Worship Service of The Prayer Foundation Knights of Prayer Monks :

The Liturgy of Monk Preston

"In ainm an Athar, agus a Mhic, agus an Spioraid Naomh."  ("In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." -in Gaelic).


Image: The Prayer Foundation logo (with white Celtic cross on a green shield).

Interdenominational, Evangelical

Historical, Liturgical



Photo: of a lit candle.

   About this Service:


Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."Photo: Chapel of St. Kevin of Glendalough, County Wicklow, Ireland.  (From Wikipedia, used under its terms of use). Chapel dedicated to Kevin of Glendalough, Ireland, used for worship 1100's -1800's.

"The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God."  -C. S. Lewis, "Letters to Malcolm"

 In the freedom that we have in Christ, Christians worship in many different ways.  Worship is our due response to God, not entertainment for us.  God is the audience, not the congregation.  Whatever outward form of worship we may observe, what is truly important is rather what God sees, our actual heart attitude in our worship of God.

"God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."        -John 4:24

"The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  -I Samuel 16:7

 We observe this as an Interdenominational Christian Worship Service.   It is based solidly on God's Word as used in both ancient historic Christian practice and throughout Christian history.  It is both historically Liturgical and solidly Evangelical.  

Put through the lens and to the test of the guiding principles of the Protestant Reformation's return to the New Testament and the Ultimate and Final Authority of Holy Scripture (Sola Scriptura) in all matters of faith and practice.  We currently observe this Worship Service as a time of worship (with Communion Observance) at least once each week.  We observe parts of it daily (see also: Daily Prayer: Praying the Hours).  It is designed truly for the worship of God, and is best so practiced when committed to memory.

We believe that every Christian should memorize The Lord's Prayer, John 3:16, and The Nicene Creed.  Our Lay Monks should in addition memorize The 23rd Psalm and Psalm 117 for observance of the three daily times of prayer of the Apostles in the New Testament and of the early Church.  Our Monks here have memorized this entire Worship Service, hundreds of  individual scriptures, and as many Psalms as they are able to, continually adding to them over time.

"If you memorize and observe this Worship Service, or indeed, any Worship Service, after a while, it will flow without your having to even think about what comes next.  It has become just one long prayer.  As C. S. Lewis points out in the quote at the top of this page, you no longer are concerned about the outward form of the Service itself, but just your worship of and adoration of God."  -Monk Preston

Usages included are so ancient, and observed so widely, both historically and currently, that much of this Service will be familiar to Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Anglicans/Episcopalians, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and those of many other Communions.  Most would also be familiar to ancient Celtic Monastic worshippers.

Since posting this Worship Service, several of our Lay Monks have told us they now use it as a part of their personal prayer and worship.  Our intention was simply to share more of our daily lives with those who have expressed interest in this.  We do not require its use for anyone.  It is certainly suitable for personal worship or as a daily or weekly Family Chapel service for those desiring to use it so, and may be easily modified by personal additions or deletions.

"And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."  -Acts 2:42


  • Officiant (designated Worship Leader).
  • Response by Congregation.        
  • All together.                  
  • Rubrics (directions for the conduct of the Service).
  • website bullets and arrows The symbol for making the Sign of the Cross (optional).            
  • A bell is rung once, each time this symbol appears.  A single large bell is rung, except during the Sanctus ("Holy Holy, Holy"), when a set of three connected smaller bells is rung three times.

Any Christian can be designated to Officiate as Worship Leader ("priesthood of all believers").  Worship Service should be memorized and prayedService can be shortened or lengthened as needed.  The Psalms and Scripture Readings for a given day or specifically for the particular Hour of Prayer (Evening, Morning, or Noon) when the Service is being held can be found at: Daily Prayer: Praying the Hours.

Preparation for Worship Service

"Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice."  -Psalm 141:2

In Our Monastery Chapel, candles and incense are lit in preparation for the Worship Service.  As in historic Monastic practice, a Bell is rung three times to call the Monks to prayer---to announce the beginning of the Service.

Historically, in the Church, the use of incense has been understood as symbolizing both the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit, and the prayers of the saints (Christian believers) rising before the throne of God.

