I started reading a book for MWS503 this week. It's called Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God's Narrative, and it's the last book Robert Webber wrote before he died in 2007. He even writes in the intro about the book being completed just weeks before his passing.
I wanted to post a quote that I feel has a lot of weight, before I forget it. There's so much to think about in the following paragraph. Feel free to comment, or not. I'm posting this in large part for myself. In keeping with the author's advice, I went to the conclusion of the book after finishing the introduction. In the conclusion I read this:
"What stands at the very center of worship is Word and sacrament, through which God's vision for the world is proclaimed and enacted. What contextualizes this worship more than anything else is its music. Music is the vehicle that communicates worship in the language of the people. Music is also the vehicle of our personal response to the story of God's work in history. We also proclaim God's story in hymn and song, but nowhere in Scripture or in the history of the church have hymns and songs ever been held as a replacement for Word and Table. Word and Table remain the God-ordained way to remember God's saving deeds in history and anticipate his final triumph over death and all that is evil. So if you want to do ancient-future worship, learn God's story and do it in Word and Table and use hymns and songs for responses not only from the great treasury of the church through the centuries but also from music that is current."