AN EXPLANATION OF OUR REGULAR CHURCH SERVICE
WHAT IS WORSHIP?
To worship means to ascribe worth to something or some person.
The Christian Church ascribes worth to – worships God.
Worship is the activity of our whole lives. Worship is also central to what we do when we gather.
Churches gather in congregations and very often get together on Sunday.
There are many ways that Christians share in worship when they get together. We usually follow a traditional pattern for our worship service which features prayers and hymns. We also hear the Bible read and we explore its meanings for our lives today.
Christians are interested in theology: the way we think and talk about the Divine, and struggle to understand what it means to be human.
We are interested too in how we live together in community, how we care for and serve each other, and how we provide hospitality both within our church community and in the wider community.
We are also concerned with what it means to be a just, fair and compassionate community and we seek to play our part in that work.
All of these things are part of what we mean when we speak of worship.
OUR REGULAR SERVICE
We celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion on one Sunday per month.
Welcome – delivered by the person leading the service.
Acknowledgment of Land - We remind ourselves that we meet on the country of the traditional custodians, the Awabakal People, and pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging.
Announcements maybe made, including concerns of the week for the congregation.
Call to Worship – delivered from the pulpit.
(We start by reminding ourselves that we are here to worship God together.
If there is an on screen component of this call, then the leader reads the section in white and the congregation responds by reading the section in yellow.)
(This prayer acknowledges that God is with us and helps us experience God’s presence.)
Hymn 1 – stand for the singing of the hymn, words on the screen.
Prayer of Confession – congregation seated, prayer lead by minister
(We are made in the image of God but so often do not fully live this truth. We do much that damages each other and ourselves. In confession we acknowledge these hard truths, and open ourselves to God’s forgiveness which comes to us abundantly – a gift of God.)
Declaration of Forgiveness
“…Your sins are forgiven“.
“Thanks be to God.” - spoken response by the congregation
Hymn 2 – congregation stands for the singing of the hymn
Bible reading – the reader will present selected passages from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, congregation is seated.
WE LISTEN FOR WHAT GOD’S SPIRIT IS SAYING TO THE CHURCH TODAY
(We want to live in the way God wants us to live. First, we pray that God might help us understand what that means, then we listen to a part of the Bible, and finally, a message or sermon exploring what those words might mean for us today. The hymn often picks up on some theme from the Bible reading.)
Prayer for Illumination
Sermon – delivered by the leader, all seated
Prayers of the People
(God calls us to love and care for each other. In this prayer, we remember situations of need in the world. It closes with the Lord’s Prayer, which was taught by Jesus to his disciples and is used by all Christians.)
The Lord’s Prayer said by the entire congregation.
Invitation to the Offering – collected by the stewards who pass around the cloth offering bags.
(One practical way of responding is to contribute money which is used to help others who are in need.)
“Our offering will now be received.” Said by the leader of the service
Prayer of Dedication – congregation is seated.
(We offer the money to God and pray that it might be used wisely.)
Hymn 4 – congregation stand for the singing of the hymn, stay standing for the end of the service.
(At the end of the service, we prepare to go back to our daily lives. The Benediction reminds us how we are to live in the world and reassures us that God is with us in our daily lives.)
Benediction - presented by the leader of the service.
Parting song, sung at the end of the service as we prepare to leave, congregation standing.
Some will chat, some will begin to leave, some will sit and make a short personal prayer.
(This paper was sourced from Scots Church Adelaide and is presented with minor alterations.)