A congregation or Christian group desiring a more ancient form of Worship Service may add this Liturgy as an additional Service to their regular Services (Or: The Shorter Liturgy).  The places suggested for standing and remaining seated may be adjusted to conform to the normative practice of the congregation.  The early Church stood for the entire Service except during the preaching (Homily, Sermon, or Christian Teaching).  Kneeling for prayer, commonly practiced during the week (The Threefold Daily Prayers), was not introduced into Services held on The Lord's Day until the Middle Ages, and then only in the Western Church.  Pews were not introduced until the 1400's, again, only in the Western Church.  Previous to this, a bench ran around the walls to provide seating only for the elderly and the infirm.  Generally: historic Western practice since the Middle Ages has been to "kneel (or stand) for prayer, stand for praise, and sit for instruction".

"For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts."  -Malachi 1:11

-----------------------  Introductory Rite  -----------------------

                                             Call to Worship

(A bell is rung three times to announce the beginning of the Service.  All stand who are ableElderly and infirm may remain seated.

(If an entrance procession takes place, it does so at this point in the Service.  Everyone and everything is censed at the commencement of the Worship Service, to illustrate that everyone and everything is sanctified, or set aside for God, as an offering to God for His service.)  

                                            The Greeting:                                                  Gloria Patri (Glory to the Father: Eastern Version)

(Sung or said:) website bullets and arrows Glory to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.

                                          The Lord's Prayer

(Sung or said:) Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.

(Congregation may be seated.)

-----------------  The Liturgy of the Word  -----------------

                                           Salvation Verses

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God: that ye may know that ye have eternal life.

                                    Reading from the Psalms

(If there is a reading from the Book of Psalms, it is read at this time (the Psalm may also be read in alternating verses by Officiant with responses by the Congregation, or in alternating verses between men and women):                                                                                                  Reading from The Book of Psalms, Psalm...                                (Reading) The Word of the Lord.                                                      Thanks be to God.

(All stand who are able.)

                            Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

(Three Psalms, Hymns, and/or Spiritual Songs are sung.  Number may be added to or diminished on particular days.  Or memorized Psalms can be recited or chanted.  We generally sing them all together, but they also may be sung separately at various times throughout the Liturgy, as is the custom in many congregations.  A Celtic Prayer or Hymn may be said from memory, or sung, or read; such as St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer (Lorica), Aidan's Prayer, Manchan's Poem, Columcille's Poem, Columcille's Boat Song; or a Franciscan Prayer or Song, such as Lord Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace or The Canticle of Brother Sun.)

(Congregation may be seated.)

                               Reading from the Old Testament

(If there is a reading from the Old Testament, it is read at this time:   

Reading from The Book of...,                                                        (Reading) The Word of the Lord.                                                      Thanks be to God.

                                     The Summary of the Law

And Jesus answered, "The first of all the commandments is...             The Lord our God is one Lord.  And Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.  There is none other commandment greater than these."

The Greater Doxology (The Gloria)

(All stand who are able.  All sing, to the music of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel".  Replaced by "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" during AdventReplaced by The Ten Commandments* during Lent.)

Glory be to our God in the highest;                                                         and on the earth, peace and good will toward all.                                    We bless you, worship you and adore you,                                               we give thanks, we praise you for your glory:                                      Lord God, our King, the Father Almighty;                                            Lord Christ, only Son of God the Father.                                              Lord God, the Lamb of God, who takes away                                         the sin of the world, have mercy on us.                                                   You sit at the right hand of the Father;                                             receive our prayer, for You alone are Lord.                                              O Light of Light, You alone are Most High,                                           You alone are the Holy One of God,                                                          website bullets and arrows Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,                                                 in all the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

(Congregation may be seated.)

Reading from The Acts, or The Epistles

(If there is a reading from The Acts, or The Epistles, it is read at this time:

Reading from The Acts of..., or The Epistle of..., Chapter...       (Reading) The Word of the Lord.                                                      Thanks be to God.

                        Verbum Tuum Veritas (Thy Word is Truth)

"Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me,

I delight to do Thy will, O my God."

