Worship Convergence: Combining the Liturgical/ Sacramental, Evangelical and the Pentecostal Expressions of Worship

Each Christian churches today has their own “style” of worship.  And most of the churches thinks that their “expression” of worship is the “only worship style” that is acceptable to God.  They also think that other churches that is not the same as their worship style is a “dead type” of worship. This is my simple observation on each churches styles of worship because I experienced it myself. Coming from a Roman Catholic, then I went to a Baptist Church, then into an Evangelical Church and then a Pentecostal Church. I also visited a Catholic Charismatic Community, also a Charismatic Episcopal Church then the Metropolitan Community Church Philippines.

THE SACRAMENTAL/ LITURGICAL WORSHIP EXPRESSION

This style of worship gradually develop from the worship expression of the Jewish nation or the Israelites. We must remember that the first Christians were Jews.  Jesus Christ is a Jew and so is his apostles and the first converts to Christianity.  And so they adopted the worship expression from their Jewish culture and customs. They sang hymns.  They celebrated different types of feasts. Central to their community was the Synagogue in which public worship was held.  In the synagogue the word of God is being read, there the prayers are also read from prayer books. The Rabbis or Teacher has a special type of vestments.  The men and women are separated in sitting inside, the men on the right side the women on the left side.

When Jesus Christ was here he presented a new meaning to all of the customs and traditions that they were all doing that time.  Jesus was a Jew and he was obeying diligently as an obedient Jew.  He was not disobeying the Jewish laws, customs and traditions he was giving it a new meaning, or should I say a new expression.  For example when they were celebrating the feast of the passover.  Jesus Christ gave a new meaning to it by saying that the cup is his blood and the bread is his body and whenever they drink from it and eat the bread they remember his death, resurrection and his second coming.  And so when Christianity became popular and became big.  The “center of worship” was the liturgy of the Holy Eucharist or the Holy Communion.  The Central theme of Worship during the first centuries of Christiaity was “remembering Christ”.

And so from that time on as Christianity developed and grew so is the Church became institutionalized.  The Roman Catholic emerged, the Greek Orthodox, the Eastern Churches all of them has the sacramental/ liturgical Style of worship but in a evolved or developed form. Worship for them is not to entertain people like we do it today.  Worship for them is by REMEMBERING CHRIST, his death, his resurrection and his second coming that is central.

But there came a problem, worship became too much ceremonies, too much ritual, the simplicity of worship became non existent. The people became SPECTATORS just watching the priests do their thing.  So it came to a point that it was too boring, too traditional, too formal and too elaborate.  The simple celebration of remembering Christ became so formal that to other people it has lost is original meaning.  We have a saying that TOO MUCH is not good and it was true.  Because in the years that followed the Protestant movement emerged.

THE ELEMENTS OF SACRAMENTAL/ LITURGICAL WORSHIP

  1. The central is the Table of the Lord.  In every liturgical churches you will see a big table at the center of the church.
  2. Special Vestments are worn by priests in celebrating the remembrance. Vestments originated in the Old Testament in which Levites wore special vestments when they are doing their services inside the Jewish Temple.
  3. Prayers are read.  This custom derives from the Jewish Synagogue worship which Jesus and the Apostles was also doing as Jews.  Impromptu prayers are also allowed and it is also practiced in the everyday lives of the Jewish people.
  4. Readings.  The Books of the Jewish people or the Old Testament is being read aloud in the temple or synagogue.  So it is in Liturgical Churches we have the first reading, second reading, psalm readings and the gospel reading.  This is our version of the Jewish Synagogue worship.
  5. Singing of Hymns.  This is the musical expression during the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles.  Chants, prayers that are sung this are some of the music expressions of the Jewish people when they worship God and also when Christianity emerged.  They were called “Sacred Music”.

ON THE NEXT WEBSITE UPDATE…

  • The Biblical Sources and Basis for the Sacramental/ Liturgical Worship
  • The Protestant Worship Expression

COG leader and members celebrates the New Year and Epiphany Sunday

January 02, 2011 – The founding members and Ptr. Regen Luna celebrated the New Year, Epiphany Sunday and January as the month of remembrance for the Apostle St. Jude Thaddeus.

