A place for conversations about worship in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), including the proposed revisions to the Directory for Worship.
The fifth chapter of the proposed revision to the PC(USA) Directory for Worship relates the way in which our worship and service of God moves from the sanctuary to the streets—how we glorify God in daily life, congregational ministry, and mission to the world. Three key phrases help to frame this movement: (1) “We respond to God’s grace …” in daily life; (2) “God calls the church …” in congregational ministry; and (3) “God sends the church …” in mission to the world. This chapter ends with a vision of Worship and the Reign of God, describing how we worship and serve the living God in faithful anticipation of Christ’s glorious return and the dawning of a new creation.
This chapter of the revision brings together the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of the current Directory (“Worship and Personal Discipleship,” “Worship and Ministry within the Community of Faith,” and “Worship and the Ministry of the Church in the World”) under a single heading: “Worship and Christian Life.” It also picks up some materials from chapter three of the current Directory (“The Ordering of Christian Worship”) related to daily prayer, worship in councils of the church, and other gatherings in the life of the congregation. While significant streamlining was required in order to combine these materials in one chapter, the basic components of the previous chapters are preserved, more or less in the same order.
Questions for Reflection or Discussion
Read this section of the proposed revision, ideally alongside relevant sections in the current Directory for Worship.
(1) What does Christian worship have to do with daily life and personal discipleship? How do you worship and serve God in your everyday life? What disciplines shape and sustain you?
(2) How are the ministries of Christian education and pastoral care related to what happens in worship? How are they expressions of the church’s prayer and praise?
(3) How is worship related to evangelism, ministries of compassion, peacemaking and justice, and the care of creation? What do these things have to do with the coming reign of God?
EMAIL COMMENTS on the proposed revision to the Directory for Worship. For official consideration in subsequent drafts of the revision, all comments must be received in writing at this address by July 1, 2015.
The fourth chapter of the proposed revision to the PC(USA) Directory for Worship attends to special events and pastoral occasions in the lives of individual believers and in the community of faith: reaffirmation of baptism (including confirmation), commissioning for service, ordination and installation, transitions in ministry, the covenant of marriage, and the funeral service.
The third chapter of the proposed revision to the PC(USA) Directory for Worship is devoted to the church’s weekly encounter with the crucified and risen Lord, in Word and Sacrament, through the Service for the Lord’s Day.
The second chapter of the proposed revision to the PC(USA) Directory for Worship gets more specific about the structure and planning of worship in a Presbyterian/Reformed context.
The first chapter of the proposed revision to the PC(USA) Directory for Worship centers around what we can affirm about Christian worship in a broad, ecumenical sense: the story of God’s gracious, saving work in history that we proclaim; the presence of the Jesus Christ in Word and Sacrament; and our reliance on the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the worship, ministry, and mission of the church.