The Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) describes worship in these terms: Christian worship joyfully ascribes all praise and honor, glory and power to the triune God. In worship the people of God acknowledge God present in the world and in their lives. As they respond to God's claim and redemptive action in Jesus Christ, believers are transformed and renewed. In worship the faithful offer themselves to God and are equipped for God's service in the world. At Calvary, we seek to make our worship central to the life of the church. Worship is reverent and enriched by the best words and music we can offer to God.
The pre-service music is an opportunity to meditate or pray in the awareness of God’s presence in the sanctuary. As the community of faith gathers, the organist plays music, which reflects the musical themes of the worship service, to help prepare the congregation for worship.
The Striking of the Bell
The striking of the bell draws our attention to the deliberate and intentional act of entering the presence of God.
The worship leader offers words of welcome and makes a number of announcements, bringing the congregation’s attention to important events in the life of the church.
This is a choral call to worship, which reminds us that our worship is centered on God and not on ourselves. It is God who calls us to worship.
*The Opening Hymn
The congregation stands to sing the opening hymn. Words and music for this will be found in the blue hymnals located in the pew rack in front of you. As this hymn is sung, a beadle carrying an open Bible, indicating our desire to be led and instructed in worship by the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, leads the procession of worship leaders into the church. A cross bearer and acolyte lead the liturgist and pastor, which symbolize our belief that Christ is the Light of the world. The congregation remains standing at the conclusion of the hymn, while the pastor leads us in a brief prayer of adoration of God.
*The Prayer of Adoration
Following this prayer the worship leader says “Amen” and the congregation sits.
The Call to Confession
The Prayer of Confession
The worship leaders guide the congregation in a prayer in which we confess sins to God. The congregation is invited to repeat this prayer followed by a time of silence for personal confession. We offer a prayer of confession to remember all that God has done for us in Christ.
The Kyrie Eleison
The choir sings an ancient hymn asking for God’s mercy (Kyrie Eleison, Lord have mercy).
The Assurance of God’s Forgiveness
The worship leader declares our belief that God has forgiven us our sins, because we have repented of them. The congregation then stands and sings a hymn of praise for God’s goodness.
*The Gloria Patri
In response to the good news that God forgives our sins, we sing the Gloria Patri, which means “Glory to our Father.”
*The Passing of the Peace of Christ
Those who have received the promise of reconciliation with God may now offer signs of reconciliation with one another as they exchange signs of Peace.
The Time for Young Disciples
The worship of God is appropriate for all ages. The commitment to the ministry life of the church is for all ages. Young people are not only part of the future of the church. They are a vital part of the church today.
The Prayer for Illumination
Because of the importance of properly heeding God’s word to us in Scripture, a brief prayer for illumination is said—asking God to enlighten us as we hear the Bible being read.
The Scripture Lessons
The Presbyterian Church lays great emphasis on the teaching of the Bible, which we believe contains the word of God. Scripture lessons are read, which will provide the theme for the sermon.
The choir sings the morning anthem, a hymn of praise to the glory of God.
The pastor or a trained, ordained Elder enters the pulpit to deliver the sermon, which is intended to offer some comment or guidance on the Bible readings in the service and some challenge to the congregation to live the Christian life, or to understand the Christian faith a little better, or to affirm the Christian commitment of their lives.
The congregation remains standing at the conclusion of the hymn for the Affirmation of Faith.
*The Affirmation of Faith
In response to the preached Word, there is an Affirmation of Faith.
The Call to Offering
The work and ministry of Calvary is supported by the members and friends of the congregation who have chosen to do so. The Offering is the moment in the service when, out of gratitude to God, members of the community of faith make financial gifts to support the church’s work in the world; locally, nationally and internationally. This is a free will offering, and we receive it during worship as a sign that it is an expression of our faith in God. However, many members have given directly to the church by means other than the offering plate. That explains why, at times, people do not put anything in the plate.
The Offertory Anthem
When the ushers have finished collecting the offering, they will bring it to the front of the church and place it on the Communion Table and the congregation will stand to sing one of the ancient hymns of praise to God, the Doxology.
The Prayer of Dedication
During this prayer, we dedicate the people’s offering of money and of their own lives in the service of Jesus Christ (cf. Rom. 12:1). At the conclusion of this short prayer, the congregation sits.
The Prayers of the People
“Our prayers should be as wide as God’s love and as specific as God’s tender compassion for the least ones among us” (BCW 40).
The Lord’s Prayer
This is the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray. We say it together, in unison, to show we want to be followers of Jesus Christ.
The Closing Hymn
The congregation now stands to sing the concluding hymn which normally reflects the message of the sermon and affirms the love that we receive through God’s Son, Jesus. It asks that this love will shape and direct our living, until, in the life beyond the grave which we believe Jesus offers us, we arrive at the consummation of God’s purposes for his children in his eternal kingdom. At the conclusion of this hymn the congregation remains standing.
The pastor comes forward to pronounce the benediction, a prayer asking for God’s blessing on God’s people before they leave the worship service.
The Choral Response
The choir responds musically to the worship of God as we should respond faithfully in the Christian life. During the choral response, led by the Beadle, Cross Bearer, and Acolyte, the pastor and liturgist process to the back of the sanctuary.
At your convenience, you are now free to leave your place and proceed to the Chalice Room where there will be an opportunity to meet with other worshipers and share refreshments. All are welcome at this time of fellowship.
Service is held each Sunday at 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary (10:00 a.m. June through August). A Communion service is held on the first Sunday of each month.
Worship follows the pattern of the Christian year, which is expressed in the colors used in the sanctuary. The year begins with waiting for Jesus in Advent (purple or royal blue) through his birth, life and ministry (Christmas-white; Lent-purple, for penitence), his death, Resurrection (Easter-white), the gift of the Spirit (Pentecost red, for the fire of the Spirit) and then the Ordinary Sundays of the year (green, for growth) when we learn what discipleship means. All we have discovered is summed up in the final Sunday of the Christian year known as "Christ the King."