ANG MGA KASALANAN NI HARING HERODES

PANIMULA: Noong nakaraang linggo ang pinagusapan natin ay ang tatlong pantas na lalake. Ano ang ginawa nilang paglalakabay, ano ang mga sinuong nilang panganib marating lamang nila ang Panginoong Jesus at ano ang kanilang mga niregalo sa ating Panginoong Jesus. Ngayon naman ay ating titignan ang isa sa mga tauhan ng unang pasko. Si Haring Herodes. Ano ang mga bagay na ginawa niya at ano ang kaniyang mga pagkakamali at mga pagkakasala noong ipanganak ang ating Panginoong Jesucristo.

ANO ANG MGA NAGING PAGKAKAMALI NI HARING HERODES NOONG IPANGANAK ANG ATING PANGINOONG JESUCRISTO?

  1. SI HARING HEREDOS AY NAGULUHAN.

Mateo 2:3 Nang marinig ito ng haring si Herodes, ay nagulumihanan siya, at pati ng buong Jerusalem.

Sa wikang Griego ang salitang NAGULUMIHANAN ay TARASSO na ang ibig sabihin ay AGITATE o TROUBLED. Naguluhan si Haring Herodes. Magulo ang kaniyang isip.

Dito nagsimula ang pagkakamali ni Haring Herodes. Noong malaman niya na ipinanganak ang ating Panginoong Jesus, naguluhan siya. Kung ano-ano ang pumasok sa isip niya. At dito nagsisismula ang pagpasok sa kaniya ng mga masasamang mga desisyon na maguudyok sa kaniya na gumawa ng masasamang mga bagay.

Tayo ba mga kapatid, kumusta? Magulo din ba ang isip natin ngayon? Nagpapapasok ba tayo ng mga masasamang kaisipan? Hinahayaan ba natin ang Diablo na wasakin ang ating mga kaisipan? Si Herodes noong maguluhan ang kaniyang isip ay nakagawa ng mga bagay na hindi dapat gawin sapagkat napasok na siya ng masasamang akala. Ang pagiisip ng masama ay isa sa mga bagay na ikinagagalit ng Dios ayon sa Kawikaan 6:16-19:

Kawikaan 6:16 – 19 “May anim na bagay na ipinagtatanim ng Panginoon; Oo, pito na mga kasuklamsuklam sa kaniya: Mga palalong mata, sinungaling na dila, at mga kamay na nagbububo ng walang salang dugo; Puso na kumakatha ng mga masamang akala, mga paa na matulin sa pagtakbo sa kasamaan; Sinungaling na saksi na nagsasalita ng kabulaanan, at ang naghahasik ng pagtatalo sa gitna ng magkakapatid…”

Kaya ngayon mga kapatid, kung magulo ang isip natin ngayon, manalangin tayo sa Dios na baguhin niya ang ating magugulong isip upang hindi ito magamit ng Diablo upang tayo ay magkamali at makagawa ng mga pagkakasala. Huwag nating gayahin si Haring Herodes na hinayaan niyang dayain siya ng kaniyang isip. Tandaan natin ang Gera ay palaging naguumpisa sa ating mga isip. Kaya magingat na tayo ngayon kung paano tayo dapat mag-isip.

  1. SI HARING HERODES AY NAGALIT.

Mateo 2:16 “Nang magkagayon, nang mapansin ni Herodes na siya’y pinaglaruan ng mga Pantas na lalake, ay nagalit na mainam…”

GALIT, ito ang isa sa mga makapangyarihang negatibong emotion. Minsan ng dahil sa galit nakakagawa tayo ng mga masasamang desisyon. Minsan nakakagawa tayo ng karahasan o violence sa ating kapwa. At kadalasan hindi lang physical violence kundi pati verbal violence. Isa ito sa mga emotion nating mga tao na mahirap kontrolin kapag nandyan na. Tulad ni Haring Herodes noong malaman niya na hindi bumalik sa kaniya ang mga matatalinong lalake o mga pantas na lalake ay siya ay NAGALIT NA MAINAM. Sa wikang Griego ay THUMOO, LIAN na ang ibig sabihin ay MATINDING GALIT, GREAT ANGER, VERY ANGRY. Matindi ang galit ni Haring Herodes sa mga pantas. At sa sobrang galit niya ganito ang nagawa niya:

