Silence has long occupied an important role in both individual and corporate worship. Its presence implies the fulfillment of a biblical admonition: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him” (Hab 2:20). In some current worship practices, however, silence has become all but lost. Many churches whose worship is strongly influenced by revivalist traditions have dispensed with silence as “too liturgical.” Other contemporary
churches from a wide variety of denominational traditions, whose weekly worship practices have been shaped by either the demands of radio and television production or the influence of the television medium, have abandoned silence as a component of corporate worship from the mistaken assumption that it creates “dead time”—either in the broadcast/telecast of the service or in the flow of worship elements. To the contrary, appropriate moments of silence contribute to the rhythm of revelation and response in worship by providing “waiting space” for the revelatory work of God’s Spirit.