Worship of the Triune God is central to the practice of a true, living faith. Serving God in worship is so serious that the Christian may not exempt himself from meeting with the God of his deliverance together with the congregation once called through the officers of the church. The operations of the church are all to be done decently and in good order and, much more, the elements and ordering of corporate worship (liturgy) are to be done in accordance with God’s Word, the Bible. The elements of worship include the reading and preaching of the Word, confession of sins, prayers of adoration and supplication, Psalm singing, baptism and the Lord’s Supper and various acts of covenant renewal (as defined by Scripture). Worship is covenantal dialogue between God and the congregation; that is, God speaks and His people respond accordingly. It is both a joyful privilege and a solemn obligation to come before our loving Father and Almighty God. It is not an interaction between equals and the congregation must give vigorous attention to the acts of liturgy. Any concession to novelty—no matter how sincere — or being entertained or being merely a spectator has no place in Christian worship.
Scripture suggests and commands the singing of Psalms (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, James 5:13). While there is some debate as to the setting in which Christians should sing the Psalms (i.e., the home and/or corporate worship) and what the difference is between Psalms and hymns, our commitment to the Lord means that the corporate worship of the congregation is to be drawn from and governed by what God, speaking in Scripture, directs—not by what is appealing to us or what we think is appropriate or honoring to God. In consideration of the passages cited above, we believe that singing of the Psalms is not optional but that Christians should sing Psalms in the home and, if in the home—all the more in corporate worship. Whatever distinction the Apostle intended to convey about the differences in Psalm and hymn cannot be interpreted in such a way as to exclude or minimize the use of the Psalms in corporate worship. Reformation church, therefore, embraces and rejoices in the singing of the Psalms and is a predominately Psalm-singing congregation.
Admittance to the Lord’s Supper
Reformation church is a confessional church, meaning that the doctrinal standards we hold to are summarized in the creeds and confessions we and our sister congregations have adopted. We believe these standards are accurate summaries of what the Scriptures teach for us to believe and practice as individual Christians and as a Church. These confessions also guide what we believe about the Lord’s Supper and who may partake of it.
Briefly, we believe that the Lord’s Supper, like all our acts of public worship, is to be celebrated in as close alignment to the Scriptural example and instruction as possible and within a called service of worship. In so doing, God is magnified and the congregation is strengthened. Participation in the supper is not just a matter of an individual’s conscience before God, (whether the individual is a member or visitor). Rather, we celebrate the supper under the supervision of the officers of the church in order that God’s honor may be upheld and the welfare of the congregation is maintained. Therefore, those that confess the faith in common with us by embracing the same confessional standards or the Westminster Standards are welcome to celebrate the supper with us when they have presented a written attestation of communicant membership, in advance, from a sister congregation or sister denomination.
Neither the officers nor the congregation makes a judgment against those who want to receive the supper but do not provide the written attestation in advance. But, presenting a written attestation to the officers of the church helps ensure good order and that the Lord’s Table is honored, that God’s name is exalted and that the congregation does not become guilty of abusing holy things (cf. Heidelberg Catechism, Question and Answer 82).