Vineyard Liturgy

Vineyard Liturgy is the online liturgical resource for the Vineyard Community Church on Big Pine Key.

Liturgy is the work of the people. It is not just sitting as a bystander and listening to the pastor or leader. Through the liturgy, we come together as the church and all participate in this offering of worship to the Lord.

The basis of this structure of worship can be traced back to Justin Martyr in his First Apology written in 155 A.D.

And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given. (Justin. The First Apology of Justin. Chapter LXVII)

Justin provides a description of worship in the early church. By 155 AD the early church is already meeting on Sundays as their primary day of worship. When they gather, the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read to the congregation. After the readings, a sermon is preached which is followed by a time of prayer. The bread, wine, and water are brought to the pastor or leader who takes them and offers prayers and thanksgivings for them. They are then distributed to those who are present and together they participate in the Holy Communion.

In our liturgies we use the three major creeds of the Christian faith; The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Athanasian Creed. The word “catholic” (which actually means “universal”) has been changed to “universal” in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, and to “Christian” in the Athanasian Creed. When the meaning of a word has changed or narrowed over time (in this case, “catholic” now means “The Roman Catholic Church” to most people), it is difficult to use it in its old or broader sense without having to constantly explain it. If you are more comfortable using the word “catholic” in your reciting of the Creeds, please feel free to do so.

A Collect is a short prayer, often one that is assigned to a specific day or season in the Christian Year. The Collect of the Day is that which corresponds to the given week in the Christian Year. The Collect for a given week in the Calendar is used every day during that week, beginning either on Sunday morning, or the evening before that Sunday.

The Christian Year is an incredible way of helping us to define our lives in accordance with His story by structuring the year around the central redemptive acts of God in the Messiah. In effect, the Christian Year is more than a series of commemorative holidays, but a way of actually ordering our day to day, week to week spiritual lives around the story of redemption. It helps to give our lives context in relationship to where we are in His story as we journey through the events of the life of Jesus each year.

Additional Notes

Throughout this site we have used the following formats to help with ease of use.
Purple designates a rubric (a liturgical term for the instructions to lead a service).
Green designates a reading that is to be said by all those gathered for the service.
Black designates a reading that is to be said by the pastor or leader of the service.
Blue designates a hyperlink that may be used to take you to another part of the website.