Since the beginning, Christians have conducted dignified and God-centered worship on the Lord’s Day. Over the centuries, certain elements were found to be indispensable to properly worship God. These elements were codified in what became known as “liturgy.” What you will experience at All Saints is in line with the custom of the ancient Church, as practiced by the Reformers of the 16th century.
Liturgy helps us focus on Christ and His glory. It places an abundance of Scripture before the worshiper, taking his mind off man. By having a liturgy, the Christian becomes a participant in the worship of God, hearing and responding to Him, instead of being a mere observer. It gets our focus off this world and gives us hope for the next. It ties the Old and New Testament texts together, showing the promises in the Old, and their fulfillment in the New.
Liturgy comforts believers by
▪ Declaring that God’s Law has been satisfied by Christ’s life, crucifixion and resurrection,
▪ Proclaiming that Christ’s righteousness has been credited to the believer; and
▪ Reminding the believer weekly of God’s gracious pardon of sins, and the sinner’s adoption as God’s child.
Liturgy does not offer this comfort to everyone, but only only for the believer. The unbeliever discovers that he is not right with God and that the Law still condemns him. This is used by the Holy Spirit to bring the sinner to repentance.
Drawing upon the rich traditions of the historic Christian Church, we attest that Reformed worship is characterized in the following ways:
The most important thing that we could say about our worship is that it is God-centered. Reformed worship aims to place the radiant and glorious character of the Triune God and the greatness of his redemptive work on behalf of sinners front and center.
Reformed worship is a marvelous dialogue between God and his people. The course of Reformed worship unfolds in the form of a conversation which alternates between God speaking to us through the proclamation of the law and the gospel and our responding to God in praise and thanksgiving, penitence (confession of sin) and prayer.
FORMAL AND REVERENT
The Holy One of Israel, the Sovereign God is majestic and glorious, and we are to rejoice with trembling in his presence. We believe that such a view of God is best encouraged by a service characterized by form, reverence, and solemn joy. While we thus run the risk of not being “upbeat” enough for some people’s tastes, we believe that we are, week in and week out, promoting a view of God which is consistent with the magnificence of his character revealed in Scripture.
Since the primary purpose of worship is to give glory to God, our worship is not preoccupied with mans needs, feelings, or aspirations. A common mistake is to evaluate worship purely in terms of our subjective impressions and feelings. Thus, for many people, worship is good only insofar as it makes them feel good. While not wishing to discount the importance of our subjective response—indeed it is our hope that we will be subjectively engaged in worship—we would suggest that worship is first and foremost an activity, not a feeling. “What are we doing?” is thus a more important question than “How do we feel?”