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All Articles For The Church At Worship

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By the above sub-caption we do not have in mind, first of all, the parts that constitute our formal worship. Concerning these we will have something to say after a bit; but before doing so we must mention an element of our worship that must be considered before we actually enter the house of God to participate in the songs, prayers, preaching, etc. We refer to the element of “togetherness”; unity with fellow-saints in the holy presence of God. Worship is not individualparticipation in the various steps of a prearranged program.

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Many and varied are the activities of the worshippers when they gather together in the house of God. Perhaps many of us are not even aware of all that transpires in the short span of ninety minutes spent in church. Much of what we do is done so routinely that we fail to be impressed with the significance of each step in the order of worship. Our mind and will is not always in that spiritual frame that is requisite for us to enter consciously into that exercise of “worshipping in spirit and in truth;” and, consequently, the elements of...

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We do not have in our churches a denominationally accepted Order of Worship. Each church is at liberty to arrange the elements of worship in an order that is most conducive to the edification of the particular church. However, although there may be some slight variations here and there, we believe that all of our churches follow an order similar to that found on the weekly bulletin of the First Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That order of worship is the following:  Organ prelude  *Doxology—”Praise God. . .”  *Votum and Benediction 

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In our worship today the congregation is led by the minister of the Word, before the preaching of the sermon, in a rather comprehensive prayer that contains various elements. Then, immediately after the sermon, the minister leads in another prayer that is usually very brief. Now this order was not always followed in, Reformed Churches. From the collection of Christian Prayers handed down in our Dutch liturgy and translated into the English, we learn that some centuries ago prayers were used and designated for use after the preaching of the sermon.

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The Reformed Churches are rich in their liturgical heritage! This heritage, in distinction from that of many other churches, is not enveloped with numerous externals that only enhance superstition and contribute little or nothing at all to the true worship of God; but it is composed of a series of simple, well-written, doctrinal formularies that are invaluable aids in bringing out the significance of singular worship practices of the church. 

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The prayer that concludes the administration of the sacrament of Holy Baptism is a beautiful expression of thanksgiving that, with the exception of a single word, has been preserved for us in its original form. In about the middle of the prayer we find the phrase, “that Thou wilt be pleased always to govern these baptized children by Thy Holy Spirit.” The word “baptized” in this connection did not appear in the original prayer but was added later. Its omission or inclusion in the prayer does not in any way alter the prayer and therefore the matter is of minor...

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