Anglican Worship All Christians everywhere have a structure to their worship of God. At Christ Church we use a structure from the Anglican liturgy. Our Sunday morning worship is joyful, Spirit-filled, contemporary, and guided by the Anglican Church’s rich tradition which incorporates very ancient as well as modern elements. We seek to be relevant to our current context while retaining the best of what the church throughout the ages has handed down to us.
STRUCTURE We didn’t make this stuff up! Each week in our worship services, we participate in a form of worship that has been tried, tested, and reformed throughout the entire existence of the Christian church. We incorporate unique elements while much of the structure of our services has been handed down to us from many years of godly tradition. It is participatory and carefully designed to be a tool to draw us into worship of our great God through everything we do in a service. From beginning to end the worship service is intended to point us towards Jesus and the life-changing truth of the gospel. As we begin to understand the structure and meaning of the elements of the worship service our hearts are elevated in worship.
The basic structure of the liturgy progresses in four parts:
Gathering (Opening prayers, songs of praise)
Word (Readings from the Bible, sermon, reciting the Nicene Creed)
Sacrament (Weekly Communion)
Sending (We are empowered with the Holy Spirit and sent back out into the world to share the light of Christ.)
RHYTHM People live by a variety of rhythms. Some are daily like morning cups of coffee or a morning jog. Some rhythms are weekly like a favorite TV show or cutting the grass. And some are annual like special holiday celebrations. These rhythms are important to us—they help us develop good habits, remind us what is most important, and set aside time to celebrate. The liturgy is like that for the Church. We follow a yearly rhythm in the church calendar, annually celebrating and commemorating certain special events and seasons. This yearly rhythm continually reminds us of the gospel message and connects us with important historical events in the life of Jesus and the apostles. Each year we enter into the celebrations and life-events of the church as we enter into God’s continuing work in the world.
PARTICIPATION The word “liturgy” means “work of the people.” Worship at Christ Church is a group activity and not a spectator sport. When we come together to worship we engage together in that worship. Using a structured and (generally) predictable form of service enables greater participation from all of us. While no one will ever be put on the spot and is welcome simply to observe, our service is designed to enable maximum participation from everyone--through singing, reciting familiar prayers, participating in Communion, and more. We desire that each person be drawn into personal participation in corporate worship.
GLOBAL There are about 85 million Anglicans around the world. It is a great joy to be connected to such a diverse and fascinating group of Christians. While worship will look different in Uganda and Chile and Murrells Inlet, there are elements that unite us with our fellow Christians around the globe. We are a part of something bigger than ourselves, and our worship unites us with that amazing, worldwide body called the Church.
Connecting people to Jesus Christ, to one another, and to God's work in the world.
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