Order in Church service is the priority of all our activities. Our basic aim is to conduct a short, well focused, meaningful and inspirational church service that meets the spiritual need of each one of us, bring peace, love and kindness among every one through the worship of God.
Have you ever wondered why the order of a church service is the way it is? The order of church service is something that is worth looking into because the order has been set and has not changed since the first church service was held. What if, during your high school years, you researched what high school classes would be needed for college rather than just taking whatever classes were offered?
Even though it is not commonly thought of meeting planners consider this, the order in which things occur during a meeting or a worship service is extremely important to many people. There exists an invisible sequence of events that people subconsciously organize into. Never — yes, never — start your church service with announcements. If you are anything like I am, then you read the bulletin before church begins and then wish you would have saved the announcements for later in the service.
Spiritual Order In The Church
The order of a church service is usually organized into three parts: Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Benediction.
The first part, called “Liturgy of the Word,” consists of several parts: a reading from scripture (usually chosen to correspond with the day’s readings), a psalm or other song of praise, and a homily or sermon. The readings and songs are typically directed toward all in attendance, while the homily is directed specifically at those in attendance who are also members of the congregation.
The second part, called “Liturgy of the Eucharist,” consists of two parts: first a penitential rite (often including confession and absolution) and then communion. During communion there is often an offering taken up for the poor or needy in addition to the bread and wine shared among all present. This part is typically led by someone who has been appointed as an acolyte or lector (depending on their age).
After communion concludes, there may be announcements made before concluding with a final prayer or blessing over those in attendance.
The order of a church service is as follows:
- Opening Hymn
- Prayer of Confession (the pastor prays this prayer, or someone else may)
- Reading from the Bible (either from the Old Testament or from the New Testament)
- Sermon by the pastor (a sermon is a talk about what is written in the Bible)
- Offertory (the offertory contains songs, prayers, and readings that are given to God as an offering)
- Lord’s Supper (Jesus Christ gave his own body and blood for us on this day when he had his last supper with his disciples)
- Benediction (the benediction is a prayer that asks God to bless us and protect us until next Sunday)
Church Service Order
The service begins with the Choir and Congregation singing the hymn, “Come, Holy Spirit,” accompanied by a brass quartet. The celebrant then offers the opening prayer. The Gospel Acclamation follows and then the Litany of Penitence is chanted.
At this point, there is a break in the liturgy so that people can go to confession or receive communion.
After the break, we sing another hymn—”I am the Bread of Life”—and then it’s time for the homily! The homily is given by one of our clergy members and lasts about 15 minutes. After this is concluded, we sing another hymn—”O Come All Ye Faithful”—and then it’s time for communion!
Order In Church Service
The second reading is a selection from one of the following:
- The Old Testament
- The New Testament (including any of the Gospels)
- The Psalms (or other biblical poetry)
Call to Worship
Welcome to our worship service. We are so glad you have joined us to praise God and worship him.
Let’s prepare our hearts for worship by taking a moment of silence and focusing on the Lord. With your eyes closed, breathe in deep three times, exhaling slowly each time, allowing yourself to come into a relaxed state. Letting go of any distractions or worries about the day ahead, allow yourself to become centered on God and his words that he has given us throughout Scripture.
Invite the congregation to join in singing praises unto the Lord using one of these songs:
- Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (Hyfrydol)
- All Hail The Power Of Jesus’ Name (Ode To Joy)
In the church service, you may hear a priest or deacon ask his congregation to confess their sins. This is known as confession. Confession is when we acknowledge that we are sinners and ask God to forgive us of our sins. It is also an opportunity for believers to give thanks to God for forgiving them, and request that he help them live a more righteous life.
Here’s an example:
Dear Father in heaven, I come before thee to confess my sins against thee, my fellow man and myself. I thank thee for thy forgiveness of all my sins through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior; who by his death on the cross has made satisfaction for our sins, who by his resurrection from the dead has overcome death itself, who now lives in heaven interceding for us who believe in him so that we may have eternal life through him with thee in paradise on earth now or later when time ends at last with thee. Amen!“`
Assurance of Pardon
- Tells the people that they are forgiven
- Tells them how they are forgiven
- Tells them what they are forgiven for
- Tells them who has forgiven them (God)
- Tells them when they are forgiven (now)
- Why it was necessary to be forgiven (because of sin).
Old Testament Scripture Reading
The Old Testament is the first part of the Christian Bible, and contains Genesis to Malachi. The New Testament contains Matthew through Revelation. The Old Testament is often referred to as the “Old Covenant” because it was written before Jesus came to earth, while the New Testament is called the “New Covenant” because it tells about Christ and His people after He died for them on Calvary’s cross.
The sermon may be from one book or from several different books in either Testament. For example, if it were an Advent sermon (on which you were preparing), you might read from Isaiah 64:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:54-58; Romans 8:19-23; Ephesians 1:7-14; Colossians 3:4-11; 1 Peter 5:1-4, etcetera…
New Testament Scripture Reading
The minister will read the New Testament Scriptures. The reading of the Gospel is done before any other readings. After the Gospel, there are several other scriptural readings that may take place in this order:
- Epistles (letters) from Paul and Peter
- Revelation (the book of Revelation)
- Psalms (or a Psalm)
The sermon is based on the Scripture readings and it is where the pastor applies the scripture readings to the church. In this section, he will get into more detail about what he discussed in his introduction. He might also talk about how what was read relates to other passages in the Bible. This can be a very long section but it’s important because this is where a pastor will apply what he learned from Jesus’ teachings and apply it to everyday life in our community today.
The Offering is a time of corporate giving in the worship service. It is an act of worship, a time to give back to God that which He has given us.
Doxology (from Greek δόξα (doxa) meaning “glory” and English doxology) are short hymns or songs of praise of thanksgiving and glory to God sung immediately before or after a reading from Scripture or at the end of an especially solemn religious service.
The Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist, is a Christian rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches. The term “Lord’s Supper” refers to the belief that the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ through the action of God during Communion.
Communion is generally celebrated by either distributing unconsecrated elements among communicants or serving consecrated elements on an altar. In both cases, it is also common for there to be more than one element distributed, though this practice is not universal.
An outline for church service for those not familiar with the liturgy
This outline is intended to provide a general structure for the service, though it is not meant to be prescriptive or exhaustive. It is also not an exhaustive list of everything that happens in a typical Anglican service.
- Scripture: The Bible readings are taken from both Old Testament and New Testament books; at least one will be read each Sunday, but more may be included if desired by the priest.
- Call To Worship: A hymn chosen for its appropriateness for the day’s theme is sung by the congregation as they enter into worship. If there are no hymns scheduled for that day, one may be chosen from among those provided in your church’s hymnal or online resources.
- Confession (Litany): The Litany Of Penitence begins with an acknowledgment of God’s mercy and leads into requests for forgiveness in specific areas of sinfulness (the Twenty-third Psalm follows this section). This can be omitted or modified depending on your denomination’s beliefs about penance and absolution; if you omit this portion, replace it with prayers asking God to help us see ourselves as He sees us and pray His will into our lives today!