Christianity has remained divided across many denominations. Individuals broke up from their mainstream churches to form other denominations. The Methodist church was one of the denominations that broke up from the Church of England. The paper will, therefore, look at the history of the Methodist church and how it came to being. That would appear at the official contributor of the Methodist church and the main events that led to the starting of the church. There will also be outlines of the common rituals in the Methodist worship service. The setting of the taking place of the Methodist church will also be discussed. The paper will also discuss the way the music and prayers were conducted in the worship service. The main beliefs will also be discussed along with the leadership in prayer and the gender in leadership. The length of the service will also be discussed along with the overview of Methodists. That will be for the purpose of understanding the worship service of the Methodists.
The Methodist Church traces its roots to the 18th century thanks to a group of individuals who opted to focus on Bible study as well as on how one ought to live a sanctified life. The Methodist church was one of the denominations that broke up from the Church of England. There will also be outlines of the common rituals in the Methodist worship service. The setting of the taking place of the Methodist church will also be discussed. Without a doubt, the church was fundamentally based various experiences. For instance, members were of the perception that they were all sinners in nature. Moreover, the believers of the conviction were only justified by faith as well as the notion that holiness was only brought about through faith. It is from that background that this paper will endeavor at elaboration various aspects of the church for an increased enlightenment. In addition, the paper will deliberate on the way the music and prayers were conducted in the worship service. The main beliefs will also be discussed along with the leadership in prayer and the gender in leadership.History
Methodism is a branch of Protestant Christianity. The church traces its heritage from John Wesley, who was the founder of the church. It was first a movement that was led by John Wesley. The movement focused on the study of the bible, the methodology of scriptures and the emphasis on living righteous and holy lives in order to impress God. It was due to his attempts to convey revival in the Church of England that bore the Methodist church. The church, therefore, traces its origin in the 18th century (Wainwright, Tucker, 58-61).
The Methodist church continued with the beliefs of the Protestant Christianity. Some of the beliefs included the inspiration and the authority of scripture that were entangled in faith through its practice. They believed that the scripture was inspired by God himself. There were also doctrines of Trinity of God (Wainwright, and Tucker, 21-24). The trinity of God implied that God is represented in three persons through he is one. This division acknowledges God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. The divinity of God was included in the beliefs. It was incorporated through the grace that was believed to save humans from the consequences of sin. John Wesley was able to teach Christians about the importance of holiness and living righteous lives. The small meetings that he managed to hold encouraged Christians about the essentials of faith. It could be said that the meetings contributed to the foundation of the faith of the Methodists (Costen 121-125).
The teachings that were the foundation of faith includes that human beings are dead in sin naturally. That implies that they are made to perish in wrath. The other foundation of the faith of the Methodists was on the justification through only faith. Faith, therefore, was seen to produce a life worth living in the Christina life. Finally, Methodism was in a position to spread throughout America in the 18th century. In the 19th century, the spread of Methodism was aided by the itinerant preachers. Evangelism and missionaries also helped in the spread of Methodism throughout the world (Firth, 79-83). The rituals
The proceedings and deeds that are considered rituals in the Methodist church are almost in all the protestant church services. In the Methodist church service, the congregation practices praying, they also sing hymns along with communal readings. Blessings and benedictions were practiced in the church service (Tucker, 125-129). The congregation usually gathers together in the name of the Lord. It was followed by music with which may be formal or informal. The proclamation of the word was done from one chapter in the Old Testament and another one in the New Testament. A lot of tradition was rooted in the hymns that must be read. Individuals usually respond with prayers. Offerings were made along with the proclamations of being committed to serving each other. People proclaim that they will serve the world in the name of God. There is usually a baptism that is the ritual that may not be practiced in each of the services of the week. Baptism is said to be the washing away of sin according to the Methodist. It is said to mark the forgiveness of God from one's sins and the justification of the Grace of God. Apart from the baptism of adults, there is usually the baptism of infants. Infants are taken to be baptized by the parents in the church. That implies that they grow up without any form of sin. Another ritual practiced is the sharing in the Holy Communion. Individuals in the church share in the holy communions as a commemoration of what Jesus Christ did from the sake of humankind (Costen, 85-88). The setting of its taking place
The Methodist worship service takes place in a worship setting like any other Protestant church. The congregation is supposed to both witness their faith and their service to God Almighty. They also share in the context of prayer with a lot of joy in order to communicate to God their concerns about life. Joy is also shared in the context of prayer. Pastors are responsible for creating the order of the worship (Bone & Scifres, 162-167). Services were led by laity who is usually from the congregation. It could be termed as a unique setting for the purpose of worship in the Methodist worship service. It should be noted that those who attend the service are encouraged to worship in whatever way that they are led by the Holy Ghost. It may, therefore, imply standing, clapping, or even sitting so long as one is content in the way they worship their God (Costen, 53-56). Seating arrangements
Just like the worship services of other churches, the clergy seats at the front facing the congregation. That was meant to show leadership. The other set up of the sitting arrangements is in the way the congregation arranges themselves. The elected leaders of the church usually take the front sits. The other members of the church usually follow the elected officials of the church (Bone & Scifres, 108-112). Prayers
