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Tuesday
Sep172013

Theological Term of the Week 

liturgy
An established or customary pattern for a public religious service. It may include prescribed content for readings and prayers, and/or designated times for hymns, responsive readings, scripture readings, prayers, the Lord’s Supper, and teaching, etc.

  • From scripture, a few element that should be included in an established order of service:
  • Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. (1 Timothy 4:13 ESV)

  • From Philip Schaff’s History of the Church, a description of John Calvin’s liturgy: 
  • The service began with an invocation, a confession of sin and a brief absolution. hen followed reading of the Scriptures, singing, and a free prayer. The whole congregation, male and female, joined in chanting the Psalms, and thus took an active part in public worship, while formerly they were but passive listeners or spectators. This was in accordance with the Protestant doctrine of the general priesthood of believers. The sermon came next, and after it a long general prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. The service closed with singing and the benediction.

Learn more:

  1. Got Questions.org: What does the Bible say about liturgy? and What are the ingredients to a truly biblical worship service?
  2. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministries: What is liturgy?
  3. R. Scott Clark: Two examples of liturgies: Heidelberg 1563 and Strasbourg 1545

Related terms:

Filed under Ecclesiology

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