Both John Calvin and Martin Luther retained abbreviated congregational responses or voluntaries in the Reformed liturgy. We have incorporated a three-year cycle of reading through the Bible in our worship services. In order to follow in the ancient liturgies of the Church, I composed (and offer) this piece as an expression of praise within the cycle of readings (or the “gradual:” a hymn or spiritual song prior to the Reading of the Gospel). “This is the Word of the Lord” seeks to echo the Old Testament and the Epistle Readings, and anticipate the Gospel reading by emphasizing that Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh. The Bible is the Word of God written. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate. Thus, we pause in our reading, so that we may lift our praises to Christ the Word.
“A Missing Link in Reformed Liturgy.” Accessed March 26, 2018. http://spindleworks.com/library/deddens/missing.htm. “Lord’s Day Liturgy - Reformed Churches.” Accessed March 26, 2018. http://genevanpsalter.redeemer.ca/liturgy.html.