Liturgy: How We Worship

"And they devoted themselves to the breaking of bread and the prayers"

“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”   

  • Liturgy

    We believe biblical worship is a face-to-face meeting in the presence of our gracious Triune God. This means there is a two-way dialog: God graciously calls us out of the world into his holy and heavenly presence to speak to us in his Word and comfort us with his sacraments (baptism and Lord’s Supper). In response, we gratefully come together as a church family to speak to him in prayers and songs and to give ourselves to him in offerings and love for one another. This back and forth dialog is what we call a “liturgy.” Every church has a liturgy; we just tell you what it is up front. And we tell you up front that it's in historic continuity with basic patterns of biblical and ancient Christian worship as expressed in The Book of Common Prayer. This “great cloud of witnesses” has passed down from generation to generation forms of prayer, creeds, and responses enabling us as a spiritual priesthood and offer up the spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving.

  • Preaching & sacraments

    We want you to notice that the majority of our time together in worship is taken up with the Word and Sacraments. Every morning and evening we read through a portion of the Old and New Testaments and then have a sermon text that is exposited and applied verse-by-verse. We also celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day morning (read here why) and celebrate baptism as necessaryThe reason for this is that we believe these are the main ways the Holy Spirit promises to create and confirm our faith in Jesus Christ.

  • Singing & Music

    You'll notice in our singing of praise of God that the Psalms of the Old Testament make up a large part. These ancient "songs of Zion" were sung for a thousand years in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah and we sing them knowing that he has come! We believe Psalm-singing is another way to fill our hearts with "the word of Christ" and balances our spirituality with praise and sorrow, celebration and confession. We also sing ancient and recent songs that are filled with "the word of Christ," giving us a sense of transcendence with what God’s people have sung for hundreds and thousands of years and giving us the ability to express ourselves through all the joys and sorrows of the Christian life in a meaningful way.

  • Explore our liturgy

    We know that "liturgy" or our “style” of worship may be different from what you have experienced elsewhere, so we invite you to explore our liturgy by reading Pastor Danny's, What to Expect in Reformed Worship: A Visitor’s Guide (Wipf & Stock, 2007). All visitors to OURC get a free copy or you may click the image to the left for the Amazon page.

  • Good Friday

    Every year on Good Friday we gather to contemplate and celebrate the love of God for the world in sending his Son, Jesus Christ, by whose suffering and death has satisfied the demands of God's justice so that all who believe in him have everlasting life. We do this by hearing the Gospel narrative, singing the ancient Psalm of suffering—Psalm 22—and meditative hymns, and by praying for our congregation, the universal church, and the world.

    Past Years' Liturgies:

  • Resurrection

    Every year on the Sunday after Good Friday we celebrate the oldest Christian festival day—the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ("Easter" in English/"Pascha" [Πάσχα] in Greek).

    Past Years' Liturgies:

  • Thanksgiving Day

    Every year on the national Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday of November) we we assemble particularly to give thanks for the great benefits that we have received at the Lord’s hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are necessary for body and soul.

    Past Years' Liturgies:

  • Christmas eve Festival of Lessons & Carols

    Every year on (or near) Christmas Eve we gather for a service adapted from the renowned “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,” heard every year over BBC radio. In a festive setting, this antiphonal service of Word ("lessons") and Song ("carols") draws us into the story of the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth: God’s Son, Israel’s Messiah, and our Savior. We hear Scripture beginning in the Garden, moving through the Prophets, and culminating in the Gospels. In response to this dramatic story unfolding before us, we sing the Church’s great hymnody in celebration of God’s eternal plan come to fulfillment.

    For Pastor Danny's published version of this service:

    "What Child Is This? A Festival of Lessons and Carols." Reformed Worship 93 (September 2009): 12–15.

    Past Years' Liturgies: