WHAT IS WORSHIP? Worship is at the center of the church’s life. In worship, we acknowledge God’s worth. That worship encompasses the whole week—when we are out in the community, in our homes, or gathered at church. Because Christians are all members of the one body of Christ, we make it a priority to come together to worship as one.
Historically, worship services have a particular flow that reflects our encounters with God: approaching God, receiving the Word of God, and responding to God. The particulars of the service are flexible, but the foundation remains the same.
HOW OUR THEOLOGY SHAPES OUR WORSHIP Worship is an embodiment and expression of our beliefs. It enables us to articulate our faith and to act it out in word, song, and gesture.
Our theology is articulated most simply in the structure of our beliefs that God created all things good; we sinned and are guilty of falling short of the glory of God; God sent Jesus Christ so that we might have life; and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we respond to God’s grace with thanksgiving and lives of service.
Our worship service then follows a three-part pattern, with a beginning note of praise:
Gather and Draw Near: We approach God, first with praise, an acknowledgement of our sinfulness and need, and in worship.
Hear God’s Word: God speaks to us a word of grace, in Scripture, sermon, and sacrament (baptism and the Lord’s Supper).
Respond: We respond to God with gratitude and service.
MUSIC IN OUR SERVICE God’s people sing. The role of music in worship is biblical. Over and over, the Bible shows the people of God singing songs of praise and gratitude, lament, and petition.
Because of that, our worship emphasizes the participation of the whole congregation in singing and can include solos and group singing to glorify God. Just as the service as a whole is not a performance, music within the service should allow the congregation to offer their hearts to God. Music should both glorify God and nurture the faith of the people. We worship with hymns, songs, melodies, using instruments.
WHAT IS THE ADVENT SEASON? Advent Season is a very special time of year that sometimes gets lost in the bright lights of the Christmas season it precedes. The first day of Advent is the first day of a new Liturgical (or church) calendar and begins a four-week period of preparation in anticipation of the nativity of Jesus at Christmas.
The Advent Season is all about reflecting on how we can prepare our hearts and homes for Christ’s birth in the world as it is today. It is a time for faith communities and families to remember, through prayer, reflections, special music, and good deeds what the true meaning of Jesus’ birth is. There are many different traditions associated with the four weeks of Advent.
The Advent season invites us to step away from what can be a frenzied time of parties and shopping to consider how we commemorate the birth of Jesus, one of the times of remembrance in our Christian faith. It is also a time to reflect on the triumphant return of Jesus at the second coming.
WHAT IS THE LITURICAL (CHURCH) CALENDAR? The liturgical calendar follows the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Some branches of Christianity follow a liturgical calendar that observes more specific events and traditions than others. Here are key seasons and colors that Christians in many protestant churches observe each year.
Most Christian churches follow a church calendar of sorts, even if it is to observe just specific biblical events like the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ while others observe many of the events and traditions, while others observe all.