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Pastoral Care in Worship Liturgy and Psychology in Dialogue by Neil Pembroke

Pastoral Care in Worship Liturgy and Psychology in Dialogue


Pastoral Care in Worship Liturgy and Psychology in Dialogue by Neil Pembroke

Pastoral Care in Worship draws on Christian heritage and illuminating psychological research to deepen and enrich the pastoral dimension of Sunday worship. There is an urgent need today to deepen and enrich the pastoral dimension of Sunday worship. This book attempts to meet that need. The practical guidance that is offered has its foundation in rigorous and comprehensive theological reflection. This reflection draws not only on the riches of the Christian heritage, but also on some wonderfully illuminating psychological research. The conversation between the two disciplines yields some very interesting and important new ideas on worship as pastoral care. Each chapter consists of a theoretical base and a number of practical suggestions and resources. Most of the prayers, litanies, and rituals are original; there are also references to other useful worship resources. This book will revolutionize the way you think about worship as pastoral care.


'There are other books on the place and role of pastoral concerns in worship, but none come even close to what author Pembroke achieves here. By identifying four central themes of pastoral concern in weekly congregational worship reconciliation, lament, hope, and communion -and bringing psychological insights to bear on each, he shows how theological and biblical understandings of these themes may touch the struggles and longings that we bring with us to the worship hour. The book demonstrates how worship affords many opportunities for us to open ourselves to God and thereby enable God to become accessible to us. Each chapter concludes with liturgical illustrations that encourage an encounter between our selves and God that is open, honest, and true. Many books address the problem of how to revitalize the worship service itself. This book, however, addresses our hope that worshiping together will revitalize us by emancipating our hearts and minds from shame, anger, disappointment, distress and the need for moral pretence. Pastoral Care in Worship is a thoughtful and enlightening testimony to the fact that worship has the power to open our hearts, to liberate our minds, and to heal our souls.' - Donald Capps, Department of Practical Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, USA --Sanford Lakoff 'The most direct and widespread form of pastoral care is worship, but the interaction between the two is not addressed that often. Some ministers may even feel a tension between the two as if pastoral care focuses on human stories and liturgy on the story of God. Dr. Neil Pembroke is a great guide in rediscovering the connections. He does not reduce worship to pastoral therapy, but shows how sin, suffering, hope, and communion are essential features of worship that cares for souls. Packed with psychological insights, this book offers a profound practical theology of the worshipping faith community in its caring capacity.' - R. Ruard Ganzevoort, Faculty of Theology, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands.--Sanford Lakoff 'This is not a lightweight book, although that should not imply it is a difficult read. It is well written, approachable and important, not least since it addresses one of the most significant pastoral dilemmas, the gap that has grown between the tasks of pastoral care and the rhythms of worship and liturgy in the church.'--Sanford Lakoff'

About the Author

Neil Pembroke is Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. His books include The Art of Listening (2002), Renewing Pastoral Practice (2006), and Moving Toward Spiritual Maturity (2007)

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Book Info

Publication date

26th November 2009


Neil Pembroke

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T.& T.Clark Ltd an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


208 pages


Christian worship, rites & ceremonies



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