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A church service (or simply a service) is a formalized period of Christian communal
worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a god. An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informa ...
, often held in a church building. It often but not exclusively occurs on Sunday, or Saturday in the case of those churches practicing
seventh-day Sabbatarianism The seventh-day Sabbath, observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening, is an important part of the beliefs and practices of list of Sabbath-keeping churches, seventh-day churches. These churches emphasize biblical references such as the ancient ...
. The church service is the gathering together of Christians to be taught the "Word of God" (the
Christian Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...
) and encouraged in their
faith Faith, derived from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
. Technically, the "church" in "church service" refers to the
gathering of the faithful
gathering of the faithful
rather than to the
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a w ...
in which it takes place. In most Christian traditions, services are presided over by
clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the ter ...
wherever possible. Styles of service vary greatly, from the
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; th ...
,
Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a Communion ( ...
,
Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian churches adhering to Miaphysite Christology In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesu ...
,
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tr ...
,
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in ...

Roman Catholic
, and
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life ...
traditions of
liturgical Liturgy is the customary public worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a god. An act of worship ma ...
worship to the
evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salv ...
Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. ...
style, that often combines worship with teaching for the believers, which may also have an evangelistic component appealing to the non-Christians or skeptics in the congregation.
Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholi ...

Quakers
and some other groups have no formal outline to their services, but allow the worship to develop as the participants present feel moved. The majority of Christian denominations hold church services on the
Lord's Day The Lord's Day in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Ma ...
(with many offering Sunday morning and Sunday evening services); a number of traditions have mid-week Wednesday evening services as well. In some Christian denominations, church services are held daily, with these including those in which the
canonical hour In the practice of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is t ...
s are prayed, as well as the offering of the
Mass Mass is the physical quantity, quantity of ''matter'' in a physical body. It is also a measure (mathematics), measure of the body's ''inertia'', the resistance to acceleration (change of velocity) when a net force is applied. An object's mass ...
, among other forms of worship. In addition to this, many Christians attend services of worship on holy days such as
Christmas Christmas is an annual festival commemorating Nativity of Jesus, the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people Observance of Christmas by country, around the world ...

Christmas
,
Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday is a Christianity, Christian holy day of prayer and fasting. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent, the six weeks of penitence before Easter. Ash Wednesday is traditionally observed by Western Christi ...

Ash Wednesday
,
Good Friday Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday (also Holy a ...
,
Ascension Thursday The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, also called Ascension Day, Ascension Thursday, or sometimes Holy Thursday, commemorates the Christian belief of the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is one of the ecumenical (i.e., universally cel ...
, among others depending on the Christian denomination.


History

The worship service is a practice of Christian life that has its origins in the
Jewish worship Jewish prayer ( he, תְּפִלָּה, ; plural ; yi, תּפֿלה, tfile , plural ; Yinglish There are some Yiddish words used in English language context. An English sentence that uses these words sometimes is said to be in Yinglish ...
.
Jesus Christ Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, the Major religious groups, world's largest r ...

Jesus Christ
and
Paul of Tarsus Paul; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח, name=, group= (born Saul of Tarsus;; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, Saũlos Tarseús; tr, Tarsuslu Pavlus AD ...

Paul of Tarsus
taught a new form of worship of God. As recorded in the
gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, tea ...

gospel
s,
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label= Hebrew/ Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, ...

Jesus
met together with His disciples to share teachings, discuss topics, pray, and sing hymns. The holding of church services pertains to the observance of the
Lord's Day The Lord's Day in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Ma ...
in Christianity. The
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...

Bible
has a precedent for a pattern of morning and evening worship that has given rise to Sunday morning and Sunday evening services of worship held in the churches of many Christian denominations today, a "structure to help families sanctify the Lord’s Day." In and , "God commanded the daily offerings in the tabernacle to be made once in the morning and then again at twilight". In
Psalm 92 The Psalm 92 (Septuagint, Greek numbering: Psalm 91), known as ''Mizmor Shir L'yom HaShabbat'', is ostensibly dedicated to the Shabbat day. Though it can be recited any day, in Jewish tradition it is generally reserved for Shabbat and is also recite ...
, which is a prayer concerning the observance of the Sabbath, the prophet David writes "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night" (cf. ). Church father
Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, ''Eusébios tés Kaisareías''; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου), ...

Eusebius of Caesarea
thus declared: "For it is surely no small sign of God’s power that throughout the whole world in the churches of God at the morning rising of the sun and at the evening hours, hymns, praises, and truly divine delights are offered to God. God’s delights are indeed the hymns sent up everywhere on earth in his Church at the times of morning and evening." The first miracle of the
Apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, parti ...
, the healing of the crippled man on the
temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called church (building), churches), Hinduism (w ...
steps, occurred because
Peter Peter may refer to: People * List of people named Peter {{expand list, date=August 2020 Peter is a common name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing ...

Peter
and
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) * John (surname), including a list of people who have the name John John may also refer to: New Testament Works ...
went to the Temple to pray (Acts 3:1). Since the Apostles were originally Jews, see
Jewish Christians Jewish Christians ( he, יהודים נוצרים, yehudim notzrim) were the followers of a Jewish religious sect that emerged in Judea Judea or Judaea, and the modern version of Judah (; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew ...
, the concept of
fixed prayer times Fixed prayer times, praying at dedicated times during the day, are common practice in major world religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Judaism Jewish law requires Jews to pray thrice a day; the morning prayer is known as Shacharit ...
, as well as services therefore which differed from weekday to
Sabbath In Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic people, Semitic-originated religions that claim descent from the Judaism of the ancient Isra ...
to holy day, were familiar to them.
Pliny the Younger Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61 – c. 113), better known as Pliny the Younger (), was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Rom ...

Pliny the Younger
(63 - ca. 113), who was not a Christian himself, mentions not only
fixed prayer times Fixed prayer times, praying at dedicated times during the day, are common practice in major world religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Judaism Jewish law requires Jews to pray thrice a day; the morning prayer is known as Shacharit ...
by believers, but also specific services—other than the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites o ...

Eucharist
—assigned to those times: "They met on a stated day before it was light, and addressed a form of prayer to Christ, as to a divinity ... after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble, to eat in common a harmless meal." The real evolution of the Christian service in the first century is shrouded in mystery. By the
second The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession ...
and third centuries, such Church Fathers as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Tertullian wrote of formalised, regular services: the practice of Matins, Morning and Vespers, Evening Prayer, and prayers at the third hour of the day (terce), the sixth hour of the day (sext), and the ninth hour of the day (none (liturgy), none). With reference to the Jewish practices, it is surely no coincidence that these major hours of prayer correspond to the first and last hour of the conventional day, and that on Sundays (corresponding to the Sabbath in Christianity), the services are more complex and longer (involving twice as many services if one counts the
Eucharist The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites o ...

Eucharist
and the afternoon service). Similarly, the liturgical year from
Christmas Christmas is an annual festival commemorating Nativity of Jesus, the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people Observance of Christmas by country, around the world ...

Christmas
via Easter to Pentecost covers roughly five months, the other seven having no major services linked to the work of Christ. However, this is not to say that the Jewish services were copied or deliberately substituted, see Supersessionism.


Contemporary church services

Contemporary worship services have their origins in the Jesus Movement of the 1960s. In the 1980s and 1990s, contemporary Christian music, comprising a variety of musical styles, such as Christian rock and Christian hip-hop was adopted by evangelical churches. Over the years, the organ (music), organs have been replaced by pianos, electric guitars and drums. These contemporary worship services feature a sermon based on the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...

Bible
. Worship service in Evangelicalism, Evangelical churches is seen as an act of God's worship. It is usually run by a Christian pastor. It usually contains two main parts, the praise (Christian music) and the sermon, with periodically the Lord's Supper. During worship there is usually a nursery school, nursery for babies. Prior to the worship service, adults, children and young people receive an adapted education, Sunday school, in a separate room. With the 1960s' charismatic movement, a new conception of praise in worship, such as clapping and raising hands as a sign of worship, took place in many evangelical denominations. In the 1980s and 1990s, contemporary Christian music, including a wide variety of musical styles, such as Christian Rock and Christian Hip Hop, appeared in the praise. In the 2000s and 2010s, digital technologies were integrated into worship services, such as the video projectors for broadcasting praise lyrics or video, on big screens. The use of social media such as YouTube and Facebook to retransmit live or delayed worship services, by Internet, has also spread. The Offering (Christianity), offering via Internet has become a common practice in several churches. In some churches, a special moment is reserved for faith healing with laying on of hands during worship services. Faith healing or divine healing is considered a legacy of
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label= Hebrew/ Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, ...

Jesus
acquired by his death and resurrection. The offerings and the tithe typically occupies a little time in the worship services. Often associated with the tithe mandatory, this doctrine is sometimes compared to a Business plan, religious business. The main Christian feasts celebrated by the Evangelicals are
Christmas Christmas is an annual festival commemorating Nativity of Jesus, the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people Observance of Christmas by country, around the world ...

Christmas
, Pentecost, and Easter for all believers, among others depending on Christian denominations (cf. evangelical feasts).


Common features

Vocal music is traditionally sung by a choir or the wikt:congregation, congregation (or a mixture of the two), usually accompanied by an organ (music), organ. Sometimes other instruments such as piano, classical instruments, or modern band instruments may be part of the service, especially in churches influenced by the contemporary worship movement. Some churches are equipped with state-of-the-art multi-media equipment to add to the worship experience. The congregation may sing along in hymnals or words to hymns and worship songs may be displayed on a screen. More liturgical denominations may have the words to specific prayers written in a missalette or prayer book, which the congregation follows. Though the majority of services are still conducted in church buildings designed specifically for that purpose, some services take place in "store front" or temporary settings. For those unable to attend a service in a church building a burgeoning televangelism and radio ministry provides broadcasts of services. A number of websites have been set up as "cyber-churches" to provide a virtual worship space free to anyone on the internet. Church services are often planned and led by a single pastor or a small group of elder (Christianity), elders or may follow a format laid out by the dictates of the denomination. Some churches are "lay led" with members of the congregation taking turns guiding the service or simply following format that has evolved over time between the active members. A few begin their church services with the ringing of a church bell, bell (or a ring of bells, number of bells). The service usually involves the singing of Hymn#Christian hymnody, hymns, reading of scripture verses and possibly a psalm, and a sermon. If the church follows a lectionary, the sermon will often be about the scripture lections assigned to that day.
Eucharist The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites o ...

Eucharist
ic churches have usually Holy Communion either every Sunday or several Sundays a month. Less liturgical congregations tend to place a greater emphasis on the sermon. Many churches will take up a collection plate, collection during the service. The rationale for this is taken from , , and . But some churches eschew this practice in favor of voluntary anonymous donations for which a box or plate may be set up by the entrance, or return-address envelopes may be provided that worshippers may take with them. Offering through the Internet has become a common practice in many evangelical churches. On occasion, some churches will also arrange a second collection, typically occurring after Communion, for a specific good cause or purpose. Some churches offer Sunday school classes. These will often be for younger children, and may take place during the whole of the service (while the adults are in church), or the children may be present for the beginning of the service and at a prearranged point leave the service to go to Sunday school. Some churches have adult Sunday school either before or after the main worship service. Following the service, there will often be an opportunity for fellowship in the Fellowship hall, church hall or other convenient place. This provides the members of the congregation a chance to socialize with each other and to greet visitors or new members. Coffee or other refreshments may be served.


