A wonderful worship service at a PCA Church

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blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
I'm on travel this last week and next, and today I attended a Presbyterian (PCA) church for the first time. I enjoyed myself immensely - it was quite a blessing.

Order of Worship:
Welcome and Announcements
The Peace (greet other with the peace of Jesus Christ)
The Call to Worship
Song: O Worship the King
Confessing What We Believe (question/answer from Westminster Larger Catechism)
Song: Meekness and Majesty
Understanding Ourselves Rightly
The Public Confession of Sin
Silent Prayers of Confession
The Promise of God's Forgiveness in Jesus Christ
Song: Man of Sorrows
Prayers of the People (concluded with The Lord's Prayer)
Sermon
Offering
Doxology
Song: Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven
Benediction
Dismissal

I really liked the way the service was structured, beginning with the Public Confession of Sin, where we read the following prayer in unison, followed by the pastor reading the passage from Isaiah 53:3:
Our Holy and Merciful Father, we confess that we are not worthy of your presence, but we come to you through the worthiness of Jesus Christ. We confess that we deserve your condemnation because of our attitudes and speech and behavior. We have harbored and nurtured bitterness in our hearts toward others, even our fellow Christians. We have slandered their reputation with our words. We have been slow to listen and quick to become angry. Our greatest evil is that we have not loved and thanked and worshiped you. Father, apart from you we are without hope. Please have mercy on us. Our sins are too many to count. Please forgive us. Wash our prideful, hateful hearts with the cleansing blood of the your Son, Jesus Christ. Please give us the grace and power to love and serve one another even as you have loved and served us in Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.​
Does your church have this type of public/corporate confession of sin, followed by a reminder of what Jesus did on our behalf? I really liked that part of the service, it was a wonderful reminder of my lostness without Christ, which really enhanced my "worship experience" as I considered Jesus' sacrifice for that sin.

Why do you suppose most churches don't (from my limited experience) do that?

I really liked the song called Meekness and Majesty. Any of you ever heard this before?

*Meekness and Majesty
Graham Kendrick, 1986

Meekness and majesty, manhood and Deity,
In perfect harmony, the Man who is God.
Lord of eternity, dwells in humanity;
Kneels in humility and washes our feet.
O what a mystery, meekness and majesty;
Bow down and worship, for this is your God.

Father’s pure radiance, perfect in innocence;
Yet learns obedience to death on a cross.
Suff’ring to give us life, conqu’ring through sacrifice;
And as they crucify prays, “Father, forgive.”
O what a mystery, meekness and majesty;
Bow down and worship, for this is your God.

Wisdom unsearchable, God, the invisible;
Love indescribable in frailty appears.
Lord of infinity, stooping so tenderly;
Lifts our humanity to the heights of His throne.
O what a mystery, meekness and majesty;
Bow down and worship, for this is your God.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Yes, my PCA church has a corporate confession of sin followed by an assurance of grace and pardon from Scripture. I like the practice as well.
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Our church does as well, especially on days we partake of communion.

Why is this thread under OT Prophets?
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Why is this thread under OT Prophets?
Oops! This morning I was thinking about Isaiah 58:13,14, about the differences between the words "pleasures" and "delight", and was going to start a thread about that passage, but got side tracked when I started thinking about this morning's service. Sorry about that.

Could somebody with more power than myself please move this thread to a more appropriate area?

Thanks,
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Yes, my PCA church has a corporate confession of sin followed by an assurance of grace and pardon from Scripture. I like the practice as well.

That is our practice as well. Except we usually have a time of silence between the corporate confession and the assurance, for the private silent confession of our particular sins.
 

NRB

Puritan Board Freshman
I am happy that you found it a blessing. :)

My wife and I have come to love the PCA church we joined this year.
We do all of the above. :)
 

reformedminister

Puritan Board Sophomore
Our early worship service (8:15 am) has a public confession of sin followed by a silent meditation and then an assurance of pardon from Scripture. I think it is an important element in historic worship.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Glad you were able to focus on God this Lord's Day.

I have traveled and visited a few PCA and always come back encouraged at what God is doing through our denomination.

Here's our Order of Worship past Lord's Day:


Preliminary

Welcome and Announcements
Offerings Announcement (no plate passed)

Prelude (quiet time)

Call to Worship (Psalm 100)
Young children's choir
Congregation singing, with Praise Team
1 chorus, 2 hymns
Confession of Sin (responsive)
Confession of our Particular Sins
Assurance of Pardon (Isaiah 55:6-7)
Song of Assurance
Pastoral Prayer

Testimony
Baptism

Sermon (Romans 8:14-17)

Prayer
Closing hymn

Membership Vows and welcome

Benediction


GLORY BE TO GOD!
 

ColdSilverMoon

Puritan Board Senior
Our church has basically the same order of worship: our confession of sin is a corporate prayer followed by individual silent confession, followed by a song and/or Scripture passage that affirms our assurance of pardon.

Almost all PCA churches I've attended have the same order of worship (as evidenced by the comments on this thread) with a few minor variations here and there. It's good to know we can go pretty much anywhere and participate in sound, Scripturally based worship. One of the many reasons I love the PCA...
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Yes, my PCA church has a corporate confession of sin followed by an assurance of grace and pardon from Scripture. I like the practice as well.

That is our practice as well. Except we usually have a time of silence between the corporate confession and the assurance, for the private silent confession of our particular sins.

