In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Likely those are familiar words to you. If you are new to Beautiful Savior they will become very familiar to you. At Beautiful Savior we worship in a liturgical style. This is simply a special name for the structure and the order that our worship services usually follow. The particular liturgical style our congregation follows is known as The Western Rite. Still, that in itself is a broad category and there are many different versions of The Western Rite you might find. There is much history behind the use of this style. Many churches and groups of Christians throughout history have used this style, order, and structure to worship God.
Since we follow this structure and order, nearly every worship service at Beautiful Savior will begin in some fashion by calling on the name of the Triune God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The simplest form was written above. Sometimes we will reflect on the work of each particular person of that three-in-one God like this:
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.
This utterance to mark the start of our worship is not only for that purpose. It is not just the signal to quiet down and pay attention. It isn’t only the starting line as we race to the finish through 60 minutes of worship. It is a reminder of why we have gathered in this place. It is a reminder of how we can do so without fear. It is a reminder of whom we have come to worship. It is a reminder of whose blessing we desire to receive while we worship.
These simple phrases to begin worship connect our worship with millennia of believers, worshipers, and forgiven sinners just like us. Adam and Eve stood in the presence of this Three-in-one God, both when they held perfect harmony with him immediately after creation and also when they desperately needed his forgiveness and the promise of a Savior. It was this three-in-one God who made his presence known at the baptism of Christ when that Savior began his ministry on earth publicly before 1st century Israel and the world. So today it is this Three-in-one God who graces our worship with his presence and his blessing through his living and enduring Word.
As you worship let those words remind you that you have gathered before your almighty, perfect, holy, just, and compassionate God. Let them remind you that it is by his grace displayed in Jesus Christ that you have been forgiven and have the privilege to worship him and study his Word. Let them remind you that he has sent his Holy Spirit into your heart to encourage you, uplift you, strengthen you, and comfort you. Listen for the echoes of those beginning words throughout our worship – when your forgiveness is announced, when a baptism occurs, when you confess your faith, when you sing praise, when you are dismissed with God’s blessings.
Then, don’t let the reminders fade away. Let them permeate your life. Allow your Three-in-one God to be present with you every second of every day. As we begin a New Year, may you begin it…
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Beautiful Savior’s Newsletter articles in 2015 will reflect on different aspects and segments of our liturgical worship. It is Pastor Boushek’s prayer that these articles will add depth of understanding and joy to your own worship.