Protestants and evangelicals: liturgy?

Where in the Bible does it teach your Sunday Liturgy?

Catholic dude, before I can answer this, what is a litergy? I am not really sure what you are referring to. At my church, we don’t have a litergy, at least not as far as I know.

Jewish, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian services are liturgical, according to a fixed structure. Many modern Christian groups have services which are non-liturgucal, i.e., try not to follow a fixed structure.

Wikipedia: Liturgy

Catholic Encyclopedia: Liturgy

Liturgy (lit·ur·gy, ˈlidərjē/)
1. a form or formulary according to which public religious worship, especially Christian worship, is conducted.
synonyms: ritual, worship, service, ceremony, rite, observance, celebration, sacrament;

tradition, custom, practice, rubric;
formal ordinance “the Anglican liturgy”
*]a religious service conducted according to a liturgy.
*] the Eucharistic service of the Eastern Orthodox Church (also called the Divine Liturgy).

Even the non-denominational churches I’ve attended have “a liturgy” or set style of worship. Generally 2-3 songs, a message, announcements & offering, and sometimes a brief communion service, then a song for the way out.

Now, when I was an Anglican we had a liturgy more formal / reverent than most. It was actually VERY close to the current Ordinariate mass.

As far as the Biblical structure, everything the church did for the first 300 years was not in the Bible (there was no Bible!), so there needs to be another standard to judge authenticity.

Good luck in your quest.

Even my very Protestant father noticed that. One time his minister was saying how great it was that they (the Protestants) didn’t have stifling rituals like other churches (meaning Catholics), my father said, oh yes we do! We do things the same almost every Sunday! :wink:

PS - they didn’t stay in that church for very long. :smiley:

Am I the only Protestant left on the forum? Also, what is a liturgy? This is supposed to be the easy argument to stomp an evangelical preacher and we haven’t even figured out the question yet. As I said, I don’t think my church has one. We do have a habitual format for sonday gatherings, but I don’t think it would count as a liturgy. There’s a reason for that–a biblical one.

You mean Evangelicals, not Protestants in general. Anglicans and Lutherans are very much liturgical. Even if their Eucharist is not valid, per se, from a Catholic perspective, some high church Anglican liturgies make the average Novus Ordo Mass look like an Evangelical mega-church praise and worship session by comparison.

Saint Paul defined this. When u meet each bring a psalm a hym. A spiritual revelation a tongue. Those who receive a prophetic word can partake in that blessing grace. Even reading scripture as did the first century church read saint Paul writibgs

I agree.

My former Anglican Parish required the communicants to kneel at the altar railing and receive the body and blood.

I think towards the end of my stay there, they were even doing the Gregorian chants in Latin to start the service.

And, of course, there’s a reason the US Ordinariate approved liturgical rite resembles an Anglican one.

You’re picking nits. My parents considered themselves Protestant & it was them & the church they attended at the time I was referring to. I have no idea what the precise denomination was.

All kneel in my parish, save in cases of physical limitations.

In the time of the recently deceased rector, one would get occasionally selected Minor Propers chanted in Latin. My daughter, a Latin magistra at the time, would write corrections on the service bulletin.

Everything in the Lutheran Divine Service --no matter which setting is used-- comes from Scripture. Mostly from the universal canon, but some bits come from the apocrypha as well.

What I particularly like about the Lutheran hymnal (Lutheran Service Book), is that it has the scriptural reference written right into the liturgy. So if anyone wonders, “Why do we say that in worship?” they know where to look in the bible.

Check it out at the link below. The best setting for the Divine Service (Setting III) begins on page 184 (page 46 in the pdf). Note the scripture references, even by the sung/chanted portions.


This is a great answer to “what is a liturgy”


I’m a former Protestant. The church I attended in my childhood had a liturgy. They used hymnals and a firm sense of reverence for the worship service. That same denomination has now become more of a community-non-denomination-non liturgical church.

When I was searching for a church home, prior to finding the Catholic Church :signofcross: I attended many Protestant churches and found the more mainline the church, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and so on, the more liturgical they seemed. There were times I would attend church with my mom or go to church with sister-in-law and neither was inspiring or even reverent.

We don’t have a litergy because the Bible doesn’t specify one. It does however give instruction and examples as to what we are to do. We didn’t make ANY of it up. Also it isn’t idolatry since we aren’t worshipping any idols made with hands. If we were worshipping untransubstantiated bread and wine, that would be idolatry. Jesus said, “God is Spirit and true worshippers worship him in spirit and in truth.” Your theory is that true worship is by exact adherence to a pattern of words and ritual motions that was developed and evolved over time. Your so called catholic litergy excludes some elements that scripture explicitly instructs us to include.

Do I understand correctly then that the liturgy is the work of the church particularly in the liturgy of the word which includes the reading/recital of scripture followed by a homily. And then the liturgy of prayer which God responds to in the miracle of transubstantiation where the church then receives the Eucharist? In that case, I maintain my church doesn’t have a liturgy because the scripture doesn’t command one. Rhetorically for the sake of my debate with catholic dude, the liturgy is what’s made up in the first place. But he seems not to be ready to defend his position. Perhaps he will respond this evening.

We use the altar rail at our Cathedral…and there’s plenty of chant and Latin as well (in Novus Ordo Masses)…but as a general norm, no.

The Church has the power to bind and to loose. That includes the precise form of the liturgy. The most central, core element of the liturgy is given to us in Scripture, and St. Paul communicates it in a very solemn manner as something handed down to him which in turn must be handed down to others:

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread.
And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me.
In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.
For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.
1 Cor. 11:23-26

Of course the Bible doesn’t give detailed instructions. It was never intended to do so…the early Church based its order of worship on Sacred Tradition. St. Justin Martyr describes early Christian worship around the year 150 and it sounds very much like the Catholic Mass. The Bible as we know it exists because the local Churches needed to know which books could be read liturgically.

I understand that as a claim. I started this thread in response to a comment by catholic dude that this question is the ultimate question to stump a Protestant. He then gives a link explaining based on catholic axioms of authority why Catholics have the right liturgies and all others are false. His whole approach is so full of logical fallacies I can only imagine his claim that Protestants are stumped by the question is that there are too many problems with his argument to know where to start.

It is well known the church claims its tradition has the authority to prescribe a liturgy. That’s nice, but the claim alone does not disprove the scriptural basis for Sunday activities. I am not the least stumped by the question and I am not even an expert. If catholic dude wants to maintain the Bible says nothing about how to do Sunday, let him meet me on this forum so I can describe in detail how what we do is exactly as the Bible instructs and how the catholic tradition is very short of compliance.

I say this because while I find a compelling case in the Catholic Church, I have an ax to grind where uninformed people start making superlative claims as though they know something. That is batting for the other team. Now I would like to light catholic dude’s straw man on fire so next time his apologetic in defense of Catholicism will stand at least the weakest of scrutinies.

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