Mateo 2:16 “Nang magkagayon, nang mapansin ni Herodes na siya’y pinaglaruan ng mga Pantas na lalake, ay nagalit na mainam, at nagutos, at ipinapatay ang lahat ng mga sanggol na lalake na nangasa Bet-lehem, at sa buong palibotlibot noon, mula sa gulang na dalawang taon hanggang sa pababa, alinsunod sa panahon ng kaniyang maingat na pagkasiyasat sa mga Pantas na lalake…”

Sa sobrang galit ay ipinagutos niyang patayin ang mga bata mula dalawang taon pababa. Ganyan ang nagagawa ng galit. Nakagagawa ng pagpatay!!!

Pinapayuhan tayong lahat ng mga apostol na tayo ay lumayo sa galit.

Colosas 3:8 “Datapuwa’t ngayon ay inyo namang layuan ang lahat ng mga ito: galit, kapootan, paghihinala, panunungayaw, mga salitang kahalay-halay na mula sa inyong bibig…”

Kaya mga kapatid, as much as posible iwasan po nating magalit. At kung tayo ay magagalit, huminga tayo ng malalalim, magpakahinahon, manalangin sa Dios na humupa ang ating galit at tsaka tayo makipagusap sa taong ating kinagagalitan. Iwasan nating magkasala kung tayo man ay nagagalit.

Efeso 4:26-27 Kayo’y mangagalit at huwag kayong mangakasala: huwag lumubog ang araw sa inyong galit, Ni bigyan daan man ang diablo.

PAGWAWAKAS: Sa hapong ito magulo ba ang ating isip? Meron ba tayong itinatagong galit sa ating kapwa? O kaya’y galit sa Dios kung bakit ganito o ganoon ang nangyayari sa ating mga buhay? Mga kapatid huwag nating gayahin si Haring Herodes noong unang pasko. Magulo ang kaniyang isip at siya ay galit kaya ang resulta, kamatayan ng maraming tao. Yan ang resulta ng dalawang kasalanang ito. Nagsimula sa isip at natapos sa pagpatay ng kapwa tao. Tandaan natin mga kapatid ang dalawang pagkakamaling ito ni Haring Herodes huwag na natin itong ulitin sa ating panahon.

Ngayong ikalawang linggo ng ating pagdiriwang bago ang pasko ng kapanganakan ng ating Panginoong Jesus. Ihanda natin ang ating mga sarili sa araw ng pasko. Linisin natin ang ating isip. Huwag nating hayaan ang mga masasamang kaisipan ang pumasok sa ating isip. Huwag nating hayaan ang mga negatibong kaisipan. At huwag nating galitin ang ating mga sarili sa mga maliliit na bagay. Simple lang ang galit nguni’t kapag ito ay sumbog napakalupit. Kaya ngayon mga kapatid tayong lahat ay lumapit sa Dios sa panalangin at hayaan nating tanggalin niya ang ating mga masasamang isip at galit. Tayo’y manalangin…

The Holy Mass: the misunderstood form of Christian worship

MY PERSONAL FAITH JOURNEY TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING

I was born and raised as a Roman Catholic but because of the growing popularity of many Born Again and anti-Catholic churches here in our town I did not understood the HOLY MASS until I read the Bible and Church history carefully.  I would like to share my simple research on the Holy Mass and I hope this will help our Catholic brothers and sisters and also our Protestant and non-protestant brothers and sisters on one of the forms or styles of Christian worship: the Holy Mass.  Back then I understood the mass as boring, not spiritual, not of God and a useless tradition.  But I was wrong.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE WORD ‘MASS’?

The word MASS came from the Latin word MISSA, it means ‘to send forth’ or ‘to dismiss’.  This word was used by our Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant-Catholic and other liturgical churches to call the celebration of the Holy Communion or the Last Supper, the Table of the Lord, the Holy Eucharist, in short the partaking of the Wine and Bread of the Lord.

