Examples of communal and private worship

Evangelical worship

Worship in Evangelical churches is non-liturgical worship. Services are informal and focus on the Bible and the adoration of God. Services can attract huge congregations, so often large auditoriums are used. These services often feature pop-style music played with instruments including electric guitars.

Many Evangelical Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is present when they worship, actively inspiring what happens during the service. This means that services can be quite spontaneous and unscripted. Evangelical Christians may clap, sing or shout at any point during a service as they worship God with their whole body, not just their mind.

Society of Friends (Quakers)

Members of the Society of Friends denomination of Christianity are also known as Quakers. Rather than holding services in churches, Quakers worship together in meeting houses. Meetings last about an hour and have no set hymns, prayers or sermons. Everyone worships as equals – there is no leader and worshippers usually sit in a circle to show that there is no hierarchy.

Quakers spend most of their meetings in silence, using the time to connect with God. However, one of the worshippers might voice a thought for everyone to think about, for example: “How are you involved in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups and nations?” If someone wants to stand up and speak, either in response to the thought or on wider topics, they are free to do so. This is called giving ministry.

A day in the life of a young Quaker, Ceredwin

Private worship

Private worship is informal and often takes place at home. It can be liturgical and follow a set pattern of praying, Bible readings and rituals. Alternatively, it can be non-liturgical, which means it does not follow any set pattern.

Some examples of private worship are:

  • saying prayers of thanks before a meal
  • reading a passage from the Bible every day
  • saying set prayers using a rosary (Catholic Christians)

Private worship can be an opportunity for Christians to explore their personal connection with God.

Question

What is worship?

Any act that shows devotion to or love for God.