Some FAQ's about our worship liturgy
God teaches us how he wants us to worship him. The ordinary elements of worship given to us in the Bible are:
- The reading of Scripture
- The preaching of the Word
- The public confession of our faith
- The singing of Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
- The collection of tithes and offerings
- The sacraments instituted by Jesus which are The Lord’s Supper and Baptism.
After Jesus ascended into heaven, the early church devoted themselves to these things. The elements prescribed in the Bible are designed to bring glory to God, nourish our faith, and edify one another.
We see the use of written responses and prayers in assembled worship throughout the history of the Christian Church. Some folks may dispute the sincerity of such written responses and prayers, but without them, congregational participation is considerably curtailed. Written responses and prayers allow the congregation to interact in the service beyond only singing. With the coming of Christ, we are called a “royal priesthood” and therefore appointed to actively engage in the work of worship. Assembled worship is a small foreshadowing of what we will enjoy in heaven. Worship is not something we watch from the pew, but an active participation. Sincerity is determined in the heart of each person as they recite the written responses and prayers together. We urge all to examine their own heart as we come to worship the Holy God.
With scarce exception, we typically recite the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed every week. Some folks may regard this weekly repetition as mindless and stale. But the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed have been used throughout church history even from the first century. As we review the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed, we unite not just with our current, local congregation, but with the universal body of believers across the centuries and across the globe. And as repetition fosters memorization, our younger children and blind worshipers are likewise able to participate in the worship service.
Both the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed give us a doctrinal framework–the first is an outline for prayer given to us by Jesus, to teach us how to pray. When we pray the Lord’s prayer together we are saying the prayer that Jesus gave us. We rehearse his structure for prayer and allow it to shape our own prayers. The second is a summary of the essential beliefs of the Christian faith, written by early church fathers to protect against threatening falsehoods. As we affirm the Apostles’ Creed every week we stand with the historic church and anchor in our hearts and minds central beliefs of the Christian faith.
Kanawha Salines PCA, Charleston WV