Family Worship 'Liturgy'

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by zsmcd, Nov 22, 2017.

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  1. zsmcd

    zsmcd Puritan Board Freshman

    I am sure there have been dozens of threads on this topic, but it is always good to get an update and an answer from new members of the board.

    What does your family worship look like?

    Often this is how our time goes:
    Prayer to bless our worship and prayer of intercession
    Responsive reading of a Psalm
    Sing a hymn or psalm
    Scripture reading
    Shorter Catechism OR of a historic creed/confession
    Lords Prayer
  2. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Scripture Reading
    Singing of a Psalm

    In regard to details:
    • We read about a chapter of Scripture at a time, and read continuously through the Bible.
    • Our catechism time consists of three portions. First, we catechize my oldest daughter (she'll be four in January) using the Shorter Catechism, then we catechize my son (he's two) in the Children's' Catechism. Then, we review the catechism question my wife and I are memorizing (we're almost through the Shorter Catechism, and will [Lord willing] move on to the Larger Catechism afterward).
    • We sing continuously through the Psalter, using the sections found in the Comprehensive Psalter.
  3. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    Our family worship time looks like this:

    Scripture Reading
    Exposition of Scripture
    / Questions asked / Questions fielded

    Our habit is to go through books. As a family, we have gone through many books of the Bible together, which has been incredible. We are currently going through Ephesians. With narrative portions we tend to go a chapter a time (we recently finished Genesis and Esther in that way). Doing a chapter at a time gets you through the Bible very quickly. You can finish Genesis within 2 months as a family. Epistles like Ephesians we do a few verses at a time.

    We spend anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on how many questions the children might have. They are aged: 13, 11, 9, and 7. So they are pretty interactive at this stage and pay pretty good attention.
  4. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    We do ours around the dinner table, so opening prayer comes before we eat and I often begin the other parts while some are still finishing their plates. It's usually simple: Bible reading, some brief discussion, a song, and sometimes a closing prayer.

    At times, we've worked through a catechism instead of Bible reading, but reading through a book of the Bible is more typical for us. We also have more extensive prayer at breakfast, and when the kids were younger we had bedtime prayer too. So we don't necessarily do everything at one time nor always do the same "liturgy." There's freedom to mix things up (and plenty of times we've messed up in various ways). I try to keep it all relaxed.
  5. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Psalm (maybe one we are singing that week in worship)
    Scripture Reading
    (usually one chapter, continuously through a book of my choosing)
    Some Exposition
    Psalm (maybe one we are memorizing together)
    Prayer (with supplications)
  6. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    In the early years, we had a set time, and set outline. But that became a bit rote after some years. So, I decided to create workbooks for my wife to give teaching a studied but fun flavor. (This is orginally where the Reformed Apprentice began.)

    Then, as theology progressed, we went through explaining the catechism, and after that, graduated to higher forms of theological teaching. We read and worked through volumes of books. Yes, the puritans. I basically took an important passage of Scripture, or something relevant in our life, found a book in the Reformed corpus, and worked through it with her until we finished the topic.

    I've found that we tend to discuss theology better than running through a set 10 minute devotional time at night. This caters to her makeup, and constitution.

    We tend to discuss theology on varied levels. Sometimes we may simply pray, and exposit a verse for 15 or 20 minutes. Other times, we will pray, and study on a topic for an hour or two. But I like the variation, and she has enjoyed that as well.

    My purpose in this was to take family worship and make it a family lifestyle of study.

    I wanted my wife to get to the point that she could study, read, and comprehend everything I would give her to read, no matter its level. Short of Turretin (and biblical languages), she has gained the ability to read and study just about any topic, including difficult subjects. that also include my dissertations.

    That doesnt mean questions are not difficult, or need going over again. Or that we remember everything we study. It does mean that worship has become more than a mere form, and has turned into strategy. For example, we studied through a new Christopher Love work, which in turn is causing us to create a strategy against specific sins, in our spiritual warfare.

    Now, not everyone "can" do what we've done over 25 years. Most families have not had biblical and theological training which in some ways is a great benefit to family study in this way. But it is up to us to make the most of our family worship time. And for us, our family worship and private devotions compliment each other in our theological reading and study together.
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