When we worship, we go on a journey. Worship is ascent: we are lifted up to God’s throne room to join the saints and angels, and “all the company of heaven” in the eternal worship of God, which they never cease to give. In worship, God’s royal priesthood on earth ascends to God’s holy temple and city, drawing ever closer to His glorious presence (Hebrews 12:22-24). The pattern for our worship on earth is the worship of God in heaven. We observe this worship through the medium of symbolism in the book of Revelation (chapters 4 and 5). We adopt many of those symbols in our ceremony since we desire that God’s will “be done on earth as it is in heaven” (the Lord’s Prayer).
Our worship follows the ancient pattern of worship that the early Christians used and that was employed by our Lord Himself when He ministered His Word and Presence to His disciples after the resurrection (Luke 24:25-31). The pattern is one whereby God ministers His grace to us in Word and Sacrament. We hear His Word to us (from the Old Testament, from an Epistle written by one of Christ’s Apostles, and in the Gospel of Christ).
The heartbeat of our parish is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist each Lord’s Day. Here we receive God’s grace to love God with all our mind, heart, soul and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.