Practiced by the early Church in its classical, formative period
Recovered during the Reformation
Worships the Father through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit
Expresses the centrality of Christ as our mediator and worship leader
Recognizes the proper role of the minister as Christ's ordained servant, who represents Christ to the congregation as Christ's Bride
Sings the songs Jesus sang: the Psalms, as well as the great hymns and songs of the church both old and new
Proclaims and celebrates the fullness of the riches of Christ in all the Scriptures, applied to all of life
Celebrates the Lordʼs Supper each Lordʼs Day
What is a good working Scriptural definition of worship? We like the one given by James B. Torrance: “Worship is the gift of participating by the Spirit in the incarnate Sonʼs communion with the Father.”
What do you mean when you cay that worship is Christ-centered and Gospel-centered? We recognize that just as Christ alone saves us by his atoning death on the cross and by his resurrection, so only Christ can bring us sinners into the Father's Presence (John 4:24; Rom. 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).
Why do you use Scripture throughout the service, from the call to worship to the closing benediction? Just as little children learn to talk by their parents talking to them, so we learn to talk with God by his Words given to us in the Bible by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us to know God and to worship God through the Word he inspired. For that reason there is much use of Scripture throughout the service.
Why don't you have a separate service for children? Because Jesus welcomed little children into his presence (Matt. 19:13-15) we also encourage parents to bring their children with them into the service to worship the Lord with us.
Why does classical Christian worship sing the Psalms? The “hymn and prayer book” of the Bible is the Book of Psalms, also called the Psalter. The Spirit of God himself inspired the Psalms so we can use them confidently in worshiping God in the Spirit. They express the whole experience of faith in the midst of all the circumstances of life. There are Psalms of joyful exuberant praise, and of lamentation. There are Psalms of remembrance, and of instruction. There are Psalms calling upon God to bless his people, and to judge his enemies who oppress his people. Most importantly, they are the songs Jesus grew up singing and praying! The early Church sang the Psalms. This was recovered by the Protestant Reformers, who also wrote hymns inspired by the Psalms, like Martin Lutherʼs famous hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” based on Psalm 46. For all these reasons we sing the Psalms and great hymns.
Why does classical Christian worship celebrate the Lordʼs Supper each Sunday? This was the universal practice of the early church, and all the leading Reformers sought to restore that ancient Biblical practice. Sadly, like the Psalms, the Lordʼs Supper has receded to the background in most modern worship. However, in the Bible and the early church the Lordʼs Supper, like the Word, was central and essential. We have found the regular weekly celebration of the Lordʼs Supper to be a very great blessing; it is the feast of victory of the Lord!
We hope this brief summary of classical Christian worship is helpful to your faith. May the Lord richly bless you in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14)!
If you would like to learn more about Classical Christian Worship, the Triune God of love and grace, the Mediation of Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, singing the Psalms, the Lordʼs Supper, or any other aspect of the Biblical teaching on worship please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 541-382-1572. You are always welcome to join us in worshiping the Triune God Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m.!
What does Classical Christian Worship look like on any given Sunday?
The Lord’s Call to Worship
Congregational singing of a hymn or Psalm of Praise and Adoration to the Lord
Prayer of Confession and Declaration of God’s Absolution of Sins
Congregational singing of a hymn or Psalm of Thanksgiving and Adoration, the Psalm of the Month (sung from the English Standard Version text), and the Apostles Creed or Nicene Creed
Intercessions, beginning with the Lord’s Prayer
Congregational singing of a hymn or Psalm of preparation for the Word
Offering of ourselves and our gifts to the Lord
Congregational singing of a hymn or Psalm of preparation for the celebration of the Lord's Supper
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
Congregational singing of a missional hymn or Psalm