How We Worship

Worship is the central act of the church's life. It is the action of acknowledging God's praiseworthiness and glory. We acknowledge God's presence with us through songs, hymns, prayers, sacraments, giving gifts, and listening to a message from the Bible.

Worship celebrates God's greatness and faithfulness to his people. Worship enables believers to articulate their faith and to act it out in word, song, and action.

Reformed congregations share a commitment to sound preaching, Christian education for people of all ages, and loving spiritual care and guidance. RCA worship services range in character from highly formal to very informal, and many congregations have their own special worship traditions and practices.

These aspects of worship are usually shared by Reformed congregations:

Reformed Church worship is corporate.
Worship is not a performance with the minister as actor or actress and the congregation as the audience. God is the audience and the whole congregation is involved in the service, in prayer, song, and offering.

Reformed Church worship is liturgical.
Sometimes the expression "liturgical" is used to describe a church whose worship is highly formal and follows specific rituals; this is not the sense in which the term "liturgical" is used in Reformed circles. The word "liturgy" means "the work of the people." Reformed Church worship is liturgical in the sense that our worship involves the whole people of God in the activity of worship.

While each local congregation has its own worship traditions, most Reformed worship services include singing, praying together, and a message given by the pastor, based on a passage from the Bible.

Reformed Church worship is sacramental.
When we celebrate the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper, God comes to us through all of our senses. We hear God's promise of forgiveness; we see and hear the water of baptism that cleanses; and we touch and smell and taste the bread and wine that signifies Christ's body and blood. Our faith is awakened, renewed, and energized when we celebrate the sacraments.