Churches in the Reformed tradition worship in a variety of styles but share foundational appreciation for Scripture and regular gatherings together. Here you’ll find RCA worship resources and guidelines for Reformed worship.
RCA Worship Resources
Liturgy, or order of worship, is important in the RCA. The Liturgy is our “common prayer”: it declares what the church has agreed to say in the same way as it gathers for worship.
RCA liturgical calendar
A calendar with the liturgical events and seasons and special dates observed in the Reformed Church in America.
Seasonal worship resources
Get seasonal worship ideas for your church to honor key events on the liturgical calendar and seasons such as Lent and Advent in worship.
Sacraments and special services
There are two sacraments observed in the RCA: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (Learn more about the role of the sacraments in Reformed worship.) RCA churches also observe other special services and ceremonies in worship, including marriage, ordination, and the public profession of faith.
Resources for performing the sacrament of baptism in an RCA church, including the baptism liturgy, baptism certificates, and an overview of Reformed beliefs and practices surrounding baptism.
Resources for performing the sacrament of Communion in an RCA church, including the Lord’s Supper liturgy, tools for teaching people about Communion, and an overview of Reformed beliefs and practices surrounding Communion.
Profession of faith
Profession of faith is the public profession of your faith. This is a step that a baptized person takes when they are ready to become a confessing member of an RCA church.
Forms and certificates
Get quick links to certificates for special events like baptisms and marriage ceremonies and official forms for ordinations and other special services.
Music in worship
Lift Up Your Hearts Hymnal
For a complete set of Reformed hymns, you might consider using the Lift Up Your Hearts Hymnal. This hymnal for Reformed Christians is jointly published by the Reformed Church in America and Christian Reformed Church in America.
The Theological Role of Music in Worship
To learn more about the role of music in Reformed worship from a theological perspective, read this article by the RCA Commission on Christian Worship.
Preaching from Scripture
Scripture is at the center of Reformed worship. And preaching in the Reformed tradition is rooted in close examination of how God speaks to us in the Bible. For an intentional way of journeying through Scripture, many pastors like to use a lectionary to guide each week’s worship. Here’s a few suggested lectionary ideas.
Revised Common Lectionary
The three-year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary was developed with a concern for the entire Bible, for the liturgical year, and for the persons and work of the Trinity. Each week, it includes a reading from the Old Testament or the book of Acts, from the Psalms, from one of the Gospels, and from one of the Epistles. Pastors can select which of the passages to focus on. The Revised Common Lectionary is used by many Protestant denominations.
Lectio continua, or “continuous reading,” refers to preaching through a book of the Bible from beginning to end. This enables the pastor to treat the book as the whole, going into more depth than otherwise possible.
Heidelberg Catechism Lectionary
Because the Heidelberg Catechism is such an important piece of Reformed theology, RCA pastors are expected to preach through its points of doctrine. This can be accomplished by following other lectionaries, but the RCA has a Heidelberg-specific lectionary that pastors can use.
There are plenty of ways for pastors to decide what Scripture passages to preach on. Several Protestant lectionaries have been compiled more recently, including the Narrative Lectionary and the Year D Project. The Narrative Lectionary emphasizes biblical literacy by taking congregations through a four-year engagement with the biblical story. The Year D Project adds a fourth year to the Revised Common Lectionary by including many of the passages it skips over.