Same here. I left that part out. :oops:
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
That is our practice as well. Except we usually have a time of silence between the corporate confession and the assurance, for the private silent confession of our particular sins.

Same here [The Covenant Presbyterian Church, St. Louis]

[note: the proper name of this church includes the word "The", thus "The Covenant Presbyterian Church", and not simply "Covenant Presbyterian Church". Do you know of others so named?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
[The Covenant Presbyterian Church, St. Louis]

[note: the proper name of this church includes the word "The", thus "The Covenant Presbyterian Church", and not simply "Covenant Presbyterian Church". Do you know of others so named?

The explanation could be as simple as a secretary hitting the shift key while typing up the chartering documents. I worked for a company where that's essentially what happened when they did a charter amendment.

The quickest way to come up with some examples would probably be to look at the corporate records.
 

Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
The explanation could be as simple as a secretary hitting the shift key while typing up the chartering documents. I worked for a company where that's essentially what happened when they did a charter amendment.

The quickest way to come up with some examples would probably be to look at the corporate records.

No, it was intentional. I've never researched the history of that choice, but I do know it was intentional. For one, the secretary at the time was famous for not making mistakes.
 

Bengibor

Puritan Board Freshman
well, the Presbyterian churches I visited in Scotland, or most of them were highly liturgical with public confessions, Apostle's Creed or Nicene and weekly Eucharist. I think that PCA moves in that direction and some have already adopted or plan to adopt Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) used by most mainline churches.
 

21st Century Calvinist

Puritan Board Junior
well, the Presbyterian churches I visited in Scotland, or most of them were highly liturgical with public confessions, Apostle's Creed or Nicene and weekly Eucharist. I think that PCA moves in that direction and some have already adopted or plan to adopt Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) used by most mainline churches.

Welcome to the PB.
I am not sure what you are trying to say here. I am from Scotland, a former member of a Presbyterian church and have never experienced any of what you speak of. I do not know of a single Presbyterian congregation that has weekly communion in Scotland. Are you sure it wasn't the Scottish Episcopal Church?
 

Bengibor

Puritan Board Freshman
hey, thanks for welcome!
I know the difference between Scottish Episcopal and the Kirk of Scotland. I only refer to what I saw in Edinburgh and its vicinity and Berwick as well- which is just across the border. Besides, there's a panel with information on church doors or a sign nearby which says 'holy communion- Sun at...'. It's not the case with all churches though. And I am not trying to say anything in particular. I was just surprised that services looked pretty much the same as in Episcopal congregations.
 

21st Century Calvinist

Puritan Board Junior
hey, thanks for welcome!
I know the difference between Scottish Episcopal and the Kirk of Scotland. I only refer to what I saw in Edinburgh and its vicinity and Berwick as well- which is just across the border. Besides, there's a panel with information on church doors or a sign nearby which says 'holy communion- Sun at...'. It's not the case with all churches though. And I am not trying to say anything in particular. I was just surprised that services looked pretty much the same as in Episcopal congregations.


Thanks for replying. I hope my questioning didn't come across as ungracious. I am not particularly familiar with the Church of Scotland. On the few occasions I have attended worship in one of their congregations it was fairly low liturgy.

When I moved to the USA I was surprised at the "high liturgy" of the PCA churches I attended. I remember on one occasion double checking the bulletin thinking I had perhaps ended up at an Episcopal Church of the same name. I hadn't. This led me to a long study (and great interest in) liturgical forms particularly in the Reformed tradition.
At the PCA church where I am a member we have weekly communion, the creed, the Lord's Prayer, confession of sin, printed prayers, singing of the doxology. We basically follow Calvin's liturgy with slight adaptation.

Anyway, visit Scotland again soon and go to the West Highlands (I recommend summertime.):p
 

TheDow

Puritan Board Freshman
Anyway, visit Scotland again soon and go to the West Highlands (I recommend summertime.):p

:amen:

When I visited Scotland, we attended Buccleuch & Greyfriars (Edinburgh) Free Church of Scotland congregation, and what we thought was a Free Church of Scotland congregation in Ft. William, but in looking for it online, it might have been a United Free Church?

Anyway, there was not weekly partaking in the Lord's Supper; at least not at the main morning service.

A capella singing of the psalms in Edinburgh was so beautiful and uplifting. :) Quite enjoyed that, as I did ALL of Scotland.
 

rrfranks

Puritan Board Freshman
I must admit that I am partial to the PCA. Thank you for sharing your experience with the rest of us! :eek:
 

21st Century Calvinist

Puritan Board Junior
Anyway, visit Scotland again soon and go to the West Highlands (I recommend summertime.):p

:amen:

When I visited Scotland, we attended Buccleuch & Greyfriars (Edinburgh) Free Church of Scotland congregation, and what we thought was a Free Church of Scotland congregation in Ft. William, but in looking for it online, it might have been a United Free Church?

Anyway, there was not weekly partaking in the Lord's Supper; at least not at the main morning service.

A capella singing of the psalms in Edinburgh was so beautiful and uplifting. :) Quite enjoyed that, as I did ALL of Scotland.

I am glad you enjoyed your visit to Scotland.
When I was an undergrad in Edinburgh I used to attend Buccleuch and Greyfriars. It is a great church. The singing at Buccleuch is particularly good. Their pastor Alex MacDonald is a fine man and the associate Bob Akroyd is an American who is loved throughout the Free Church. Their sermons are online.

I think there is a United Free Church in Fort William.
 
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