Presbyterian churches practise worship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in regular services, especially on Sunday (or the Lord's Day). Other services often occur at other times of the week as well as meetings for prayer or Bible Study in many places. Some presbyterians admit a wide range of worship songs and hymns while others hold more strictly to psalms (or perhaps paraphrases). The original use of psalms only by the Church of Scotland (once recognised as the most thoroughly presbyterian - presbyterianism not being a theological stance but a means of church government) has been enhanced by use of hymns, and more modern worship songs, over more than a century. Other presbyterian denominations hold exclusively to the Psalms in metre. The Psalms in metre are still esteemed by worship leaders in the Church of Scotland while also recognising the contribution of authors of hymns and worship songs from historic times to the contemporary. Use of contemporary worship songs is employed by various congregations across the full width of theology within presbyterianism.
John Calvin's direction for celebration of Holy Communion was very Lords Day. During the time of the Puritan influence upon some Presbyterians, worship and the celebration of the Eucharist became lessened to once per quarter. This has changed in most mainline Presbyterian denominational churches and celebration of Communion ranges from once a quarter/ once a month to every Sunday or Lord's Day Service. This movement is carried forward by those who believe that Word and Sacrament should be present in each service of worship. The Real Presence of Christ(spiritually) is highly viewed and understood. Presbyterians strongly disagree with simply the symbolic or memorial service as taught by many anabaptist, however also are not as far over as the consubstantiation view by Lutherans. Presbyterians hold the "Spiritual Real Presence" of Christ in the sacrament of Communion.. Today most mainline Presbyterian churches administer Communion by intinction or passing the elements.
Presbyterian churches are returning to their Calvins set liturgy for the Lords Day which was very liturgical. The mainline Presbyterian denominations as well as the Reformed are returning once again to their deep liturgical roots, since he Presbyterians were a direct separation from the Roman Catholic Church thru John Calvin in France/ Switzerland and John Knox in Scotland. The Presbyterian Church in America started to changed at the time of the Puritan influence on a few ministers, this was not thare less likely to have a set liturgy. Of those where congregational responses are used they are generally different every week and devised or derived by the e norm for the Presbyterian Order for the Lords Day. Churches have started to return to their liturgical roots since the late 1800s. There are a number of independent non traditional /mainline Presbyterian denominations that are much more open to lay participation or direction, however this is not the normality of most congregations.
Presbyterians admit the authority of the Presbytery or Synod over all worship services in order to ensure that the worship of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, is carried on properly and regularly in each congregation within the 'bounds' (area of jurisdiction). This is done by the appointment of Ministers by the Presbytery, who can also dismiss (depose) the Ministers should their conduct of regular worship be unsatisfactory. In modern times an effective presbytery is a forum for discussing and disseminating approaches to worship, always recognising the supreme authority of the Word of God (Old and New Testaments of the Bible).
In the Church of Scotland therefore the cancellation of any regular service of worship is a very serious matter. Services are therefore carried out even by small rural congregations in the most extreme weather and under conditions of power failure and other privations. Elders, teaching and ruling, make every effort to ensure continuity or worship in every parish of Scotland at the published times.
Read more about this topic: Presbyterian Worship
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