"Sanctify them through Thy truth:

Thy word is truth."

The entrance of Thy words give light.

Thou will light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

                                      Reading from the Gospel

(All stand who are able.)                                                                             (If there is a reading from the Gospel it is read at this timeThere is always a Gospel reading on The Lord's Day.  If none is specified for a particular Sunday in Daily Prayer: Praying the Hours, any Chapter or portion of the Gospels may be selected to be read.  If there is to be a procession with the Gospel, either as in Eastern Orthodox practice (around the Nave) or in Anglican practice (where it is carried to the center of the Nave and read; then returned), it takes place at this point in the Service.                                                                                           Reading from The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to....                                                                                                 (Reading) The Gospel of the Lord.                                                                       Thanks be to God.

(The Congregation may be seated.)

                                   Teaching from Holy Scripture

(If there is to be teaching from Scripture, it takes place at this point in the Service.  There is always teaching from the Bible on The Lord's Day.)                                                                                               (Teaching from Scripture.)                                                                       The Lord be with you.                                                                              And also with you.

(On Easter: He is Risen!  Response: He is Risen Indeed!)

                                  Opportunity to Receive Christ

(If any who are not Christians are present, an opportunity for them to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior is made at this point in the Service.)

Each Officiant may prefer his own individual words in doing this.  A sample form may be seen on our webpage: Receiving Christ: A Liturgical Form of The Plan of Salvation and Sinner's Prayer.

                                        The Unity of the Spirit

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

                                        The Profession of Faith

(All stand who are able.)                                                                             (If there is to be no Communion, The Nicene Creed may be omitted, if it has been recited in an earlier Service that same day, or The Apostles' Creed may be recited in its place.)                       

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things seen and unseen.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made.                                                                 

Who, for us all for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures; and ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.                          

And I believe in one holy universal and apostolic Church.  I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

                                        Prayer of the Faithful

(All kneel - or remain standing - who are able.)                                         Let us pray:                                                                                               For all people; for rulers, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who will have all to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

O Lord of the harvest, send forth laborers into Thy harvest.             

Let us now offer our individual prayer to the Lord.                                   Lord, hear our prayer.                                                                            (Larger groups may pray in individual silent prayer, smaller groups may choose to individually pray aloud, one at a time.)

                                              The 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 117

(All stand - or remain standing - who are able:)                                         O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.  For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.  Praise ye the Lord.

Psalm 134

(All sing:)                                                                                                                         Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night, stand in the house of the Lord.  Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.  The Lord that made heaven and earth, bless thee out of Zion.  Behold, bless ye the Lord.

(If Communion is not to be observed, the Service continues with the Concluding Rite.)

---------------  The Liturgy of the Eucharist  ------------

   ____Oblation (Presentation of the Gifts)___

(All remain standing who are able.)

                                    Trisagion (Thrice Holy) Hymn

(All sing:) website bullets and arrows Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.                 

(The Communion elements are brought and placed upon the Altar/Communion Table while this first part of the Trisagion Hymn is being sung.  We do this as a processional, which is optional.)

                                         Prayer Over the Gifts

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, our God.  Through Thy goodness we have this bread, and this fruit of the vine to offer; which Earth has given and human hands have made.                                                                  Blessed be God forever.

                                           The Call to Holiness

I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

   ____General Confession____

    Kyrie Eleison (Lord, Have Mercy)

(All kneel - or remain standing - who are able.)                                         website bullets and arrows Lord, have mercy upon us.                                                                    Christ have mercy upon us.                                                                    Lord, have mercy upon us.

                                        Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world:                               have mercy upon us,                                                                               hear our prayer,                                                                                       grant us peace.

                                               The Confession

Almighty Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, we confess that we have sinned against Thee in thought, word, and deed.  By what we have done, and by what we have left undone.  We have not loved Thee with our whole heart.  We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

                                           Words of Absolution

Hear the words of our Lord Jesus Christ:                                                 "Thy sins are forgiven thee."  "Go, and sin no more."

(All stand - or remain standing - who are able.)

