Service of worship
In the Protestant denominations of Christianity, a service of worship is a meeting whose primary purpose is the worship of God. The phrase is normally shortened to service. It is also commonly called a worship service. The term is also commonly used in Jewish synagogues.
In most but not all Protestant traditions, services are presided over by clergy wherever possible. However provision is in many cases made for them to be conducted by laymen if clergy are not available.
Services typically include:
- Regular Sunday services. These are a part of most traditions. Holy Communion may be celebrated at some or all of these; Often it is included either once a month or once a quarter. A few denominations have their main weekly services on Saturday rather than Sunday. Larger churches often tend to have several services each Sunday; often two or three in the morning and one or two in the late afternoon or evening.
- Midweek services. Again, Holy Communion can be part of these, either on every occasion or on a regular basis.
- Holiday services. Treated like a regular Sunday service, but made more specific for the day.
- Marriages. These are normally separate services, rather than being incorporated into a regular service, but may be either.
- Funerals. These are always separate services.
- Baptisms. These may be incorporated into a regular service, or separate.
- Confirmation. This is normally incorporated into a regular Sunday service, which will also include communion. It was traditionally the first Communion of the confirmee, but more recently children whether confirmed or not are invited to communion in some denominations.
- Ordination of clergy.
- Closure of ministry of a clergyman.
- Opening of new churches or church buildings.
- Dedication of new missionaries or those about to be sent on new missions.
Other acts of worship can be sometimes incorporated into services, and sometimes not. Sometimes the line is hard to draw. These include:
- Blessings for the openings of school and university terms and many other events.
- Prayers for healing of particular persons, whether present or not, and for other specific issues.
Services in Jewish synagogues vary depending on the traditions of the synagogue.
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