Types of church service

Church services take many forms, and set liturgies may have different names. Services typically include: *Regular Sunday services. These are a part of most traditions. Holy Communion may be celebrated at some or all of these; often it is included either once a month or once a quarter. A few denominations have their main weekly services on Saturday rather than Sunday. Larger churches often tend to have several services each Sunday; often two or three in the morning and one or two in the late afternoon or evening. Some churches have begun to provide religious services conducted through internet technology. *Midweek services. Again, Holy Communion can be part of these, either on every occasion or on a regular basis. *Holiday services. Treated like a regular Sunday service, but made more specific for the day. *Weddings. These are normally separate services, rather than being incorporated into a regular service, but may be either. *Funerals. These are always separate services. *Baptisms. These may be incorporated into a regular service, or separate. *Confirmation. This is normally incorporated into a regular Sunday service, which will also include communion. It was traditionally the first Communion of the confirmee, but more recently, children are invited to communion in some denominations, whether confirmed or not. *Ordination of clergy. New bishops, elders, priests and deacons are usually ordained or installed generally in a solemn but celebratory ceremony on Saturday or Sunday generally open to the public either by their own superior or another approved senior minister with ordination powers either at the area headquarters church or the cathedral or another church agreed upon by those to be ordained and the ordaining ministers. Ordination of bishops or elders may require consecration by more than one individual and have a more limited audience. *First Communion. Children may celebrate Communion for the first time. *Opening of new churches or church buildings. *Dedication of new missionary, missionaries or those about to be sent on new missions.


Places of worship

Places of worship are usually called "churches". In some megachurches, the building is called "campus". The architecture of places of worship is mainly characterized by its sobriety. The latin cross is one of the only spiritual symbols that can usually be seen on the building of an evangelical church and that identifies the place's belonging. Some services take place in theaters, schools or multipurpose rooms, rented for Sunday only.Annabelle Caillou
Vivre grâce aux dons et au bénévolat
ledevoir.com, Canada, November 10, 2018
Because of their understanding of the second of the Ten Commandments, evangelicals do not have religious material representations such as statues, icons, or paintings in their places of worship. There is usually a baptistery on the stage of the auditorium (also called sanctuary) or in a separate room, for the Immersion baptism, baptisms by immersion.


House church

In some countries of the world which apply sharia or communism, government authorizations for worship are complex for Evangelical Christians. Because of persecution of Christians, Evangelical house churches have thus developed. For example, there is the House church (China), Evangelical house churches in China movement. The meetings thus take place in private houses, in secret and in "illegality".


Megachurches

File:Culto en El Lugar de Su Presencia, 2019.jpg, 280px, Worship at El Lugar de Su Presencia, affiliated with Hillsong Family, in Bogota, in Colombia, 2019 Worship services take on impressive proportions in the megachurches (churches where more than 2,000 people gather every Sunday. In some of these megachurches, more than 10,000 people gather every Sunday. The term gigachurch is sometimes used. For example, Lakewood Church (United States) or Yoido Full Gospel Church (South Korea).


Groups

International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, IFES are groups of Evangelical students coming together on campuses in 150 countries around the world to share their ideas on the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...

Bible
. Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International meetings are held in restaurants or hotels and Christian businessmen talk about their faith.Vinson Synan, Amos Yong, ''Global Renewal Christianity: Europe and North America Spirit-Empowered Movements: Past, Present and Future'', Charisma Media, USA, 2017, p. 26


See also

*Church attendance *Christian liturgy *Rule of Saint Benedict, Service As Worship *Compline *Canonical hours *Divine Liturgy *Divine Service (Lutheran) *Daily Office (Anglican), Evening Prayer (Anglican) *Easter Vigil *Mass (liturgy) *Daily Office (Anglican), Morning Prayer (Anglican)


References


Notes


Citations


External links

* * *
Church Service: Nowadays Practice vs. First Century's Practice
{{Christianity footer Christian terminology, Worship (evangelicalism) Evangelical ecclesiology, Evangelical ecclesiology Christian worship and liturgy Christian practices Christian terminology Weekly events