The Sunday worship services are central to the life of the congregation. In the worship services we believe that we meet with God, and He speaks to us through the Bible and we respond to His Word of grace and truth with prayer and praise and gifts. Such worship is prescribed in the Bible (Psalm 40:9,10). We come together to hear the Word of God proclaimed (Romans 10:14-17), to make regular use of the sacraments of baptism and Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23,24), for public prayer (1 Timothy 2:1), and to give offerings for those in need (1 Corinthians 16:2).
The following are some of the main parts of every worship service in the Maranatha Canadian Reformed Church. Besides the following, we also celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the third Sunday of every other month, and from time to time the sacrament of baptism (child or adult) also takes place.
The worship services always begin with the votum, a confession of reliance on God on behalf of the whole congregation. We express our dependence on the God we are about to meet with the words: Our help is in the Name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 124:8).
The person conducting the worship service then speaks out a Biblical greeting on behalf of God Himself. After all, God has promised to receive us because of Jesus Christ. The greetings we use are from the Bible – either Revelation 1:4,5a or 1 Corinthians 1:3 or 1 Timothy 1:2.
We sing quite a few songs together in worship, accompanied either by organ or piano. In the songs we sing we praise to God for who He is and what He has done and still does, or we respond to His Word. The songs we sing are from the Book of Praise (Anglo-Genevan Psalter) as provisionally adopted by Synod 2010 of the Canadian Reformed Churches. This song book contains the full rhyming of all 150 Psalms as well as 85 Hymns arranged along the lines of the articles of the Apostles Creed.
The congregation approaches God and speaks to Him in public prayer offered up by the person conducting worship. These public prayers include such matters as a blessing on the worship and the proclamation of God’s Word, confession of sin and request for forgiveness and renewal, intercessions for people who are dealing with sickness or other trials, prayer for blessing on mission and outreach, intercession for our community and nation and for the civil authorities. At certain times of the year there are specific prayers for the growth of crops and for labour as well as thanksgiving.
The Bible is central to our worship. In every worship service the Bible is read. We believe that God speaks to us via His living Word. We therefore listen to that Word humbly and reverently.The Bible translation we use in the Maranatha Canadian Reformed Church is the English Standard Version (ESV).
In the sermon, prepared and delivered by a minister or prepared by a minister and delivered by an elder, a portion of the Bible or a Lord’s Day of the Heidelberg Catechism based on the Bible is expounded on and applied to the people. The aim of the preaching is to call all to faith and repentance and to so bring everyone closer to the God of our salvation. We need to be sincerely impressed with grace God has given us and still does for us.