Liturgy of the service on Sunday
Welcome in the St. George The playing of the organ
While the people enter the church, music is played on the pipe organ. All seats are available to sit on; if in doubt please ask. The adults sit in front of the pulpit at the stage with their children. The smallest children are taken to a crčche (a nursery). You may want to ask someone for a Psalm book and a Bible you can use for our worship service. These are found at the entrance of the church.
The consistory enters
When the organ stops playing, a number of consistory members enter. After they are seated, one of them will warmly welcome us at the microphone, tell us the name of the minister preaching in the service and other announcements are made.
The first song listed on the top of the Psalm board (hanging on pillars) is now sung. Once we have sung, the minister, the man dressed in the black gown, is taken to the pulpit by a member of the consistory thereby signifying the authority given to the minister to speak and to wish the minister the blessing of God on part of the congregation.
We now as congregation engage in a silent prayer of a few minutes to ask God for a blessing on our worship service.
Votum and greetings
The minister will once in the pulpit pronounce two texts. The first is called the votum or vow, which is a solemn declaration that we as congregation expect everything from God. The second text is the greeting. In these words spoken through the minister, God Himself greets us as congregation.
We express our thankfulness for worship by singing the second Psalm on the list.
Declaration of Gods Law or the Creed
In the morning service, the Ten Commandments are now read, so all of us may hear what God demands of us. Moreover, we learn how we can love God in our lives and to thank Him for His love to us by obeying His will. In the afternoon service, we read at this point, the Apostles Creed or another Creed of the Church, thereby reminding ourselves of the heart of the Christian faith.
Prayer for the Holy Spirit
We now pray that God through His Holy Spirit will be present in us and with us in our reading of the Bible, the listening to the sermon and by worshipping Him. The Prayer ends with a clear “Amen”.
Reading of Holy Scriptures
The minister now reads more verses from the Bible. After the reading, he will shortly announce which text from the Bible he will use in his sermon to explain God’s message to us.
Before the sermon is delivered, we give our offerings. While the organist plays a prelude, the deacons will come to us to collect our offerings. There are generally two rounds, sometimes three, as announced at the beginning of the service. We bring thanks to God by supporting people in need, the local church, the youth projects or any cause we are called to support. Please note that there is no obligation for you to contribute.
Childeren are going to the Bibleclass.
In our Calvinist liturgy, the sermon is the most central part of our worship. The minister will by his choice of a text from the Bible explain to us God’s Word and His will for us. The aim of the preaching is to teach us and to strengthen us in our faith. We listen intently and may read along in the Bible and our Creeds. The minister will conclude the sermon with a clear “Amen”.
The main intercessory prayer is now spoken by the minister and we as congregation join him in that. We thank God for His message delivered from the Bible. The minister may also pray for elements of the sermon in his prayer. The minister goes on to commemorate joyful events in our lives and to bring our communal gratitude before God. We also pray earnestly for the ill and the distressed, for church activities, for missions, and varied social matters. This prayer ends with a clear “Amen”.
Childeren comming back from Bibleclass
After the final singing, the congregation rises and the minister bestows on behalf of God a blessing on us all. This blessing is the promise God gives us that He will be with us and help us.
The minister leaves the pulpit
A consistory member goes to the pulpit and by shaking the hand of the minister gives him approval on his sermon and thereby ends the liturgy. They leave our gathering.
End of the service
When the organ starts playing, we our leave our seats and may stay in the building or leave.
A few times in the year, special services with the sacraments are held. A brief explanation is given of these.
The sacrament of baptism
Before the sermon, the sacrament of baptism may be administered to infants born of members of the congregation. The sacrament follows a form the minister will read to us. This form has been established by the Church and contains the creeds on baptism we adhere to. One is that by the sacrament of baptism of infants, God gives the infant and its parents a token of His covenant. The response to this by the parents is their acknowledgement of their faith and their promise to raise the infant according to Gods will. The infant is then sprinkled with water in the name of God. After the sacrament, the infant is taken to the nursery.
The sacrament of Holy Communion
Following a preparatory sermon, the sacrament of Holy Communion commences with the form being read by the minister. After this, he will leave the pulpit and take place at the communion table and prepare the Communion. The minister then invites confession members of the Congregation to come what we also call the Lord’s Supper. A piece of bread and a sip of wine are taken. In these two symbols, we commemorate that Jesus Christ died for our sins. After singing of a Psalm and a silent prayer, more tables can be held. When all is finished, the minister ends the Sacrament with a reading of the form and a prayer Some features of our worship
- Bible: This book is the basis of the Christian faith. We believe that God speaks to us through the Bible and that the sermon by the minister is one of the central elements in our worship service. The version we use is the “Statenvertaling”, the classic version of 1637. You may use one of the Bibles found on the table near the entrance of the church. Some of these contain, next to the books of the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament), the Psalms we sing, the Creeds we adhere to and the forms used for the Sacraments. Sometimes these also found in separate publications.
- Consistory. The consistory or church council is responsible for the liturgy of the service. They are the elected male members of the congregation that carry out special tasks in our congregation. These tasks are called offices. The church council consists of a minister, elders, deacons and elder-custodians. More information can be gained from a booklet in the cupboard near the exit or by contacting us personally.
- Psalms. The Psalms we sing come from the Bible, have been put to rhyme and music. In our liturgy we use the classic version of 1773.