Order of Worship

I can’t resist sharing with you this order of worship written in stone.

There’s just enough truth in the cartoon to be funny. I’m looking now at one of our worship bulletins, and thinking about how our typical order of worship has evolved over the years. I can remember when the Morning Prayer was called the Invocation, and the Quiet Time and Prayers of the People were a Pastoral Prayer. Invocation sounds to me like we’re trying to evoke the Presence of God, and not calling it that is a way of acknowledging that God’s Presence is here, waiting for us. We’re the ones who need evoking! Changing the Pastoral Prayer to Quiet Time and Prayers of the People affirms the importance of some stillness and quiet in worship, and that intercessory prayer belongs to the community in worship.

I can remember when we did not pray the Lord’s Prayer every Sunday, and when we did not stand for the reading of the Gospel which keeps telling us the story of Jesus. I can remember when Len Johnson introduced the idea of a one-verse parting hymn to close our worship, just prior to the benediction.

All of this is now part of our “standard” call to worship. That does not mean it is written in stone. Other new forms might emerge. Other changes could be made.

How can we allow warmth and spontaneity without our worship becoming overly casual and informal? How can we reach for majesty and wonder without our worship becoming overly stuffy and formal?  

The meaning of liturgy is “the work of the people.” Should there be some revamping or re-imagining of how we worship on Sunday mornings? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and if this strikes a chord with even a few, let’s get together to talk, pray and plan.



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