This service, organized around the six parts of the church year, was led by the junior choir of Park Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan, at the conclusion of their choir season. For each part of the service, one choir member changed the pulpit parament with its appropriate colors and symbols. Others read passages from Scripture or Our World Belongs to God, a contemporary testimony found in the Worship Edition of the new Psalter Hymnal. And both choir and congregation sang songs for that season.
Articles in this issue:
By some ancient arrangement, the entire town of Turtle Lake knew that in the event of a blizzard—October through April—First Church would always have services, no matter what the size of the drifts. The church's central location, people claimed, would allow the hardy and fervent from all congregations to plow through the banks to sanctuary at this one house of worship.
In most Reformed and Presbyterian churches, the typical Sunday morning worship service is a preaching service in which the sermon is regarded as the centerpiece. The Lord's Supper, or communion, is celebrated infrequently—perhaps four to six times a year—and is viewed by the congregation as something of a special occasion. Such occasional celebration is so much a part of the life of Calvinistic churches that it is probably not widely known that Calvin himself favored weekly celebration of communion.
The morning worship service is well under way. God's greeting and his people's praise have already been sounded. Sins have been confessed and forgiven. The order of worship calls for "Profession of Faith and Holy Baptism." We listen and watch expectantly.
During the last few years my congregation and I have been learning together about the Lord's Supper. It all started one day when I was studying Luke's account of the Last Supper and compared it with Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 11.1 was struck by how rich the Scripture's teaching about the Supper really is.
Even if you don't know very many Scripture choruses or praise songs, there's a good chance you'll know "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God." From the time it was written in 1972, the song has been a "hit" and has been incorporated into countless hymnals and albums. To its composer, Karen Lafferty, "Seek Ye First" has been a wonderful miracle which gives her daily joy.
Prepared by the Commission on Worship, The Reformed Church in America. The Reformed Church Press, 1988. Price: 1-9 copies, $2.00; 10 or more $1.50
Understanding Worship is a companion booklet to the RCA Worship the Lord (1978). While Worship the Lord is largely a collection of worship services (with brief explanations), Understanding Worship is a commentary on the services.
As any liturgist knows, we have to take more than one "church year" into account as we plan our worship services. The last time I counted, I came up with six distinguishable "years."
Words of Welcome and Introduction
Tonight we rejoice and give thanks for the arrival of summer. We celebrate God's glorious creation, we express gratitude for a season of accomplishments in school and at work, and we offer thanks to God for his gift of leisure that we will enjoy in the vacation days ahead.
Call to Worship
Psalm 148: Praise the Lord, Sing Hallelujah (PH 188, TH 105)
[with organ and trumpet]
Prayer for the Service