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The Art of Public Prayer: Not for Clergy Only / Edition 2

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Overview

A resource for worshipers today looking to change hardened worship patterns that stand in the way of everyday spirituality.

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 improvement.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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 experience."
Rev. 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."
Rabbi Jack Moline, Agudas Achim Congregation, Alexandria, Virginia

"An indispensable resource as we envision effective modes of prayer for the 21stcentury synagogue."
Dr. Ron Wolfson, co-developer, "Synagogue 2000," author, The Art of Jewish Living series (Jewish Lights Publishing)

"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."
Father Gil Ostdiek, O.F.M., past president, North American Academy of Liturgy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781893361065
  • Publisher: Skylight Paths Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 715,240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, has served for more than three decades as professor of liturgy at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. He is a world-renowned liturgist and holder of the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair in Liturgy, Worship and Ritual. His work combines research in Jewish ritual, worship and spirituality with a passion for the spiritual renewal of contemporary Judaism.

He has written and edited many books, including All the World: Universalism, Particularism and the High Holy Days; May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor, We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef and All These Vows—Kol Nidre, the first five volumes in the Prayers of Awe series; the My People's Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries series, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; and he is coeditor of My People's Passover Haggadah: Traditional Texts, Modern Commentaries (all Jewish Lights), a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.

Rabbi Hoffman is a developer of Synagogue 3000, a transdenominational project designed to envision and implement the ideal synagogue of the spirit for the twenty-first century.

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, is available to speak on the following topics:

  • A Day of Wine and Moses: The Passover Haggadah and the Seder You Have Always Wanted
  • Preparing for the High Holy Days: How to Appreciate the Liturgy of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
  • The Essence of Jewish Prayer: The Prayer Book in Context and Worship in Our Time
  • Beyond Ethnicity: The Coming Project for North American Jewish Identity
  • Synagogue Change: Transforming Synagogues as Spiritual and Moral Centers for the Twenty-First Century

Click here to contact the author.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Is Ecstasy Enough? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1 ■ Structuring Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2 ■ Lost Symbols. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3 ■ Worship Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
4 ■ Mistaking the Code, Mixing Messages,
and Managing Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
5 ■ The Presence of God at Worship. . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6 ■ The Script of Prayer: Words Spoken . . . . . . . . . 144
7 ■ The Script of Prayer: Words Sung . . . . . . . . . . . 171
8 ■ Sacred Space: The Message of Design . . . . . . . . 201
9 ■ Fixing the System to Make Worship Work . . . . 235
For Further Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
About SkyLight Paths Publishing . . . . . . . . . . . 271

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