Lord's Day Worship
Coming Back Together
Since we have been away from gathering together for worship for a time, I wanted to just check the Reformed Handbook and remind us of what worship looks like.
Before I get any weird looks, or hate mail, the Reformed Handbook is actually a thing. However, it is pure satire. The ideas are not mine, but the ideas of the author. The handbook is written "for learning and enjoyment." He reminds us that "some reformed people have trouble doing the latter until they've first suffered through the former."
So, as we prepare to come back together sit back an enjoy a daily reminder of lessons that help us prepare for coming back to church. Oh, and if you're not laughing, you may be "truly" Reformed.
Lesson #1 - How to Sing a Hymn
Music is an important part of the reformed tradition, a wonderful way to worship God, and an enjoyable way to build community. Hymn singing can be done without demonstrable emotions but many otherwise stoic Reformed people appropriately channel emotion into their hymn singing and are therefore loud.
There will always be people who make a joyful noise to the Lord in keys nowhere near the one in which the song was written. Try not to laugh. If you must laugh, cover your face with a handkerchief and pretend to sneeze. If you’re laughing so hard that tears are falling from your cheeks, your neighbors may think you’re powerfully moved by the song!
1. Locate hymns in advance.
As you prepare for worship, consult the worship bulletin of the hymn board to find numbers for the day’s hymns. Bookmark these pages in the hymnal using an offering envelope or attendance card. Even if your congregation uses overhead projection for sings and readings, take some time to look through the songbooks if they are I the racks in front of you.
2. Familiarize yourself with the hymns.
Examine the composer credits, the years the composer(s) lived, and whether the tune has a different name than the hymn itself. Notice under what worship heading the song falls: Is it for the beginning of worship? Advent? Christmas? Lent? Easter? Ascension Day? Pentecost? Are the words taken from the Bible? Is this hymn for a sad or joyful time? Is it a prayer or a celebration? Look in the back of the songbook to find indices for topics, themes, and Bible passages.
3. Assist nearby visitors or children.
Using a hymnal can be confusing. If your neighbors seem disoriented, help them find the correct pages, or let them read from your book.
4. Adopt a posture fro best goal participation.
Hold the hymnal away from your body at chest level. Place one hand under the spine of the binding, leaving the other hand free to turn the pages. Yep your chin up so you can breathe deeply and your voice projects outward.
5. Begin singing.
If the hymn is unfamiliar, sing the melody for the first stanza. If you read music, explore the written harmony parts during the remaining stanzas. Some neighbors may or may not be in tune; in this event, please see the second paragraph of page 26 - and remember: you’re not perfect either.
6. Focus on the hymn’s content.
Some of the lyrics may connect with a Scripture reading of the day. Certain ones may be especially inspiring.
7. Avoid dreariness.
Hymns are often sung in such a serious way that the congregation forgets to enjoy the music. Sing with energy and feeling appropriate to the hymn. Many hymns show a progression from lament or confession to joy and praise. For example, look up the lovely, haunting versified Psalm 30 rendered as, “I Worship You, O Lord.”
- Hymnals are not just for use at church. Consider keeping a personal copy of your congregation’s hymnal at home for reference and study. Hymnals also make excellent gifts for baptisms or professions of faith.
- Some hymns are words and phrases that are difficult to understand (such as, “The Father’s promised Paraclete” from the hymn “Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid”). Use a dictionary or a Bible with a concordance to clear up any uncertainty.
The Reformed Handbook (Grand Rapids: Faith Alive, 2007)
We will meet in the Multi-purpose building
If you plan on attending please join us in the building known as the "Zealy Building." The building is named after the original pastor and church planter, Rev. Sam Zealy.
Parking is available in the rear of the church for those needing ramps and handicapped accessible doors. If you do not need these spaces please park at the front of the church like normal.