Liturgical Worship | Grace Reformed Church
All churches have a liturgy, whether they refer to their worship as liturgical or not. The liturgy is essentially the elements that make up a worship service and the order in which they take place. Clearly then, nearly every church has a standard practice of liturgy that is evident in their worship. At First Presbyterian, we also have a liturgy. We are also importantly a Reformed congregation, so we appeal to the whole of Scripture alone for guidance in all matters, including the manner of our worship. We have sought to align our liturgy and worship style not according to our individual tastes, but instead with those indications laid out in the Bible. Churches do this in a wide variety of ways, since there was no specific liturgy for worship established in Scripture. There are, however, elements that can be clearly derived, and are included in our worship every week. We can see in Scripture that God is pleased to be worshiped through prayer, singing, and preaching of the Word. When you come to worship with us at First Presbyterian Church, you will find that our liturgy follows a general order of:
God Gathers and Prepares Us for Worship
When we gather for worship we prepare our hearts and minds to do just that. There is a musical Prelude during which we can quiet our minds from conversation and other issues that cloud our thoughts, a time to meditate and pray. This prelude is really part of the beginning of the service, not just pretty background music! Afterwards we have a Welcome with announcements.
God Calls Us to Worship
Formal worship actually begins with a responsive Call to Worship, after which we ask God to bless our worship of Him in the Invocation, sing an opening Hymn, and sing a Psalm together.
God Shows Us Our Need for a Savior
It is important to remind ourselves constantly that good comes from the Holy Spirit in us, and not from ourselves. Through a Prayer of Confession we humbly bow before the throne again and acknowledge our inability to achieve our own salvation, that we need a redeemer. God assures us of his promise in an Assurance of Pardon, and we respond by Passing the Peace of God to one another. We then join in singing the Gloria Patri. A Congregational Prayer and Anthem from the choir then acts as a bridge between this confession and the preaching of the Word.
God Teaches Us through the Preaching of the Word
The preaching of the Word, which is central to the worship service, is prepared by a Prayer for Illumination, then we read the texts for the sermon coming from both the Old and New Testaments, followed by a Sermon that is an exegesis of those texts.
God's People Respond to the Word
The portion of the service following the sermon is the congregation's response to the Good News God has brought to us. This includes many different appropriate responses of the people including Hymns, Prayers, coming to Christ's table in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, presentation of Tithes and Offerings, and Affirmations of Faith.
God Sends Us Out with His Blessing
Worship closes with the Benediction, sending the congregation out with God's Blessing, after which the service closes like it began, with an instrumental Postlude, which is a time, like the prelude, for the people to meditate on the good news they've heard and blessings they've received.