums is also key in worship. Learning more about Jesus’ parables is also essential because they had a huge impact on preaching through the centuries. The Church has certainly benefited from electronic technology, though it remains a challenge. Very intriguing and challenging information as you absorb what is shown and explained here.

“Part 6: The Embrace” starts with the history of the Lord’s Prayer and Jesus’ Prayer. Pray without ceasing for the return of Christ is the constant theme here. You will enjoy learning the history of prayers while learning about meditation within the community of believers. The ability to share Christ with others is shown through many non-traditional methods. You will learn to embrace worship with conviction and believe in an ongoing action to connect with others. Dialogue with God throughout the Christian life is clearly expressed by carrying His message to the world through missions, caring for the meek, poor, and those in prison, the sick and dying.

We award the Dove “Faith-Friendly” Seal to this series.

Content Description

Sex: None
Language: None
Violence: None
Drugs: None
Nudity: None
Other: None


Company: Vision Films
Director: Tom Dallis
Producer: Ensign Media
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 336 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Bob Souer, Rev. Dr. John D. Witvliet, Lester Ruth PhD, Dr, Joyce Ann Zimmerman, Dr. James Abbington, Fr. Robert Reed, Brian McLaren, Mike Slaughter, Denis R. McNamara PhD, Bill and Vickie Patrick, David Neff, Michael Pasquarello III PhD, James R. Green
Reviewer: Caryn Toering