The 5th General Assembly of the Leuenberg Church Fellowship held in Belfast in 2001 expressed the wish for stronger integration among the churches involved also in terms of Spiritual growth. Like the celebration of the annual ‘Leuenberg Sunday’ learning about the liturgical practice of member churches may strengthen the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe. The Liturgy Page on the CPCE Website is designed to serve this purpose. It has been created in cooperation with the Liturgy Department of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland.
Liturgies across Europe
Here we present lituriges of the individual member churches. Classified according to countries, you will find information on the liturgical practice of individual CPCE member churches: basic information on the structures and traditions, currently used orders of service, pointers to liturgical projects and institutions. In most cases links are given to the churches’ own websites.
Lectionaries in the CPCE
The use of lectionaries for worship services in the protestant churches in Europe has developed through history. Many churches still hold fast to the early medieval, so-called “early church” pericope order, but in various revised or expanded forms. Alongside them stand churches which since the Reformation have done without a unified lectionary.
In the last decades movement has come into the European lectionary landscape. Churches have extensively reworked their old lectionaries or developed entirely new ones. Developments in the Roman Catholic Church and in the protestant churches in North America have had an impact in Europe. Even churches which traditionally had no lectionaries have begun to develop them.
The following contribution offers a survey of the lectionaries in use today in the member churches of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), and gives a brief introduction to the various orders.
Since 2005, “Sustainable preaching” has been offering ecumenical preaching suggestions and a new dynamic to align the lectionary Bible readings of the Sundays into the global context of sustainable life and action.
Reformation Song for Europe
Nothing brings people closer than singing and celebrating together. When the leaders of the CPCE were considering suitable ways of commemorating the quincentenary of the Reformation in 2017, their thoughts immediately turned to joint worship and singing together. This spawned the idea of a song contest to create a ‘Reformation Song for Europe’.
Entries were invited for two categories in two stages during 2014/15. The first category was “classical”, for which three traditional melodies were selected – one Lutheran, one Reformed and one Methodist. Entrants were invited to write new lyrics to these tunes.
The panel of three judges – Prof. Jochen Arnold from Hildesheim, Dr Britta Martini, a Director of Church Music from Berlin, and Peter Steinvig from Copenhagen – selected the top four sets of lyrics from more than one hundred entries. The winners were two texts in German celebrating Baptism and Easter, a Hungarian text about seeking and finding God and a hymn written in English about God’s love.
The second category in the Song Contest involved composing an entirely new song. Entries could be either classical or contemporary in style. While this round attracted fewer entries than for the lyrics, the quality was extremely high. As a result, the judges not only selected one composition for each style, but also awarded special prizes.
The winning songs have been published in a pamphlet called “We hymn you”. Copies can be ordered from firstname.lastname@example.org (free of charge while stocks last) or in digital format from the Downloads section.