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Worship and Liturgy: Service of Reverence and Goodwill

Worship and Liturgy: Service of Reverence and Good


A) Veritable and acceptable worship (1Cor 12:1-2; Heb 12:28) of God Who is Spirit must be (Joh 4:24; 2Thes 2:13) by the power of the Holy Spirit working in the worshippers (IN SPIRIT) and based on true principles about the nature and ways of God (IN TRUTH), as well as in a pattern or form that is DECENT and ORDERLY (1Cor 14:40).

1. In Spirit: i.e. spiritual power, spiritual intensity and spiritual experiences of sanctification and inspiration by the Spirit of God. Spirituality is to be both spontaneous and restrained (1Cor. 14:27-33). In Spirit means SOUNDLY INSPIRED through the POWER of Gods Spirit.

2. In Truth: i.e. appreciating (through authentic knowledge) and expressing (through sincere faith) scriptural precepts revealed as the Truth of God. To be in Truth, our belief must be genuine and our knowledge must be correct. In Truth means SINCERELY INFORMED by the PRECEPTS of Gods Truth.

B) Though public worship is primarily communal and corporate as formal majestic courtesy, the individuals who make up the gathering are also involved in personal worship as informal loving intimacy at the same time. The Word is read or preached to all corporately, but the hearing and believing is done individually.

C) There are also the two aspects of worship, which are either set form or extempore:
All things to be done in unison have to be set or fixed e.g. songs, the exclamations (Hallelujah, Maranatha, Abba Father, Hosanna), the affirmations (Amen, Creeds), even the gestures (1 Cor. 16:20; 1Tim 2:8; Acts 21:5), general prayers (adorations, confessions, supplications and thanksgivings – Matt 6:9-13). Also imperative to be fixed are the Scripture portions used (readings, vesicles, Baptismal formula, Eucharistic words of institution and Psalms); such also applies to all aspects of the worship that would serve as reference in the future (vows and benedictions for baptism, confirmation, marriage and ordination).

However, it is not possible to fix and set every supplications, sermons and Biblical expositions. Even where it may be possible in some instances, it is often better left to the need and spontaneity of the hour. Prophetic utterances, tongues and interpretation, also prayer requests could not easily be fixed or set, these can only be left to the leading of the Holy Spirit as the need arises.

D) Proper worship is that which is provoked by the awareness of Gods work, word and worth, in response to Gods redemption, regulation and revelation. True worship must be informed by the Word of Truth and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Such worship is both objective and subjective, as well as formal and extempore. Divine Worship has various aspects and components whereby the church reverences God, entreats his mercies and fellowships in His name.

Full worship should give room for ascription of supreme worth to God; expression of gratitude to Him; attention to Gods holy Word; doing obedience to His command; adoring Gods majesty; supplicating for His mercy; participating in Christs sacraments; and sharing in the household fellowship of God and His children. These make up the purpose of Christian worship and are mentioned in the opening exhortation of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP).

E) The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) prefaces said the BCP was written to help the church have a balanced worship (1662), not in bondage of figure or shadow, but in the freedom of the Spirit (1559) and to remain faithful to the teachings of Scripture and the godly and decent order of the ancient Fathers (1928) and to inflame the Church with the love of Gods true religion (1549).

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