Guidelines for Liturgists


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 Gail Arnall or other contact person regarding who is preaching, the current order of worship, 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.