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American Methodist Worship$
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Karen B. Westerfield Tucker

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195126983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019512698X.001.0001

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A House for Worship

A House for Worship

(p.239) 10 A House for Worship
American Methodist Worship

Karen B. Westerfield Tucker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The space where praise and prayer are offered not only signifies shelter from the elements but also represents an integral aspect of the worship itself. Methodist liturgical spaces evolved as denominations grew in membership and liturgies developed; attention to architecture and aesthetics coincided with interest in “enriched” worship. Stone and wood edifices designed according to popular architectural styles soon replaced plain preaching houses and log chapels. Pew rentals were sometimes – albeit controversially – established to cover the expense. The interior disposition might be longitudinally oriented and pulpit‐centered or designed according to an auditorium plan or divided chancel arrangement. Rites for the laying of a cornerstone and for the consecration or dedication of buildings were formulated. These had a practical function, yet they also identified Methodist understandings of the purpose of a house for worship.

Keywords:   aesthetics, architecture, chapels, consecration of buildings, dedication of buildings, divided chancel, laying of a cornerstone, liturgical spaces, pew rentals, preaching houses

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