    The Priesthood of All Believers

For Thou, O Christ, were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Thy Blood, out of every kindred, and language, and people, and nation; and have made us unto our God a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Your own special people.  That we may show forth the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.  Who once were not a people, but are now the people of God; who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 

                                                   The Peace

                                               (The Forgiving)

As we have been forgiven, let us now forgive all others, granting The Peace with The Priestly Blessing:

     (The Priestly Blessing)    

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

                                  (Votum: "We Desire" Blessing) 

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

  ____Anamphora (Eucharistic Prayer)____

 Preface (Thanksgiving for Salvation)

  Sursum Corda (Lift Up Your Hearts)

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up unto the Lord.

Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
It is fitting and right to do so.



Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of Heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name, evermore praising Thee, and saying;

Sanctus (Holy)

website bullets and arrowsHoly,Holy,Holy,  Lord God of Hosts, Heaven and Earth are full of Thy glory.  Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High.  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

                               Mysterium Fidei (Mystery of the Faith)

Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith:                                              Christ has died.  Christ is risen.  Christ will come again.

(The Congregation may be seated.)

____Holy Communion____

 Communion Song

(All sing:) Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah,                      Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.                                        (As much of the entire song may be sung ("Thank You Jesus..."; "Thank You Father..."; "Holy Spirit..."; or another added, as is needed to complete distribution of the Communion elements.)

We practice Open Communion.  Individual wafers, and individual cups are at this point in the Service offered to any Christian present who desires to partake of Holy Communion.  Distribution of the elements may be made by the Officiant, or Officiant and another or others together; or solely by another or others designated to do so.  Individual cups containing grape juice are in the center rings of the serving tray, and those containing wine are offered in the outer rings.  As the applicable Words of Institution from Scripture are spoken, Officiant and Congregants break and eat, and drink; all together partaking of the Communion elements at the same time, illustrating "the priesthood of all believers".

Some may instead prefer the practice of having the congregation go forward to receive the Communion elements after the the Words of Institution are spoken.

We observe daily Chapel Services and, at differing times, either daily or weekly Communion in our Monastery.  We use the flat, round, unleavened Communion wafers historically used in the Western Church by both Protestants and Roman CatholicsOur Communion wafers are made from whole wheat flour.   Note: Some Protestants around 1970 began using unleavened Passover Matzo.  Eastern Orthodox, and many Protestants since around 1970, use standard, leavened bread.  The bread used by Christ at The Last Supper, which was a Passover Seder, was therefore unleavened.  The pre-Nicene Church did use leavened bread, apparently totally unaware that this could even ever be an issue. Individuals each brought their own offering of bread and wine for Communion from home.  These were combined together for the later distribution: this was the origin of the offering that they made to God in the Worship Service (with themselves also as a "living sacrifice").  The church was the assembly of Christian people who met in houses.  Money was given as needed for the support of widows and orphans, and sometimes to help other Christian groups having major problems, such as a famine in their area, but this was not what the early church considered to be "the offering" (from: Dix).

Upon receiving the Communion elements, the Congregation, in preparation for the partaking of the Communion elements and the following time of silence, may individually choose either to kneel or to remain seated.  Where kneeling or standing is an option, we respect and allow for the differing practices of various Christian groups during these points of prayer and praise in the Service, and so do not require unanimity of observance.

                            Epiclesis (Invocation of the Holy Spirit)

(All sing:)  website bullets and arrows O Merciful Father, in the name of Thy Son, send Thy Holy Spirit upon us all, and bless these Thy gifts.  Amen.

                        ____Anamnesis (Remembrance)____

                                          Words of Institution

The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "Take, eat: this is my body, which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." 

And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink you all from it; for this is my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins.  This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death 'till He returns.

Sancta Sanctus (The Holy for the Holy)

(May be used wherever Officiant finds most appropriate.)

The gifts of God for the people of God.

-----------------------  Concluding Rite  ------------------------ 

(Congregation may be seated or remain seated.) 

Time of Silence

The LORD is in His holy temple: let all the Earth keep silence before Him.  Be still and know that He is God...He will be exalted in the Earth. 

