Worship at Christ Community Church
Through the ages, the worship of the Church has maintained a consistency in order and practice. While developments occur and aspects change, there are certain elements that remain. These elements are often referred to as liturgy which simply means “work of the people.” Christ Community Church endeavors to focus these elements into an ordered service which contain music and singing, preaching, the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper), the reading of Scripture and other liturgical elements aimed to set our thoughts on Christ. Below is a brief description of these elements.
The liturgical pattern followed at Christ Community Church is aimed at centering the community on the person and work of Jesus Christ. A prayer, hymn, and greeting begins the service followed by the responsive reading of the morning’s Psalm. A time of silent confession is offered as we confess our sins before God. The corporate confession of the Apostles’ Creed is recited to center our minds on the foundational truths of the faith. This prepares us for the reading and receiving of God’s word from Scripture, which consists of an Old Testament reading and a corresponding New Testament reading. The congregation responds with the singing of familiar hymns and worship songs. The preaching of one of the passages follows. The Lord’s Supper, referred to as the Eucharist, is then celebrated and the congregation sings a final hymn or song, the Doxology, and Benediction. From our gathering to our parting, the glorification of Christ’s name is our highest aim. The liturgy is provided on the table by the sanctuary door in a bulletin.
The Apostles’ Creed
Most local churches state a summary of beliefs and Christ Community Church is no different. CCC’s statement of faith is an ancient summary of foundational doctrines of historic Christianity. The recitation of this creed in the liturgy centers our minds on our Triune God and reminds us of his love for his bride, the Church. Click here for the Apostles’ Creed and Christ Community Church’s statement of faith.
Music and singing are our response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The truth of and devotion to Christ inspires us to respond with singing. It is here where truth meets the human heart. CCC strives to maintain the classic hymnody of the Church while simultaneously learning contemporary congregational compositions. While led by a typical “worship team” ensemble, instruments are all acoustic and only amplified if necessary.
The preaching of God’s Word is essential to worship at Christ Community Church. The passages to be expounded lie at the center of each service; all planning revolves around the Scriptures. While preaching tends to be somewhat expository, CCC observes the Revised Common Lectionary. Following the lectionary centers the worship of the Church on important events of the life of Christ (refer to the Church Calendar below). Visitors can expect the sermon to last about 30 minutes.
Taking the Lord’s Supper is regarded as the high-point of the service. All events of the service culminate to the communion of Christ with his bride. Christ Community Church invites anyone who has been baptized in Christ and confess Him as Lord and Savior. Partakers will file out of the pews and kneel at the benches in the front of the sanctuary. An elder or appointee will distribute a piece of bread and a small cup of wine. If grape juice is preferred, partakers should indicate this by crossing their arms across their chest in an ‘X.’ Children are welcome to accompany adults to the benches and receive a simple blessing from the presiding elder or appointee. Please let the elder or appointee know if your child should receive the elements. Partakers file back into the pews from the inside isle of the sanctuary.
The Church Calendar
As mentioned above, the observance of the lectionary necessitates an observance of the church calendar. This liturgical pattern is separated into two seasons: the celebratory season and ordinary season. The celebratory season begins with Advent in late November, which focuses on waiting for the Messiah, and leads up to Christmas. The twelve days following Christmas are Christmastide and focus on the incarnation of Christ. January 6 begins the season of Epiphany which celebrates the revelation of Christ to the world. Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season which celebrates the work of Christ in the desert and his earthly ministry. Lent ends with Holy Week which celebrates Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. The celebratory season ends with the celebration of Pentecost. The summer and beginning of autumn constitute the ordinary season, which focuses on taking our faith into the world and living the gospel out as a witness for Christ to the world.
The observance of the church calendar centers the worshiping community on the significance of certain events of the life of Christ such as his birth, baptism, ascension, death, burial, and resurrection. Click here for an overview of the church calendar. A For further reading, see Robert Webber’s book, Ancient Future Time.
A more in depth study of Christ Community Church at Worship can be found here.