Your final exam is an 8-10 page analysis of a church service in a particular Christian tradition. In this assignment, you may need to draw on secondary sources beyond the course reading. Analyses will be due Tuesday, April 23. These may be peer reviewed (at my future discretion). Your analysis will count as 30% of your final grade. It will need to interpret the service in its tradition, compare it to others, and evaluate it with the methods developed in the course materials.
Even if you are familiar with the church's liturgical tradition, you should think about recruiting a guide (the pastor? an elder? an old-timer?) who can explain unfamiliar details during or after the service. If you need help during the service, ask a neighbor who seems to know what he or she is doing.
Please include the printed program of the worship service you attend, so I can follow along. If none is available (or if the program is not descriptive enough), outline it yourself. Don't forget details like the name and denomination of the church, which service you attended, and so on.
Questions you should plan on answering include:
- How does the service reflect the history of its liturgical tradition? How does it not? (You will, obviously, use White for this. If White's histories are unhelpful you may also want to consult the text the music students are using, Jubilate II: Church Music in Worship and Renewal, by Donald P. Hustad [Carol Stream, IL: Hope, 1989].)
- How do aspects of the service confirm or disconfirm theological claims of its liturgical tradition (e.g., are features of an evangelical service supporting or contradicting the distinct claims of evangelicalism)? How do they confirm or disconfirm the theological claims for liturgy made in Primary Sources, The Study of Liturgy, Christian Worship in North America, and/or the claims we have made in class discussion? Obviously there are so many of these, and so many liturgical features and events of the service, that you will have to be selective. Choose the best of both.
Uh-oh! What if the service is theologically and doctrinally poor?
Don't forget to have your papers peer-reviewed. I want to see a name on your first page telling me who read your draft. Follow the applicable directions in my handout for writing papers. To summarize those, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.