Finding our Story in God's Story
Liturgy means “the work of the people,” and all services follow some kind of liturgy—the order and structure of a worship service. In walking through the story of the gospel together each week, we use a variety of traditional and contemporary liturgical elements and an eclectic mix of music as we hear God speaking to us, and to speak back to him. We use the traditional church year to shape our yearly worship, as it takes us through the whole narrative of Scripture, and allows us to focus in on particular elements of our faith in different seasons. We also use the lectionary, reading through God’s word with much of his church around the world, and seeing how the whole counsel of Scripture, from Old to New Testament, is woven together.
Why do we use both traditional and contemporary music?
We use traditional music and liturgy because we want to be tied to the church down through the ages, being reminded our home is elsewhere and that our own cultural time has its strengths and weaknesses. We want to always remember that we worship with a great cloud of witnesses, knowing that we are singing some of the same songs and saying some of the same prayers as the saints who have gone before us and the saints who will follow us. We use contemporary music and liturgy to recognize that we live in a particular culture and time, and we look for writers and musicians who are speaking to the current issues of the church.
Why do we use hymnals?
We believe it is important to remember that as the congregation we are always participating in worship as worshippers, not spectators. Holding the music gives the congregation power over their own singing—knowing what we are singing. It aids those who read music to participate more fully, and it helps those who have little musical training become stronger singers. It helps families with young children train them to read and to sing (many young children can sing with a helping finger before they can read aloud with ease), and it allows people to take the music of church home with them. These great hymns have strengthened and blessed Christians for generations in their worship, expressed joy at their weddings, comforted them at their deaths, and brought Scripture and doctrine to memory. While we also sing a number of songs not found in the Trinity hymnal we use, we greatly value the richness of the hymnal.
When do we sing Amen after hymns?
You will notice that we only sing a corporate Amen after certain hymns and not others. In our worship we are always either speaking to God or hearing God speak to us, in the words of Scripture, in our prayers and in our songs. Our hymns are either prayers to God or God’s words of encouragement that we are singing to one another. To help us remember what we are doing in worship, and that we are always actively participating, we sing Amen after hymns that are prayers to God. The hymns where we are speaking God’s words to each other are not followed by an Amen.
How do we use our bodies in worship?
The Bible uses the phrases, “we lift up our soul” and “we lift up our hands” interchangeably, understanding that the use of our bodies affects how we worship. Standing for multiple elements of the service, raising our hands during the Communion liturgy, coming forward for Communion, opening our hands to receive the benediction are all ways in which we are reminded in our bodies of our participation in worship, of the presence of the God of the universe before us, blessing and renewing us. God did not call us to disembodied worship or worship that happens only in our minds, rather his sacraments of water, bread and wine act directly upon our bodies.
Why do we have an adult choir and a children’s choir?
Our service has an adult choir and a children’s choir that sing often during the seasons of Lent/Easter and Advent/Christmas, as well as other times during the year. Our choirs are open to all who are interested in joining us, and are a good way to learn more about singing together and the music of the church. The choir serves in leading the congregation in worship and strengthening the music of the whole congregation. The children’s choir helps train up the children of the church in singing and making music for the church. It is also a unique way that children can participate in and help lead the worship of the church from a young age.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!