Liturgy and Worship with Older People

Although many churches now have all age worship, these are often aimed at making services accessible to younger people present rather than ensuring that everyone can participate and benefit.

All too often it is assumed that if concessions have to be made, these must be made by older people. The view seems to be that all other worship is designed for older people so that they have no need of special attention. As a result older people may well feel that there is little in such worship to nurture and sustain them.

James Woodward has gathered below a number of resources that may assist individuals and groups in thinking through the nature of worship with, alongside and for older people. These resources are gathered in part from his work as Director of the Leveson Centre for the Study of Ageing, Spirituality and Social Policy from 2000 to 2009 (www.leveson.org.uk).

Celebrating Age in Worship offers resources for those who plan various types of special services for older people.

Older People, Faith and Dementia reminds us that we all have more to learn and in this resource you will find 24 practical talks for use in care homes. This publication was a collaborative one between the Leveson Centre and the Church Army. It offers to the reader some very practical reflection about how best to engage with older people in liturgy and worship.

Lighting the Way is a collaborative piece of reflection that reminds us of the importance of a vibrant expression of spirituality and religious practice and its place in our response to an care of older people.

You will also find four presentations used as part of a study day held at Sarum College on liturgy with older people as well as a round table discussion from the day.


TypeNameAuthorPublisher/Event

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Celebrating Age in WorshipAlison M JohnsonLeveson Paper

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Older People Faith and DementiaChris CrosskeyLeveson Paper

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Lighting the WayPatricia Higgins & Richard AllenLeveson Paper

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Liturgy with Older People: Exploring Expectations and Our Theologies of WorshipJames WoodwardLiturgy With Older People, November 2017

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Liturgy with Older People: Exploring PracticeJames WoodwardLiturgy With Older People, November 2017

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Liturgy with Older People: Exploring ResourcesJames WoodwardLiturgy With Older People, November 2017

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Liturgy with Older People: Exploring Our Ministry - Where Do We Go from Here?James WoodwardLiturgy With Older People, November 2017

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Worshipping with Older PeopleChurch in SocietyDiocese of Rochester