Worship is …
the submission of all of our nature to God.
It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness,
Nourishment of mind by His truth,
Purifying of imagination by His beauty,
Opening of the heart to His love,
And submission of will to his purpose.
And all this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of human expressions of which we are capable.
By William Temple
Our vision at Church of the Word is to Encounter and Share Jesus Christ. We encounter Jesus in the Scriptures which are read, preached, and studied, and we meet Him in the sacrament of the bread and wine. We share Jesus in our daily lives where He leads.
We invite you to try a couple of our services and encourage you to ask questions about how we worship. We offer two Sunday morning services, a traditional service at 8-9am, and our main family service from 10-11:30am.
Introduction and explanation
The Holy Communion service, also called the Lord’s Table, has become the central act of Christian worship for many Christian communities in the last century, recovering the practice of the early church. The form set out here is deliberately designed for ease of use and as a resource for instruction in worship. The primary source for this liturgy is the new Anglican Church in North America communion Service. As with most liturgies the parts to be said by a leader are in normal type and the responses involving the entire congregation are in bold. Another feature of this setting is the strong use of scripture. In common with classical communion services it has four main scripture readings, an Old Testament, Psalm, Epistle and Gospel. Twenty other citations of scripture are used in the worship with references noted in italics. Also many other prayers and creeds are used here because, though not directly quoted from the bible, they are full of scriptural allusions and imagery.
Music is a major part of worship and it is anticipated that songs will be added throughout the service at the appropriate places. Posture is also important as our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our posture can reflect and even inspire our spiritual attitude. In Anglican worship we generally stand to praise in song or stand to proclaim our faith in a creed. We generally sit to hear and reflect on the word and for prayer. We may kneel for confession or prayer if that is practical. Those unable to stand for a long time are welcome to sit through any part of the service.
The two major sections of the service involve gathering around the word and the table. The liturgy of the word is similar to that used in the local Jewish synagogues and the liturgy of the table reflects the offering of sacrifice at the altar in the temple. First in the word section, the scripture is read from four sections of the Bible and a sermon preached which will normally take up one of the texts. Then we respond to the word in a creedal statement of our common faith, prayers for the needs of the world and preparation for coming to the Lord’s Table. The main feature of the worship around the table is a comprehensive prayer reminding us of God’s plan of salvation in history, culminating in the passion of Christ. Hebrew traditions of synagogue and temple worship are combined in the liturgy of the Eucharist and are now viewed through the light of our experience of Jesus Christ who is the fulfillment, fullness and climax of God’s revelation. The following should help guide you through the flow of the liturgy.
The Gathering of God’s People:
Preparing our hearts to enter God’s holy presence
The Confession of our Sin:
A prayer of confession with assurance of forgiveness
Proclaiming and Receiving the Word:
Encounter Jesus in bible reading and preaching
The Nicene Creed:
A classical statement of core Christian belief
The Prayers of the People:
A framework of guided and open prayer
Preparation for coming to the Lord’s Table:
Self-reflection and community joy
Celebrating at the Lord’s Table:
Offerings of money, bread and wine presented
The Great Thanksgiving Prayer:
Recalling the finished work of Christ on the cross
Invitation to the Lord’s Table:
Encounter Jesus in the bread and wine
Going our as God’s People:
Share Jesus anew with our community
Pastoral offices such as baptism, weddings and funerals may be arranged with the Pastor.