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Calls to Worship, Invocations, and Benedictions (Kelly)

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Highly organized and practical, this resource for worship leaders provides hundreds of calls to worship, invocations, and benedictions and over one hundred optional congregational responses, along with seasonal and topical suggestions for worship planning. Each liturgical element is sourced or adapted directly from the Bible and indexed by topic. Quickly find appropriate passages, and draw on a broader range of Scripture in your worship services. 

This useful handbook also includes an overview of how churches have historically incorporated these elements into worship, with particular attention paid to early Reformation liturgies. Whether you are new to this pattern of worship or have made it a part of your services for years, you will be helped and encouraged.


Ryan Kelly is an associate professor of music at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where he directs several choirs and teaches courses in conducting and choral music. An experienced church musician and organist, he is also director of music at Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.


“Few elements within Reformed liturgy receive less contemplation than the beginning and ending of our services. Let such inattention be gone! With Calls to Worship, Invocations, and Benedictions, Ryan Kelly has called the church to thoughtfulness regarding these core worship elements, invoking their historical and theological backdrop and blessing us with a vast array of biblical selections to deploy. Pick up and heed.”

—David B. Garner, Academic Dean and Professor of Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Every pastor and worship leader in the church will want a copy of this book. It is not the kind of work that one reads once or simply places on the shelf alongside other “worship” books. Rather, this volume is a resource that will be employed weekly by all who are attempting to prayerfully craft liturgies that aim to minister faithfully to God’s people. There is no greater duty or delight for the Christian than gathering with God’s people in worship; and preparing for those gatherings is one of the greatest duties and delights of the pastor. That delightful duty just became richer, simpler, and more informed, thanks to this publication from Dr. Kelly.”

—Jason Helopoulos, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan

Calls to Worship, Invocations, and Benedictions offers an excellent introduction to basic elements of Reformed liturgy and arranges them by the church’s calendar. Ryan Kelly provides biblically rich and pertinent theological texts to enhance the labors of worship leaders and pastors as they engage in liturgical planning. This is a blessing to read, a useful tool for preparation, and a motivation to pursue fidelity and excellence in the praise of our Lord, who is exalted over all.”

—Peter Lillback, President, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Experienced pastors know that every element in the worship service matters; not least of these elements are the calls to worship, invocations, and benedictions with which gathered worship begins and ends. Ryan Kelly has performed a great service by organizing material from Scripture and church history to sharpen and uplift pastors' leadership of public worship. It will not take long for my copy of this useful book to become well-worn!  I highly commend it to all ministers of the gospel.”

—Richard D. Phillips, Senior Minister, Second Presbyterian Church, Greenville, South Carolina

“With good judgment and a persuasive appeal to the history of Reformed worship, Ryan Kelly has served the church well by gathering from the Scriptures calls to worship, invocations, and benedictions—some of them in the express words of Scripture, among others that faithfully reflect and apply the message of Scripture in words of purely human composition. The book organizes these resources around the liturgical calendar, but they are not so tied to those occasions that they could not be used at any time the church gathers to worship. This little book will assist pastors and elders with serving their people well, and for that I warmly commend it to all who lead the flock in the sacred assembly.”

—David Strain, Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi