The word ‘liturgy’ describes a pattern of worship.
Every church in the world has some sense of order in their worship. Church of the Redeemer is a liturgical church, meaning that we intentionally follow a certain pattern in our worship together. We believe that these ancient patterns of worship actually form us as Christians, enabling us to encounter God and grow as disciples and witnesses of God’s transforming power. The word liturgy originally meant ‘a work of the people,’ and that’s what happens when we gather as a community—everyone has a part to play.
The liturgy is not dull and restrictive, but like a good recipe offers life and beauty through the power of the Holy Spirit. It has a basic shape, but is flexible and responsive.
In our primary Sunday worship service we observe four facets of worship together:
- we Gather (in music and prayer);
- we engage God in the Word (through hearing, preaching and prayer);
- we meet God in Holy Communion;
- we are Sent into the world to witness and serve.
These are all elements that have been a part of the Church’s worship since the very first centuries of the Christian story.
We also observe the church year—a way to understand the sacredness of time in our journey together.
Sacred time revolves around events in the life of Jesus (his birth, his ministry and his death, burial and resurrection) and key understandings of our faith, such as the Trinity. Worshiping in this way throughout the year helps to shape us as Christians and provides connection points to those who want to better understand what the church believes and teaches. It also anchors us in a sacred community that is timeless, which offers us hope when we are facing circumstances in our lives that are very difficult or that don’t seem to make much sense.