Liturgy (from the Greek leitourgia) reflects the personal, home and congregational (church) approach to meeting with, listening to, Worship Services ping and glorifying God. The Worship Services service is often deemed a static ďprogrammeĒ with a beginning, middle and end. It is, however, a dynamic process of meeting in Spirit and truth, showing obedience, listening carefully and Worship Services ping. The Worship Services service continues on to the home and inner room of the believer, as extension of the meeting of the church as people of God. The church draws near in a particular way, gathers or constitutes to meet with God (Heb. 10:23; Belgic Confession, Arts. 27-32).

Then they humble themselves and repent, receive forgiveness and absolution, pray for illumination from the Spirit (epiclesis) when hearing the exegesis of the Word of God, upon which they respond with prayer in gratitude and petition for all authority as well provision in the need of all.

Scripture teaches that God meeting with His church and the church with God and each other must comprise of liturgical acts that guide believers in glorifying, Worship Services ping and serving God through His Word and Spirit (John 4:23). The liturgy of Worship Services services features the following main elements: the Approach to God (IntroÔtus), die Confession of Sin and Assurance of Pardon, the Word of God in proclamation and then the Response to God (Responsoria).

The Approach to God is made up of four elements: votum, salutation, hymns of praise and confession of faith.

The votum is an open, humble and solemn declaration that the Worship Services service is a meeting between God and His people and thus of His people with Him and each other. The church confesses their dependence and focus on God. The salutation is laid on the congregation upon instruction and on behalf of God, as the pronouncement and raised hands attest. The hymn of praise is a liturgical component of the Approach to God and serves as response to Godís salutation. The congregation of believers presents itself as ďunit in the truth faithĒ before God, support each other and set itself apart from the world through the confession of faith, which forms part of the IntroÔtus. It is the congregationís declaration of identity as body in one true faith (John 4:23; HC, Sunday 21; Belgic Confession, Arts. 27-29).

The Confession of Sin and Assurance of Pardon denote the humble entry into the holy presence of God. It is the congregation humbling itself through the hearing of Godís prescriptions, the congregationís confession of guilt, the pardon of God and the proclaiming of the Law as guide to thankfulness for the reconciled people of God.

The Word of God in proclamation entails a prayer for illumination from the Spirit, independent Scripture reading, Scripture reading pertaining to the sermon, the sermon and the sacraments. Given the dark heart and mind of man and given the Godly nature of Scripture, it is prayed that the proclamation of the Word of God will truly be the revelation and application of the Word and that the congregation will accept it as Word of God and that the Word will bear fruit. The Word of God is powerful in bringing about all it proclaims, viz. salvation of souls and freedom from sin and the powers of death, to the glory, thankfulness and service of God.

The writers of Holy Scripture were so inspired by the Spirit to put down the words of God and thus reading from Scripture is proclaiming the Word of God. The sermon serves to open up and apply Scriptural texts and must closely relate to such texts. God is speaking in that the sermon is proclaimed upon instruction of the Word. The living Godís living Word is proclaimed (interpreted and applied) and compels a living, dynamic, exhorting delivery of the sermon. The sacraments of baptism and the Lordís Supper are signs and seals of Jesus Christís sacrifice on the cross and the joy of living reconciled to God and each other.

Although the congregation responds to Godís pronouncements throughout, this response culminates in the Response to God. It is the congregationís response to all preceding liturgical events, viz. the Approach to God, the Confession of Sin and Assurance of Pardon and the Word of God in proclamation. It is especially through proclamation of the Word, prayer, Worship Services , thankfulness and confession of sin that God calls on the heart of the congregation. Prayer, Christian outreach and song are the congregationís response to fellowship with God. Singing is an important supporting component of the Response to God, but as the congregationís response it also features in the other elements of the liturgical sequence.

Singing supports the words used to communicate with God in the liturgy, since it is the unified response of the congregation. The song serves so to speak as formulary of Worship Services , petition, confession, praise, glorification and confession of sin. Certain Psalms and hymns also lend themselves to singing in turns. Collection or Christian outreach forms part of the congregationís response to the proclamation of the Word and with this the congregation tangibly shows its gratitude to God for sharing in His gifts of grace. Psalms have always and must continue to serve as prayers, confessions and Worship Services that could take the place of certain spoken prayers.

The "amen" following activities such as the sermon, prayers and confession of faith is the congregationís unified confession and confirmation. The benediction of the Lord upon conclusion of the service does not serve to end proceedings, but is the sending out of the congregation for service in the world under the blessing hand of the Lord.

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GK Belville GK Belville-Oos GK Benoni GK Brooklyn GK Centurion
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