January 22, 2021

Reminder & Review: Pocket Dictionary of Liturgy & Worship

Since our posts and comments have referred a lot to liturgy lately, I thought it might be good to revisit a nice little tool to help people understand various aspects of liturgical worship. Our first look at this book can be found here. Today, we have a another look and review from Patrick Kyle of New Reformation Press. Thanks, Kyle!

Over the holidays we threw a party for our friends on New Year’s Day, kind of a post party party. One of my friends walked in with a book that immediately caught my eye.  It is titled the ‘Pocket Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship’ authored by Brett Scott Provance and put out by IVP Academic. This volume is one in a series of fourteen Pocket Dictionaries published by IVP.  This series looks to be really promising. You can check it out here.

Being only slightly obsessed with liturgy I quickly prevailed upon my friend to lend it to me.

I am enjoying this little book. True to it’s title it is really a ‘pocket dictionary’ coming in at only 135 pages and sized in such a way as to fit in your pocket if needed. It is arranged alphabetically and has a simple cross reference system and a few pages of bibliography.  The entries are basic and clearly written, giving enough information to point you in the right direction if you want to dig deeper, but still giving a satisfying answer in the event you are just looking to define or clarify a term.

Despite its small size it contains a veritable wealth of information, everything from liturgical and biblical terms, to the church year and all its feasts, important figures in church history, liturgical vestments and their meaning, and of course a breakdown of all the parts of the liturgy.  Pretty impressive for such a small volume. It is not exhaustive, but contains far more about liturgy and worship than most of us could think to ask.

Another outstanding feature is the price. Amazon has it for $8 new and lists it even cheaper used.  This is a great intro to all things liturgical for those interested who come from non liturgical traditions.  Those of us from liturgical traditions will find it to be a handy quick reference guide for educating ourselves  on the finer points of the liturgy and the Church Year.

This is one of those books that you can add to your Amazon order to qualify for free shipping and will turn out to be something you will use.

I will be adding one to my library when my friend wants his copy back. Its a great little book at an outstanding price.


  1. David Cornwell says

    Thanks for this information.

    IVP is listing this book for $6.40 at this link:

  2. Got this one for Christmas. Great buy. Keep it by the bed on the night stand and browse it at night.

  3. I just saw the following article by Bo Giertz on the LCMS website regarding the relationship between liturgy and awakening (revival). The two are commonly treated as enemies, but they really are not. Giertz makes the point that both liturgy and awakening can become a hiding place for the old Adam in us. I’ll post the link as a second comment. If the link automatically goes into the moderation queue, just search on the LCMS site for “liturgy”.

  4. Another good article on liturgy, this one by Rev. John Pless.


    Here’s a quote:

    “Lliturgy serves the evangel of our Lord. Far from being unnecessary baggage, the liturgy serves to keep the worship of the Church securely grounded in “the pattern of sound words” (2 Tim. 1:13) so that the faith-crating Gospel might be heard in all of its divine fullness. The purpose of the liturgy is not to create a ‘worship experience’ through the manipulation of the worshiper’s emotions but rather to tutor and sustain the life of faith.”

  5. Quality performance

  6. Oh, I love these Pocket books (the money kind too). I have one for world religions. I enjoyed reading straight through it a few entries at a time, and now it’s fantastic as a reference. The Internet is great as a reference, but having it all in one place is especially convenient.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

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