“God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4.24)
To worship something is to give it worth. God is infinitely worthy, and so to give God his worth is to give him everything. That is the way the New Testament talks about worship. St Paul writes to the Christians in Rome, ‘I implore you by God’s mercy to offer your very selves to him: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for his acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart.’ (Romans 12.1)
The words used in Church of England worship can be accessed here.
Praxis exists to help churches in their worship.
Prayer in the Diocese of London
As part of that worship, Christians set apart time specifically to worship God. We hear God speak in the Bible, and respond in prayer and praise. Even when we are on our own, we do this in communion with others. In Diocese of London, we pray for each other using a cycle of prayer. This month’s cycle can be found here.
Morning and evening prayer
Members of the Church of England hear God speak and respond in prayer by using the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer. The classical version of these offices is found in the Book of Common Prayer – still used in many parish churches and cathedrals, and the most popular choice for what is known as ‘Choral Evensong’. You can often listen to a recent radio broadcast of Choral Evensong here.
There is also a modern version of Morning and Evening Prayer in the Church of England’s Common Worship, which is a collection of services and prayers for almost every occasion.
Both versions of the daily offices of the Church can be found here.
At the heart of the Church’s spiritual life are two outward signs of God’s grace, called sacraments. The first of these is Baptism, in which a person begins a life of faith by being sprinkled with (or immersed in) water as a sign of the new birth God gives to those who trust in him. The second is Holy Communion (also called the ‘Eucharist’, the ‘Lord’s Supper’ or the ‘Mass’), in which Christians gather to share bread and wine to proclaim the death of Jesus and receive his body and blood. From these two sacraments flow five other outward signs: confirmation, absolution, ordination, marriage, and extreme unction. All of these are ways of receiving God’s love afresh as we seek to obey his call in Jesus Christ.
Truly to have a spiritual life is to have God’s Spirit alive within you. As St Paul wrote to Christians in Corinth, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except under the influence of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12.3).
When people care about something, they often want to sing about it – you only need to go to a football game at the Emirates, White Hart Lane or Stamford Bridge to know that! Christians are no different. In churches across the Diocese of London, people gather day by day and week by week to sing Psalms from the Bible, classic hymns and contemporary songs. It is an important way of expressing how we feel about God and his world.
The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) exists to help churches make the most of their musical resources.