Christianity: Practices - Forms of Worship


Forms of Worship

Liturgical worship - follows set pattern and has established rituals as part of public church worship

  • Most denominations include the Lord's Prayer in their services, because of its significance for all Protestants due to its biblical origins.
  • A good example of liturgical worship is the Eucharist (or Mass or Holy Communion). In the Catholic Church, the service would contain:

- The Liturgy of the Word: consists of reading from Bible, a sermon, public profession of faith and prayers of intercession (prayers for those in need)

- The Liturgy of the Eucharist: the altar is prepared with the bread and wine, the Eucharist prayer and Lord's prayer are said and people share the bread and wine

Informal worship - doesn't have a set structure and is more spontaneous than liturgical worship

  • Modern charismatic and evangelical emphasise the importance of the Holy Spirit and spontaneous action in services, worship and prayer
  • Although this type of worship does seem more modern, it does, in fact, resemble the type of worship performed in the first decades of the Church, before rituals and traditions had been established
  • Some Christian denominations have moved away from the church building being the place in which they should worship
  • They instead emphasise that Christians should be able to worship in any place where Christians gather - again similar to worship in early Church

Individual worship - takes place in addition to worshipping together in a church

  • Many Christians believe that a personal relationship with God is possible and important, so individual worship is important
  • As society has changed and given more responsibilities and freedoms to the individual, the idea of private worship has gained ground
  • There are many people today who claim to be Christian and to have a personal relationship with God, yet seldom go to church
  • The Bible instructs people to do both personal and congregational worship

The nature and importance of prayer

'true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth' - Jesus in John 4:23

  • Jesus states that Christians should worship God


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