8TH DAY COMMUNITY
GUIDELINES FOR WORSHIP LEADERS
Thank you for accepting the role of Worship Leader for the 8th Day Worship. These Guidelines are to help you prepare as the leader for the Sunday worship. Inward preparation and familiarity with the order of worship help the service flow smoothly. For latest version of order of worship click here.
1. Preparing the Week Before the Service
a. Check with the worship team's contact person regarding who is preaching and whether there are any special events occurring during the worship service.
b. If the preacher comes from outside of 8D, find out some background information for your introduction to him/her on Sunday. Before the service begins, talk with the preacher, and ask if s/he is planning on staying for the entire service as s/he is usually the first to receive communion from the liturgist. Explain how we do the communion if necessary.
2. Sunday Morning, Before the Service
a. Arrive for worship by 10 a.m. to check with your contact person about any last minute changes, to get the names and numbers of hymns and of other persons participating in the service.
b. If there is an outside preacher, make sure that s/he understands how we do communion and that s/he is expected to receive communion first, then offer it to you, then stay to offer it to next person in line.
c. Join the coordinating group and other worship participants in prayer.
3. Setting the Tone During the Service: As the worship leader, you are in charge of the service. You set the pace and tone, introduce the other participants, the different parts of the service, any changes in the order of worship, and remind people when to sit and stand. Let the liturgy speak for itself. You don?t need to make your own additions unless something is being added or a different liturgy is being used. A few reminders follow.
a. Vary the way you introduce the different parts of the service. Avoid repeating, ?Now is the time to . . .? for each new section. Avoid using the phrases, ? __________ will bring ______ or _____ will be brought by ________ .? We are not introducing performers or naming sponsors.
b. When there are changes, introduce these at the appropriate time in the service. There is no need to apologize profusely for these changes as we sometimes must be flexible.
c. Timing is an important part of the role of liturgist. Speak slowly. Leave spaces of silence to help slow down and center the worship for the congregation, especially at transitional points in the service. After songs or the passing of the peace, allow time for people to pick up liturgies and find their place.
d. Preparing for the unexpected -- Occasionally, the unexpected will happen. A worshiper may become tearful, angry, seem to need to share, or need a group to gather around him/her for prayer.
Or, you as the worship leader may feel confused, distracted, or not know exactly what to do. Try to meet the unexpected need of others in as sensitive a way as possible. It's okay to spontaneously ask the community to gather for special prayer and change the order of the service. If you feel you need help, ask for it! At one past service, the worship leader said, ?Friends, I don't know exactly how to proceed . . .? and then suggested a change in the service which the congregation supported. Again, it?s okay to ask for help or for suggestions.
GENERAL ORDER OF WORSHIP
NOTE: For each section of the worship that follows, the instructions to the worship leader are given at the beginning of each section.
WELCOME AND GREETING Liturgist Announces People Seated
At 10:30 a.m. say, ?Welcome to the worship of the 8th Day Faith Community. NAMES helped with worship set up. NAME greeted you at the door. NAME(S) are leading the music today. I am NAME and will be your worship leader today." Proceed with welcoming visitors (people who have attended 3 or fewer times) and old friends.
CALL TO WORSHIP Liturgist People Stand
Ask the congregation to stand and join you in repeating a short section of the week?s Psalm.
(We are not currently using an INVOCATION)
SILENT PRAYER & REFLECTION Liturgist Announces People Seated
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING & PRAISE Liturgist Announces People Seated
SUNG RESPONSE Liturgist/Musician Leads People Seated
Let the people praise . . .
OPENING HYMN Liturgist Announces People Stands
Announce page numbers of the hymn or song in book or folder.
LAMENTATION & CONFESSION Liturgist Leads People Seated
Lead the congregation in reading the Lamentation and Confession.
Allow 2-3 minutes of silence for individual confession. Time it at home, to see how 2-3 minutes feels. During the service, the silence will seem longer to you than it really is. New liturgists always cut it too short!
COMFORT & ABSOLUTION Liturgist Reads People Seated
The Absolution is read by the liturgist.
SING TOGETHER. God is forgiveness . . . Liturgist or Musician starts. People Seated
PASSING OF THE PEACE Liturgist Leads People Stand
Liturgist says: ?May the peace of Christ be with you.? Congregation responds: ?And also with you.? Liturgist: ?Let us pass this peace to one another.? You are welcome to vary or adapt these words in your own unique style.
HYMN Liturgist Announces People Stand
READING OF THE SCRIPTURES Liturgist Announces People Seated
The scriptures are read in English and sometimes in other languages. Announce persons who will be doing both. Avoid saying, " ...?will be brought by?" - sounds like a commercial!
SING IN RESPONSE Alleluia . . . Liturgist or Musician starts. People Seated
THE TEACHING Liturgist Announces People Seated
Introduce preacher by name and affiliation (part of 8th Day, other church community). If preacher is from outside 8th Day, give a longer introduction. After the sermon, leave a few minutes of silence for reflection.
GATHERING OF GIFTS Liturgist Announces People Seated
Announce the name of the person who will be taking the offering and then continue standing. If Michael or another member of L?Arche is taking the offering, you must guide/direct him or her. After the musician(s) have finished with their song or music, proceed to:
SING IN RESPONSE For the Giver . . . Liturgist or Musician People Seated
COMMUNITY PRAYERS Liturgist Leads People Seated
Tell the congregation which version of the Lord?s Prayer (on the insert) will be used at the end.
Invite congregation to center in silence, and then offer their prayers of thanksgiving and intercession, aloud or silently. After some silence, you can choose to begin the prayers or wait for someone in the congregation to begin. Allow plenty of time for prayers, with silence in between. When it seems to you that the congregation has finished with spoken prayers, close with one of the versions of the Lord?'s Prayer.
COMMUNION Liturgist Leads People Share
From the podium, introduce communion by welcoming all to participate in the celebration.
Announce that members of the congregation can either drink directly from the cup by coming to the two lines at the rear of the table, or dip the bread in the cup by coming to the two lines at the front of the table.
Make sure that the preacher or another designee has been invited to break the bread and pour the juice.
Read each of the responsive lines of the litany. Don?t get ahead of the bread braker/juice pourer. S/he needs time to do these actions.
Serve communion to the preacher and vice versa.
When everyone has been served, gather the left over bread from the four plates onto the large plate and cover the bread with the napkin. Allow a moment of silence.
Then, move to the communion closing.
COMMUNION CLOSING Liturgist & People Pray People Seated
2nd WELCOME OF VISITORS Liturgist Announces People Seated
Do this only if visitors have come in after the initial welcoming.
ANNOUNCEMENTS Liturgist Invites Congregation
At the end, briefly, remind the congregation to help restore the Potter's House to whatever order is appropriate and to bring liturgies, hymnals and folders to the back counter.
HYMN OF CELEBRATION Liturgist Announces People Stand
BENEDICTION SPOKEN OR SUNG Liturgist/Musician(s) Lead(s) People Stand
Sing Go Now in Peace. In unison, say the last line of the liturgy.