The Methodist worship service includes a session of prayers. The congregation prays with ministers along with the sharing of their concerns. In the prayer sessions, there are also times of responses that are celebrations of baptism or a time to profess one's faith before God. In general, therefore, prayers include joys and concerns, confessing in prayers, absolution and interceding in prayers (Bone & Scifres, 138-143). The congregation was led through the Lord's Prayer. There are also bidding prayers and the prayer of the congregation that finalizes the prayers (King& Hunt, 11). Music
The praise team leads the music in the Methodist worship. There are also a choir that aids in the conveying of music to the congregation. This kind of music is intended to encourage everyone to participate in the worship service. The congregation may clip as a response to accompany the music. Music is open to everyone to respond as a sign of sharing in the joy of the Lord. Music was seen as a sign of worship to the mighty God. Hymns were usually sung. That could be done by special soloists that accompany pieces of piano (Bone & Scifres, 120-124). Leadership in prayer
The priests lead the prayers. Priests are said to be an intermediary between the congregation and God. They, therefore, lead the congregation in prayer. Prayers included those of confession, intercession and repentance. Those who minister in prayer, therefore, are seen as tools for bringing individuals closer to God with a lot of humilities (Rolph, Rolph, and John, 89-92). The communion service
The communion service is usually the celebration of the work of Christ for the followers. Jesus is believed to have initiated the Holy Communion. It was during the last supper with the disciples when Jesus was on earth. There are usually three stages in the communion service. The congregation was usually reminded that Jesus died for the sake of their sins (Bone & Scifres, 115-118). Bread is usually broken and eaten along with wine. Bread represents the body of Christ while the wine is said to represent the blood of Christ. It is the first stage of the communion service. The congregation proclaims that Christ died in the first stage of the communion service. The second stage involves the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. The congregation proclaims that Christ has risen. The final stage of the communion service is the celebration of the reign of God. Jesus is said to come again. The Congregation, therefore, believe in the second coming of Jesus. The communion service, therefore, is an invitation of the members of the congregation to repent honestly. Through repenting, it is said to be a proclamation of living in peace with everyone. Unlike other services from other denominations, the leaders of the Methodist church do not prohibit anyone from taking part in the communion service. Everyone is usually welcome to partake of the Holy Communion regardless of the denomination (King & Hunt, 109-113). Nature of worship
The typical worship of the Methodists include the singing, proclamation of the word, prayers, the holy communions and finally offering of sacrifices in the form of giving. There was an order in which the service must follow. There is usually the gathering of the congregation (Costen, 45-48). This was commenced with a prelude. Musical sound of the hour follows along with a procession. Lighting of candles was done in the service. Individuals are welcomed to introits that start the call for worship. An opening prayer was done by a priest in charge of the service. There is also the passing of peace that introduces the hymns of praise. There was also a responsive reading, and finally announcements are made (White, 210-214). Gender of leadership
Both women and men are supposed to lead the service. Women are usually ordained to serve in the church. That is from the 1956. Therefore, women have the full rights to be members of the clergy. That could be traced from the understanding of the principles of the bible. The biblical context, therefore, does not discriminate against women. In some denominations, women are not allowed to lead the services of the church (Crain, 77-82). Length of service
The Methodist worship service takes three hours. The three hours involves all the activities that must take place in the worship setting. Within this time, there must be prayers, the proclamation of the Word of God, the sharing of the Holy Communion and the singing of hymns along with other forms of music. The clergy ensures that all the activities intended to take place were incorporated in the worship setting within the mandatory time (Rolph, Rolph, and John, 10-14). Overview of Methodists
The Methodist church has various approaches to their worship in public. There is usually a formal worship that was found in the liturgies of the church. There are also diverse practices among the congregation all over the world. It should be noted that there is usually the general organization of the church. There is decentralization of governance in the church. The general conference is responsible for making decisions in the church. They govern the council of bishops (Rolph, Rolph, and John Cole, 6-9). Main beliefs
There are basic beliefs of the Methodist church which form the foundation of their faith. There is a belief on the holy trinity of God. These imply that God is one, but He was represented in three persons. The three persons are God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. The congregation also believes in the scripture. The scripture was derived from the readings of both the old and the New Testament. The scripture is said to be the inspiration of the word of God. They, therefore, believe that God commands them to do as per the scripture. There are also beliefs on sin. They believe that all the human kind is sinners. Even though the human beings were intended to represent the image of God, it was distorted due to the nature of sin. Sin is what separated people from God. It also corrupted the nature of humans (Rolph, Rolph, and John, 12-16). There was also a belief on salvation through the son of God, Jesus Christ. God redeemed us from sin through Jesus Christ. Salvation was a reality thanks to the death of Jesus Christ. The congregation of the Methodist church also has beliefs on the sanctification. Sanctification is said to draw the people close to being perfect. Individuals are consecrated to serve the lord. There are also beliefs on sacraments. The church recognizes two sacraments that include the holy baptism and the Holy Communion (Stewart, 2-6). Due to the divine grace of God, the people believe that there is free will. Individuals can make their choices. This results to personal accountability to God. The church equally believed in the power of social justice. The church, therefore, opposes slavery, brutal prison conditions, the death sentence, and economic unfairness along with any form of inequality. The final belief is on the unmerited favor that God grants us. God grants the church the grace so that they can come back to Him even if they do not follow His commands (Stewart, 4-7).
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