Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Presbyterian Service review!

This morning I attended Divine Worship at Bann Road Presbyterian with the Wilky family. And while it was different to what I'm used to in the C of I, it wasn't 'that' different - in fact, you could say it was almost a Service of the Word, without any responses or vocal congregational involvement.

One main difference was the Baptism. When we have a Baptism in the C of I, it affects the whole service, with every part of the service feeding into and reflecting the Baptism. This morning, though, the whole Baptism was fitted in just after the first hymn and prayer, and the rest of the service. In less than 5 minutes, the whole Baptism had been completed, with fewer promises by the parents, and the covenant theology expressed concisely, and fairly understandable. But then the whole congregation started singing the Aaronic Blessing, which was new and different for me.

The rest of the service was quite similar to what I'm used to, with a reading, prayers of intercession, hymns, and then the sermon. This morning, Gary Truman was looking at Acts 27, with 'how to survive a shipwreck'.

All in all, the service was good, although I think I would prefer even the slightly more structured and participatory form of worship found in, say, Dollingstown, or even the proper services from the Book of Common Prayer! But it will do me well to see things done in a slightly different way, with a different approach.


  1. Away with your Popish attacks on our Presbyterian worship !!!!!

  2. Amen David! :P

  3. It's hardly a popish attack on your worship! It's just some observations from my side of the fence. There was much that was good in it... but I did fell more at home in the evening at the BCP service of Evening Prayer Two - which Lynsey is getting more used to as time goes on!

    Give me a good chanted psalm any time, and some vocal congregational involvement in prayers and responses!

  4. Maybe you should try a Charismatic service - boy is that different.

  5. May you should try one in a foreign language and see how much at home you feel...shouldn't it be possible to "feel at home" among fellow believers, whatever the structure, form, or language a service might have? After all, any local church seeking to glorify and serve God in a Biblical way is a part of the universal church - the Body of Christ.

    What a concept! I cannot wait for the day when we all gather around the throne and sing praises to the Lamb...Gary, I bet we'll all hear your rich tones resonating through the heavens on that day!

  6. And there we go... a mild theological telling off from Primrose! Yes, I do indeed see your point, Prim, and I do accept that the Bann Road congregation is a local church seeking to glorify God - the people of God meeting around the Word of God and sacraments.

    Maybe I didn't express myself very well, but I do feel more comfortable in the Church of Ireland. Is that better?

  7. Ah now Gary, it wasn't a telling off...just an expression of my opinion!

    Of course you feel more comfortable in the CoI...just like I feel "more comfortable" in an English language service than an Albanian language service. 

    But, I have found in my life that God tends to shift me out of my comfort zones just about the time when I'm beginning to really feel comfortable there! And, often the new situations haven't been at all comfortable to start with.  Sometimes they've been extremely uncomfortable, but God has taught me so much through those uncomfortable days.

    I know this is kinda off the topic, but I was reading a medical report about suffering the other day, and how it is a medical fact that we need to be able to feel pain in order to know what is good and safe for made me think hard.  I don't like suffering, hard times, or uncomfortable situations, but God knows I need to go through them to grow and learn more of who He is.

    So there...the rambling thoughts of a random missionary!