Christian worship involves praising God in music and speech, readings from scripture, prayers of various sorts, a sermon, and various holy ceremonies (often called sacraments) such as the Eucharist.
While worship is often thought of only as services in which Christians come together in a group, individual Christians can worship God on their own, and in any place.
Christian worship grew out of Jewish worship.
Jesus Christ was a religious Jew who attended the synagogue and celebrated Jewish festivals, and his disciples were familiar with Jewish ritual and tradition.
The first obvious divergence from Judaism was making Sunday the holy day instead of Saturday. By doing this the day of Christian worship is the same as the day that Jesus rose from the dead.
Jesus's promise to stay with his followers, fulfilled in the sending of the Holy Spirit, illuminated the development of Christian worship from early times.
So Christians regard worship as something that they don't only do for God, but that God, through Jesus's example and the presence of the Holy Spirit is also at work in.
Different churches will use very different styles of worship. Some will be elaborate, with a choir singing difficult music, others will hand the music over to the congregation, who sing simpler hymns or worship songs.
Some churches leave much of the action to the minister, while others encourage great congregational participation.
Of course all churches encourage the full participation of the congregation in praising God with heart, mind, and soul, but some churches give the congregation more physical participation.
Copyright Walton Deanery. All rights reserved.