This month concludes my series of articles on worship. I’ve written about our Communion practices, addressed how liturgy is a foretaste of what is to come, and how liturgy is the work of the people.
In previous articles, I’ve shared how we worship together, making concrete our faith. We come together confessing our sins, hearing the words of forgiveness, sharing in the Word of God, offering our prayers and offering a part of ourselves, recalling everything we have comes from God. We gather at the Lord’s table and are sent to share the love of God that knows no boundaries.
But it occurred to me that perhaps you’re wondering just where our liturgy came from. Maybe you’re wondering, “Where do all those prayers and responses come from?” Allow me to offer a few examples.
Early in the service, the presiding minister greets the assembly, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. This comes from 2 Corinthians; 13
The Scripture readings we share come from the revised common lectionary. The same readings used on the same days by the Roman Catholic Church, The Presbyterian Church and the Methodist Church to name only a few.
After the prayers of the church, sharing God’s peace and the offering, we move to what we call Thanksgiving at the Table, sometimes called the Words of Institution. This is where the gifts of bread and wine become the very Body and Blood of Christ. Thanksgiving at the table comes from 1 Corinthians 11.
We then pray together The Lord’s Prayer; the Prayer Jesus gave to his disciples as found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11.
Following the Lord’s Prayer, we sing our Communion song, Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, taken from the gospel of John the first chapter.
Finally, we are sent with the benediction or blessing, from Numbers 6.
So there you have it, the short list of where our liturgy comes from. These aren’t just words that were made up and placed into a worship book a few years back. Our worship is biblical and the way the church has worshiped for thousands of years.
See you in worship!
Peace and blessings,