ARE THE PARTS OF THE HOLY MASS BIBLICAL?

THE PROCESSIONAL – This is the part were the priest or pastors enters the center of the church towards the altar.  The procession is the symbol of God’s march of triumph into his sanctuary and also Christ’s victory.

Psalms 68:24  (GNB) “O God, your march of triumph is seen by all, the procession of God, my king, into his sanctuary…”

2 Corinthians 2:14 (GNB) “But thanks be to God! For in union with Christ we are always led by God as prisoners in Christ’s victory procession. God uses us to make the knowledge about Christ spread everywhere like a sweet fragrance…”

Colosians 2:15 (GNB) “And on that cross Christ freed himself from the power of the spiritual rulers and authorities; he made a public spectacle of them by leading them as captives in his victory procession…”

THE PRAYER OF CONFESSION – The second part of the Mass where the priest/ pastor says a prayer of confession and also the prayer “Lord have mercy” is being said.

James 5:16  “So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect…”

1 John 1:9  “But if we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing…”

LORD HAVE MERCY

Luke 18:13  And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner.

Mathew 9:27  Jesus left that place, and as he walked along, two blind men started following him. “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” they shouted.

THE GLORY – This is a prayer taken from Luke 2:14, John 1:29, and Hebrews 10:12.

THE CELEBRATION OF GOD’S WORD

The First Reading or the Reading from the Old Testament

Nehemiah 9:3  “For about three hours the Law of the LORD their God was read to them, and for the next three hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the LORD their God…”

Acts 13:15  After the reading from the Law of Moses and from the writings of the prophets, the officials of the synagogue sent them a message: “Friends, we want you to speak to the people if you have a message of encouragement for them.”

THE RESPONSORIAL PSALMS

Psalms 118:1  Give thanks to the LORD, because he is good, and his love is eternal.

Psa 118:2  Let the people of Israel say, “His love is eternal.”
Psa 118:3  Let the priests of God say, “His love is eternal.”
Psa 118:4  Let all who worship him say, “His love is eternal.”

(see also Psalms 136:1-26)

The Second Reading or the Reading from the New Testament

Colosians 4:16  “After you read this letter, make sure that it is read also in the church at Laodicea. At the same time, you are to read the letter that the believers in Laodicea will send you…”

1Thessalonians 5:27  I urge you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers.

THE HOMILY / SERMON / PREACHING OF THE WORD

Acts 20:7  And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

THE CONFESSION OR PROFESSION OF FAITH

(Romans 10:9, I Corinthians 8:6, I Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 4:4-13)

OFFERINGS

1Corinthians 16:1-2 (KJV)  “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come…”

THE CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

(I Corinthians 11:23-34)

THE LORD’S PRAYER

(Matthew 6:9-14)

GREETINGS OF PEACE

(John 14:27, 16:33, 20:19, 20:21, John 20:26, Romans 16:16, I Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12)

PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL

1Timothy 2:1  First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people;
1Timothy 2:2  for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct.
1Timothy 2:3  This is good and it pleases God our Savior,

SINGING OF PSALMS, HYMNS AND SACRED SONGS

Colosians 3:16  Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts

Ephesians 5:19  Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts.

APOSTOLIC BLESSINGS & BENEDICTIONS

Romans 16:20, I Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Ephesians 6:23, Philippians 1:2, Colosians 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Philemon 1:3,

SO BEFORE WE JUDGE

When I was attending other religious services aside from the Catholic church I always hear that they judge and ridicule the Holy Mass so my suggestion to other church leaders is to read the Holy Bible again and also Church history so that we will know the Biblical and historical background of the Holy Mass before we judge and teach our judgment on our members.  Before we say that the Holy Mass is a useless tradition let’s look back in the Bible and we will all see that the Holy Mass is very Biblical, it is also very Christ centered and this form of worship came directly to Christ, to the apostles and continued by the early church and also continued by the Catholic, Orthodox, Eastern, Protestant-Catholics, Old Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Liturgical Churches, our denomination the Catholic Diocese of One Spirit and also our church.  May the Lord bless you and keep you and give you peace.