Liturgy

The object of our liturgy is the worship of the Triune God according to Biblical means and forms; the discipleship of saints according to Biblical doctrine; and, the defense of our ancient faith once delivered to the saints.

A liturgy is nothing more than a particular arrangement of a service.  Every church has a liturgy whether they admit to it or not.  The real question is from where is your liturgy derived?

We will strive to worship Biblically in reverent humility before God, joy, thankfulness and praise toward Jesus Christ, and according to the power of the Holy Spirit.

Reformed liturgy is different than the modern evangelical service because it seeks to be Biblical rather than culturally driven like the “Church Growth” or “Seeker Sensitive” models.  Our liturgy also stands out from Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgy because it is not derived from human traditions or the commandments of men.  Our focus is to worship God according to the commands, examples, and patterned principles throughout the Scriptures.

This is not to say that we do not learn from various denominations.  While we study and learn from various Christians, our final authority is the Word of God.

There are forms of worship in most church traditions that come from the Bible.  The problem is that one element or another of worship is over emphasized to the detriment of the others.  To fill the void of the missing elements, many revert to man-made methods of worship.

Reformed liturgy is derived from what is Biblical and as a result is linked to the past.  This historical link is to those who have been conformed to the Word of God throughout history.  However, we must remember what our confession of faith states:

“The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan; nevertheless Christ always hath had, and ever shall have a kingdom in this world, to the end thereof, of such as believe in him, and make profession of his name.”

We greatly value our heritage but also realize no man or group of men are perfect.  While great men of the past were not perfect, we would be fools to refuse to hear what men of God have preached or wrote concerning any topic.  We should realize our own imperfectness and rely upon God’s Word and welcome valuable insight from saints of the past and present.

We do not seek to be innovative but Biblical, historical and orthodox.  Reformed liturgy is therefore unique and special from modern designs.  We worship a God who changes not and therefore believe that this Biblical testimony of faith and practice can be found throughout history.

Nor do we do not seek to be relevant, as defined by the Church Growth Movement or what is called the Emergent Church.  True relevancy is found only in true worship.  True worship consists of spirit and truth as Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman in John 4.

Our worship seeks to be sincere through the faith of Jesus Christ and not in man-created additions to worship.  Worship comes from a heart that has been changed through the faith of Jesus Christ and repentance toward God by the operation of the Holy Spirit.

True worship also consists of truth.  This includes true means of grace and forms of worship.  Many have abandoned worship as commanded, exemplified and principally revealed through God’s Word due to fear of externalism.  While externalism must be guarded against in every generation, our forms of worship are equally important as our sincerity.  Externalism alone is not true worship, however, our outward forms should be an expression of the grace working in our hearts.

It should also be noted that sincerity alone is not worship either.  True sincerity, which is the result of a new heart graciously given to us by God, will be expressed in obedience to the Word of God according to the light given at any particular time.

We worship in a traditional and liturgical fashion because it is Biblical, Reformed and orthodox.  These forms have stood the test of time because they are ordained of God for His Church.  However, we do not get distracted by the modern tradition vs. contemporary distinctions.  These modern worship wars in the evangelical church are neither traditional nor contemporary.  Mostly, they are just debates to decide how low the Church desires to go in man-centered worship.

In our worship, we will sing songs that are theologically correct, filled with the majesty of God and praise to Jesus Christ.  These songs will be in the form of Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and not simply reduced to the date written or instruments used.  We are regulated by Scripture to sing ancient and new songs; to use instruments that are stringed, wind, and percussion, so long as they are rich in Biblical theology, praise, thanksgiving and confession.

In our worship, we value the time-honored connection to the historical faith in our worship.  We connect the past and the present in singing and praying words that express Biblical truth in songs, calls to worship, praises to God and benedictions from the early Church era and the Reformation era.  We use time-honored words the historical Church has used to express Scriptural praise and petition, such as in the Gloria Patri, Gloria in excelsis Deo, the Doxology, the Greater Doxology, Phos Hilaron (Hail Gladdening Light), Te Deum (also known as Ambrosian Hymn or A Song of the Church) and many others.

We use creeds from the ancient Church such as the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Chalcedon Creed.  We use confessions and catechism’s from the Reformation era that have been passed down to us in the Reformed churches.

We also use direct words of Scripture in singing the Psalms, responsive readings, litanies, and canticles as have been used throughout all centuries of the Church.

Yet, we would be remiss if we did not also value the newer expressions of our rich theological heritage.  The Luther’s, Calvin’s, Knox’s, and Augustine’s of our day should be heard as well to instruct the Church.

Worship is not centered in our feelings, tendencies or tastes. Worship is centered in the Triune God of Scripture and His glory. Accordingly, we worship through biblical forms and historical expressions of Scriptural thought and patterns that place the glory of the Triune God in the very center of our praise.

Our basic order of worship is as follows:
  • God Calls Us to Worship
  • God Cleanses Us
  • God Consecrates Us by His Word
  • God Communes with Us
  • God Commissions Us

Worship at Reformed Holy Trinity includes praying the Word, singing the Word, reading the Word, preaching the Word and seeing the Word through such forms of worship as:
  • Prayers of confession, praise, thanksgiving and intercession
  • Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs of praise and faith that tend toward the beautiful, the excellent, and the theologically profound
  • Confession of our faith through the Apostles’, Nicene, Athanasian, and Chalcedon Creeds and through the Second London Confession of Faith with valuable insight from the Westminster Standards
  •  Observance of the Lord’s Supper and baptism
  • Reading and preaching of the Word of God that exalts Christ as all-sufficient and that challenges and feeds souls in Him.

We will conduct activities to help each of us to love Jesus Christ deeper and grow in faith. We will strive to prepare ourselves to be Christ’s disciples to the world by teaching and encouraging each other to seek guidance, strength and wisdom through daily, personal and family prayer and Bible study.

Our worship is therefore directly connected to our discipleship and is a product and extension of our liturgy.  Our liturgy flows from our doctrine and our doctrine from our liturgy.  Through our Divine services and educational ministries, we seek to edify the saints of God through sound doctrine in faithful proclamation and practice of the Word.