Corporate Worship Philosophy and Guidelines
Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
The Rev. Louis B. Tiscione, Pastor
Introduction: Our philosophy of worship begins with the truth that God is the object of worship. Further, we understand that worship is more than an event. It is the whole focus of a believer’s life (Rom. 12:1). Also, Jesus declared that there is only one “seeker” of worshipers, the Father Himself (Jn. 4:23-24). Finally, we believe “The acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by Himself” (WCF XXI.I). With these simple and clear facts before us, the following represents how we apply these principles of corporate worship.
There is a twofold purpose for these guidelines: First, to encourage the investment of the gifts and talents of those called and empowered by God to be a part of the organizing effort of our corporate worship services and second, to seek to standardize the “flow” of our corporate worship on the Lord’s Day without imposing a mandatory form.
II. Expectations for those involved:
1. A servant heart that recognizes both this ministry as service to God and the congregation.
2. Prepare a draft bulletin and e-mail it to the pastor by Wednesday Noon of the preceding Sunday for approval.
3. Arrange for the printing and copying of the final bulletin.
4. Agreement with the following guidance and philosophy.
III. Philosophy of worship in song: (Note: our Christian Copyright License No. Is: CCLI #2642563)
1. All the music suggested is to reflect the character of God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible.
2. It is the function of those who have a part in organizing corporate worship that not only is God glorified but His people are led to engage in singing boldly of His praises.
3. The worship in song at Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA) is concerned with blending both doctrinal Hymns and contemporary Christian music.
4. Final music selections are made during mid-week rehearsal with the music ministry.
IV. Content of Sunday Bulletins (excluding the cover):
1. Greeting, Welcome and Announcements)
2. Prelude – An Instrumental Offering of music
3. Silent Preparation, guided by a verse or verses of Scripture.
4. Call to Worship: A verse of Scripture. The call to worship is a short declaration/exhortation to God’s people by God.
5. Opening Hymn from the Trinity Hymnal or a contemporary selection
6. Responsive reading of a Psalm or another passage of Scripture
7. A Hymn or Praise Chorus in response to the reading
8. A Corporate Prayer of Confession using or adapting traditional prayers of confession or Scriptural Confessions, e.g., Psalm 51
9. Silent Confession followed by the minister’s declaration of God’s forgiveness
10. A Hymn or Praise Chorus may follow the declaration of forgiveness.
[The receptions of new members and/or baptisms are inserted here.]
v (The Affirmation of Faith follows here when there is no celebration of the Lord’s Supper)
The Affirmation or Profession of Faith: Either one of the Creeds in the Trinity Hymnal (Nicene or Apostles’) or one of the Q/A’s from the Westminster Shorter Catechism or Heidelberg Catechism (Note: When there is no celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the Affirmation of Faith is placed before the Prayers for Christ’s Church and the World.)
11. Call to Prayer: said by the minister.
12. Prayers for Christ’s Church and the World
13. Worshiping through Tithes & Offerings
14. The Reading and Proclamation of God’s Word selections from both the Old Testament and the New Testament noted on our corporate worship schedule.
15. Sermon Hymn
16. Sermon, it is our practice to preach through books of the Bible (The Affirmation of Faith follows here when the Lord’s Supper is celebrated.)
The Celebration of the Lord’s Supper, (Observed on the 1st Sunday of the month)
Instruction and Invitation to the Lord’s Table (Fencing the Table)
A Hymn or Praise Chorus
The Lord's Supper
17. A Hymn or Contemporary Christian selection