Our liturgy (order of worship) follows the pattern found in Scripture and reflects the Gospel itself.
God Calls us into His Presence: God summons us to come and worship.
God Cleanses us from our Sin: Having answered the call and come before Him, we are confronted with our sin and unworthiness. After confession of sin, we receive God’s assurance of forgiveness because of the work of Christ.
God Consecrates us through His Word: God consecrates us through the reading of Scripture and the preaching of the Word.
God Communes with us: God affirms His covenant in the Supper, by which He strengthens and nourishes His people. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper weekly.
God Commissions us: The service concludes with the benediction where God sends His people to serve with His blessing.
God Calls Us
*Call to Worship
The service begins with God calling us with His Word to worship Him in reverence and awe. A text is read as a summons to the people of God: “O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker!” (Psalms 95:6). He calls us to worship Him and receive from Him the good gifts he provides for our souls.
God announces His grace and peace to all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. As God’s appointed ambassador, the minister raises His hands and announces God’s blessing from His Word: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7).
*Psalm/Hymn of Approach
We respond to God’s call and blessing by lifting up our voices to Him and singing a psalm or biblical hymn.
*Prayer of Approach
As the covenant people of God, having responded to His call in song, we call upon Him, confessing that “our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).
God Cleanses Us
The Reading of the Law of God
God tells us His will for our lives in His law. God’s law tells us clearly how we are to live and what God expects of us. It also reveals God’s holiness as well as our sinfulness, for “if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin” (Romans 7:7).
Corporate Confession of Sin
Having heard God’s law, we are driven to confess our sins. We do this first silently, confessing our own individual sins. Then, we do so publicly and corporately, confessing to God as a people, “against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:4).
Declaration of Pardon
Having confessed our sins to God, we hear the joyful announcement of His promise that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). As Christ’s ambassador, the minister declares pardon to all who trust in Christ and repent of their sins.
*Psalm/Hymn of Response
We respond to the glorious news of the forgiveness of sins by singing a Psalm or Biblical hymn. “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” (Psalm 32).
God Consecrates Us
*Old Testament Reading
*New Testament Reading
Having received assurance of pardon, we listen to Him speak as His Word is read, which is itself an act of worship. (1 Timothy 4:13)
Prayer of Illumination
We call upon the Lord to “give us the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of our hearts enlightened, that we may know what is the hope to which He has called us, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:17-19).
God continues to speak as His Word is explained and proclaimed. (2 Timothy 4:2-4). The minister gives a faithful exposition of the text, which ultimately calls us to repentance of sin and faith in Christ.
Prayer is offered on behalf of the congregation, as well as intercession for the church and world.
*Psalm/Hymn of Response
Having heard the word of Christ, we “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly,” by “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual sons, with thanksgiving in our hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).
*Confession of Faith
We confess together the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed, or a section from the Westminster Standards. We do this not only to be instructed in the Christian faith, but also as a prayer to God in which we declare that we stand united in the truth He has revealed: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:5-6). The creeds and confessions faithfully summarize that revealed truth.
Giving of Tithes and Offerings
We respond to God’s grace with our giving, which is for the advancement of the gospel in the world and the making of disciples. We do this as an act of worship.
God Communes with Us
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
Having heard from our covenant God in His Word, we now join Him in a covenant meal. The preached Word promised us God’s favor in Christ. To this our heavenly Father adds this visible conformation of His unchangeable promise. We partake together to commune with and participate in the body and blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16).
Having been fed in Word and Sacrament, we turn our voices again to our covenant Lord is song.
God Commissions Us
In the worship service, the triune God gets the first word and the final word. Both are announcements of His grace. With uplifted hands, the minister blesses the people of God from the Word of God, which is available to all who receive it through faith:
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).
(* All who are able, please stand.)