Definition of the Liturgy in the Church
After all, a prayer room is not a recreational space where people can freely do as they please. Worship must be carried out regularly so it is necessary to determine when the congregation can participate in the service and what they need to do. On this basis, the order of worship was finally made and this is what is now commonly referred to as the liturgy. So, the word liturgy in this article will refer to the meaning of the worship system.
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 be silent, sit, and watch in worship. Worship is not a concert or seminar which only goes one way. The congregation can contribute by participating in singing praises, praying, making offerings, and so on. Even so, the liturgy does not merely belong to a rigid liturgical pattern of worship. All patterns of worship have their own liturgies and all of these liturgies refer to the same structure. This structure is commonly called the Four-Fold Pattern of Worship.
Definition 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 a church based on the people closest to them. Some choose churches based on where they live. Some choose churches based on their servants. There are also those who choose churches based on their worship patterns, as follows:
If we know the meaning of the liturgy of coming to a church with a service that seems rigid and very structured, we are in a church with a liturgical worship pattern. This worship structure is considered to be the original tradition of the New Testament era and the church so that the church will remain with this pattern by reason of adhering to tradition even though many young people begin to avoid this pattern. This pattern is commonly used by Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Anglicans.
This pattern, which follows the liturgical traditions of Calvin and Puritan, is sometimes called non-liturgical and sometimes semiliturgical. A church with this worship pattern 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 pattern according to the times. The thing that is emphasized in this worship pattern is the sermon as the teaching of the Word of God and the singing of the congregation. This pattern is commonly used by Reformed and Menonit.
Today, we often see churches that emphasize the congregation to witness and do evangelism to those who have not accepted Jesus Christ. This church usually has an informal pattern of worship and prioritizes thanksgiving in overflows of joy. The sermon was delivered aggressively and eagerly to invite the congregation to bring others to the grace of God. Groups following this pattern include Quakers, Methodists, and Frontiers.
Praise and worship
This pattern was once called the Pentecostal pattern and was pioneered by Afro-American worship societies 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 church with this worship pattern. In this pattern, we will become accustomed to seeing the congregation clapping, dancing, raising their hands, and shouting out loud. As already noted, Pentecostals are an example of this.
We may have heard people say 'I come from Church A led X' and others 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 is the leader of the group. One thing that is certain is that they hold worship services with the motivation to reach people who are looking for God, but do not yet know Christ. Rick Warren and Isaiah Pariadji are examples of this pattern group.
Liturgical Terms in the Bible
The word "liturgy" comes from the Greek leitourgia. The Biblical Bible in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament (Ancient Greek), this term is used for the worship services performed by the priests of the Levites, while those performed by the people are usually referred to as latreia which means worship. However, this term underwent developments in the New Testament. G. Riemer reveals that the New Testament uses the term leitourgia 15 times with eight different meanings:
In Luke 1:23, Hebrews 9:21, Hebrews 10:11, the meaning of this term still refers to the duties of priests as in the Old Testament.
In Hebrews 8: 2, Hebrews 8: 6, this term is used to describe Christ's ministry as a higher priest than the priests in the Old Testament.
Whereas in Romans 15:16, leitourgia is used for the work of the apostles in preaching the gospel to those who do not believe.
Hebrews 1: 7 and 14 refers to the ministry of angels.
Romans 13: 6 refers to offices in government.
Romans 15:27, Philippians 2:25, Philippians 2:30, Philippians 4:18 all refer to the collection of offerings to help those in need.
Acts 13: 2 refers to the fellowship of people who pray and fast.
Liturgical Terms Today
The term leitourgia or liturgical meaning comes from the word laos which means people and ergon which means work. Based on the origin of the word, liturgy is a work done by the people together. In the church, the people referred to are the church congregation itself. Practically speaking, liturgy is a worship activity involving all members of the congregation actively 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 already refers to activities of fellowship, praying, praising God, and listening to God's word within a certain period of time.
Soren Kierkegaard gave a parable of the liturgy in his Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing. This article was first published in 1847 in 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 think that in worship, the speaker is the main actor and the congregation is the audience. In fact, this is not true. The speaker is only a director. The main actor is the congregation and the audience is God. So, in a service, the most important thing is how the congregation responds and shares their best part to please God.
Four-Fold Pattern of Worship
As the name implies, the Four-Fold Pattern of Worship introduces the four most important structural parts of the liturgy, namely meeting, saying, giving thanks, and being sent out into the world. These four parts are good food for Christian life.
People come to church not only to sit, pray, sing, listen to God's word, then go out. The church has a duty to invite its congregation to fellowship and unite their hearts to glorify God. This is consistent with Paul's message to the Ephesians that we are already members of God's family (Ephesians 2:19). This section begins when the congregation enters the worship room. Congregation will be asked to devote themselves or usually led to prepare their hearts for worship. The procession of confessing the meaning of sin according to the Bible is usually included in this section.
In this section, Bible reading and preaching of the word are carried out. Some do lectionary reading or freely depending on the context of the sentence being discussed. The speaker of the liturgical understanding is tasked with bringing the words of the Bible to life so that they are relevant to the church today so that the congregation can feel greeted by God. After listening to the word, the congregation is invited to respond in the right way of praying, both intercessory prayer and the meaning of the Lord's Prayer, and there are also those who say the Confession of Faith.
Thanksgiving is usually done in the form of an offering. Many churches invite congregants to make offerings as a form of gratitude for the word that has been delivered. This has led to the offering often being made after the reading of the word. However, it is not uncommon for churches to make offerings before reading the word.
Sent into the World
The Christian life does not start when you enter the church and end when you leave the church. The Christian life on earth begins when it accepts Christ's character and ends with Christian death. Therefore, God's words cannot just be heard, but also need to be implemented in daily life. Before the church ends, the congregation will be sent and given God's promise for believers, which is symbolized by the utterance of sentences of commission and sentences of blessing.
The liturgy does not determine the size of the blessings the congregation receives. The meaning of liturgy only serves to help the congregation to focus more on attending services and feeling God's presence. The most important thing to pay attention to is whether the liturgy is in accordance with God's will as revealed in the Bible or not. May every church be able to re-examine itself in its liturgical arrangement.