PART 1 SECTION 2: PUBLIC WORSHIP AND SACRED WORSHIP
They are different types of services that takes place in a church. It varies according to the different denominations.The most common is probably the Eucharist – Greek word meaning 'giving thanks’.It can be referred to as Holy communion, Mass, Lord’s supper, Breaking of Bread and Liturgy. Most Christian services is built around this event.
The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took the bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘this is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ in the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘this is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me’
This was at the Last Supper which He had with his disciples before his crucifixion. It was a new covenant to replace the covenant which God had previously made with the Jews.It is the center of Christian worship.
Many denominations have services in which the priest repeats the words of Jesus before sharing of bread.However each denomination have different belief about what happens at the Eucharist.For the Roman Catholics, they teach the doctrine of Transubstantiation.This means that when the priest blesses the bread and wine using Jesus’ exact words, the bread and wine though looks the same becomes the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. So when Christians receive his body, they are actually receiving Jesus into them.
The Protestant reformers teach Consubstantiation – the bread and wine remains bread and wine but are also the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Recently, some people have come to believe in Receptionism – this means that the bread and wine becomes the body and blood of Christ when received by a Christian.
Others believe in Memorialism – this means that the Eucharist is simply a memorial of what Jesus did. They are simply following his teachings and instructions. However Christians generally believe that celebrating the Eucharist and receiving Holy Communion is the heart of their worship.In the Roman Catholic and Anglican Church, the Eucharist is celebrated everyday while others, it is maybe weekly, monthly etc.
Many Christians attend other form of worship or services as the case may be. These services consist of prayers, bible readings, hymns and sermon.These services emphasize the Ministry of the Word – the importance of hearing biblical teachings of the bible and also praying to God. These services can be very formal especially in evangelical churches. They can be interactive with a lot of singing and dancing, speaking in tongues etc.
This idea of glossolalia – speaking in tongues could be found in the Acts of the Apostles.
Many other Christians worship on their own, in privacy or with their family.They may take up reading the bible, praising and worshiping God too.Here prayer is an important aspect of Christian life.Some prayers are formal like the Our Father and other prayers said during services in the church.Some prayers are spontaneous – here a person just wants to speak to God at the way he/she feels about it.People make petitions during prayers asking God for favors etc.They can also pray on behalf of one who is seek – intercessory prayer.Prayers are generally said, thanking God for the gift of life.
Some prayers may involve meditation too – here they try emptying their mind and listen more to their spiritual self.