Christians gather on the Lord’s Day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. The service is divided into two major parts. The Liturgy of the Word derives from the Jewish synagogue service and is made up of scripture readings, psalms, and prayers. In Luke we have an account of Jesus in the synagogue, reading from the prophet Isaiah (Luke 4:14-21). The Liturgy of the Meal is the sharing of bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Holy Communion has its roots in Jesus’ Passover meal with his disciples on the night before his death (Matthew 26:26-29). Our experience of worship is similar to the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The risen Jesus breaks open the word for us, and then is made known in the breaking of bread (Luke 24:13-25). With Easter faith, we confess that Christ appears to us as the scriptures are read and the eucharist is celebrated. (See also Luke 24:27, 30-31a.)
The book of Psalms is central to Christian worship. Most or all of the psalms are usually printed in hymnals. Not only are psalms used as a response following the first reading from scripture, they often form the basis for hymns and other responses.
Each Sunday three scripture readings are included in worship. These are appointed in a lectionary, which is a cycle of Bible readings spread over a three-year period and shared by the majority of the world’s Christians.
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