Worship in the Diocese

Christian Worship

Christian worship involves praising God in music and speech, readings from scripture, prayers of various sorts, a sermon, and various holy ceremonies (often called sacraments) such as the Eucharist.

While worship is often thought of only as services in which Christians come together in a group, individual Christians can worship God on their own, and in any place.

Origins

Christian worship grew out of Jewish worship.

Jesus Christ was a religious Jew who attended the synagogue and celebrated Jewish festivals, and his disciples were familiar with Jewish ritual and tradition.

The first obvious divergence from Judaism was making Sunday the holy day instead of Saturday. By doing this the day of Christian worship is the same as the day that Jesus rose from the dead.

Jesus's promise to stay with his followers, fulfilled in the sending of the Holy Spirit, illuminated the development of Christian worship from early times.

God is present

So Christians regard worship as something that they don't only do for God, but that God, through Jesus's example and the presence of the Holy Spirit is also at work in.

The Eucharist and the Word

Church services on a Sunday divide into two general types: Eucharistic services and services of the Word.

Both types of service will include hymns, readings and prayers.

The Eucharistic service will be focused on the act of Holy Communion.

The service of the Word does not include this rite, but instead features a much longer sermon, in which the preacher will speak at length to expound a biblical text and bring out its relevance to those present.

Style

Different churches, even within the same denomination, will use very different styles of worship. Some will be elaborate, with a choir singing difficult music, others will hand the music over to the congregation, who sing simpler hymns or worship songs.

Some churches leave much of the action to the minister, while others encourage great congregational participation.

(Of course all churches encourage the full participation of the congregation in praising God with heart, mind, and soul, but some churches give the congregation more physical participation.)