Understanding the Liturgy in the Christian and Catholic Churches

However, the worship room is not a recreation room where people can freely do as they wish. Worship must run regularly so it needs to be determined when the congregation can participate in worship and what they need to do. With this basis, the order of worship was finally made and this is what is now commonly referred to as liturgy. So, the word liturgy in this article will refer to the meaning of worship.

By using the meaning of the word worship as it is commonly used today and with the meaning of the liturgy itself, the congregation cannot just sit still, and watch in worship. Worship is not a concert or seminar that only goes in one direction. Congregations can contribute by singing praise, praying, giving offerings, and so forth. Even so, the liturgy does not merely belong to rigid liturgical worship patterns. All patterns of worship have their respective liturgies and all the liturgies refer to the same structure. This structure is commonly called the Four-Fold Pattern of Worship.

Understanding of the Liturgy in the Church

Every Sunday, a Christian will usually go to church and worship. They are free to choose to go to any church. Some choose the church based on the people closest to it. Some choose the church based on where they live. Some choose the church based on their ministers. There are also those who choose the church based on their worship patterns, as follows:


If we know the meaning of liturgy coming to a church with worship that seems rigid and very structured, we are in a church with a liturgical pattern of worship. The structure of worship is considered to be an authentic tradition from the New Testament era and the church so that the church will continue to stick with this pattern for reasons of adhering to the tradition even though many young people are starting to avoid this pattern. This pattern is commonly used by Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Anglicans.


This pattern that follows the Calvin and Puritan liturgical tradition is sometimes called nonliturgical and sometimes called semiliturgical. Church with this pattern of worship does not have a handle on the implementation of worship, but has a mutual agreement. With this pattern, even though it is structured, the church can change its worship patterns to keep up with the times. What is emphasized in this pattern of worship is preaching as the teaching of God's Word and congregational singing. This pattern is commonly used by Reformed and Menonite.


Today, we often see churches that emphasize congregations to witness and evangelize those who have not yet received Jesus Christ. This church usually has an informal pattern of worship and prioritizes gratitude in overflowing excitement. Sermons are delivered aggressively and eagerly to invite the congregation to bring others to the grace of God. Groups that follow this pattern include Quaker, Methodist, and Frontier. (Also read: Spiritual Language)

    Praise and worship

This pattern was once called the Pentecostal pattern and was spearheaded by Afro-American worship gatherings in the late 19th century. If we have attended a church service and the congregation often says 'Amen', 'Hallelujah' or other responses, we are in the church with this pattern of worship. In this pattern, we will get used to seeing the congregation clapping, dancing, raising hands, and shouting loudly. As already stated, Pentecost is an example in this pattern.

    Soul Seeker

We may have heard people say 'I come from church A led by X' and others who say 'I come from church B led by Y'. The same church but led by different people has a soul-seeking worship pattern. The pattern of worship between churches is not uniform, depending on who the group leader is. One thing that is certain is that they hold worship with the motivation to reach people who seek God, but do not yet know Christ. Rick Warren and Isaiah Pariadji are examples of this pattern group.

The term liturgy in the Bible

The word 'liturgy' comes from the Greek, leitourgia. The Gospel of the Bible in the Old Testament translation of the Septuagint (Ancient Greek), this term is used for worship services performed by priests of the Levites while the people do usually referred to as latreia which means worship. However, this term experienced development in the New Testament. G. Riemer revealed that the New Testament uses the term leitourgia 15 times with eight different meanings:

  1.     At Luke 1:23, Hebrews 9:21, Hebrews 10:11, the meaning of this term still refers to priestly duties as in the Old Testament.
  2.     In Hebrews 8: 2, Hebrews 8: 6, this term is used to describe Christ's ministry as a higher priest than priests in the Old Testament.
  3.     Whereas in Romans 15:16, leitourgia is used for the apostle's work in preaching the gospel to those who do not believe
  4. .     Philippians 2:17 uses this term as a metaphor for faith.
  5. In Hebrews 1: 7 and 14 it refers to the ministry of angels.
  6.      Romans 13: 6 refers to the office of government.
  7.      Romans 15:27, Philippians 2:25, Philippians 2:30, Philippians 4:18 refers to the gathering of offerings to help those in need.
  8.      Acts 13: 2 refers to the fellowship of those who pray and fast.
Current Liturgical Terms

The term leitourgia or liturgical understanding has the origin of the word laos which means people and ergon which means work. Based on the origin of the word, the liturgy is the work carried out by the people together. In a church, the people in question are the church members themselves. Practically, liturgy is a worship activity by actively involving all members of the congregation to worship and glorify the name of God. True worship is how a Christian goes about his daily life to glorify God. However, at this time, the word worship has referred to allied activities, praying, praising God, and listening to God's word for a certain period of time.

Soren Kierkegaard gives a parable about the liturgy in his writing Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing. This article was first published in 1847 in the Edifying Addresses of Varied Tenor. In the section entitled The Listener's Role in a Devotional Address, He gives a parable of worship as in theater. Many people assume that in worship, the speaker is the main actor and the congregation becomes the audience. In fact, this is not right. The speaker is just a director. The main actor is the church and the audience is God. So, in a worship service, the most important thing is how the congregation responds and gives its best part to please God.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post