(Beginning of short Time of Silence before God.)

(End of Time of Silence before God.)

                  Gloria Patri (Glory to the Father: Western Version)

(All stand who are able.  All sing:) website bullets and arrows Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

                                       The Great Commission

Go into all the world and tell the Good News to everyone.

                    Benediction (Dismissal Blessing)                      

website bullets and arrows The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.                                       And also with you.

                           The Doxology (The Common Doxology)

(All sing:) Praise God from whom all blessings flow.                         Praise Him all creatures here below.                                                  Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.                                                         website bullets and arrows Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  Amen.


(A bell is rung three times to announce the conclusion of the Service.  All candles and oil lamps are extinguished with the exception of the Sanctuary Lamp.)

Photo: of our actual Celtic Cross Shield (TM).  The Prayer Foundation Logo and Trademark.  Phot Copyright 2007 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved.

          * The Ten Commandments                                          

I am the LORD thy God.  Thou shall have no other gods before me.                                                                                                                 Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image.  Thou shall not bow down to them, nor serve them.                                                                    Thou shall not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.                   Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.                                             Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land.                                                                                                              Thou shall not kill.                                                                                       Thou shall not commit adultery.                                                                 Thou shall not steal.                                                                                    Thou shall not bear false witness.                                                             Thou shall not covet anything that is thy neighbor's.

Related Pages:


(Except KJV Scripture Texts and Historic Prayers, which are in the Public Domain) Copyright 2007, 2010 S.G.P. All rights reserved.

Next Next Topic  PRAYER

 This Worship Service (Liturgy) was compiled in 2007 by S. G. Preston (Monk Preston, Co-Founder and President of     The Prayer Foundation ).  It was revised by him in 2010 after several years of extensive study, including "The Shape of the Liturgy" by Dom Gregory Dix, the definitive exposition of the earliest extant Liturgies. This Liturgy contains elements of usage held in common in the very oldest extant worship Services, which were based on even older, earlier ancient Christian Worship Services.  

These include: The Liturgy of St. James, The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, used by Eastern Orthodox Christians since the 7th century); the Lorrha (Stowe) Missal (ca. 600 A.D.), and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer Service.   

Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Rite liturgy was used in Britain until 1078 A.D., when it was replaced by the Sarum Rite liturgy; simplified and reformed by Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer in the Anglican 1662 Book of Common Prayer.  "Liturgy" literally meaning "the work of the people", today refers to the prescribed order of a  religious Service.  Why "compile" a Service at all?  Why not simply use the earliest extant Service that we have?  The earliest known Liturgy would seem to be The Liturgy of St. James (the oldest manuscript of it is tenth century, however).   

The Antiochene Liturgy in The Apostolic Constitutions is the oldest known liturgical manuscript (fourth century).  It has been noted that it contains no mention of saints (including Mary).                       As certain of the doctrines of the church were added to or changed over time, the Liturgies were brought into conformity with these changes.  There remain no original, unrevised forms of the earliest Liturgies.  By comparing these Liturgies to the unchanged Holy Scriptures, we seek to arrive as close to the actual earliest Liturgies as possible.

Shoes or slippers (we do not remove stockings) are removed before entering the Chapel.  Removing footwear was observed in all Christian Churches until the 800's A.D.  All may each light a candle; symbol of Christ, the Light of the World.

Justin Martyr's 155 A.D. description of worship is the earliest containing much detail.   

Christianity was first made a legal religion in the Roman Empire by the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D.

Note: Dates shown below are earliest text citing use in Liturgy (see: Dix).  Actual first use may be several hundred years earlier.                      --------------------



                                (Censing: 360 A.D.) (Malachi 1:11) 


                                                    (155 A.D.)             

(The Lord's Prayer: first recorded use in Liturgy - 250 A.D.  Use in personal devotion begins with Christ's teaching of this prayer to the Apostles.  

In the 6th century The Lord's Prayer was moved from the beginning of the Liturgy to the Eucharistic section.             (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4)             -----------------------

John 3:16 is found in the Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and in the Anglican Liturgy.                             (John 3:16-17)

                                         (John 14:6

                              (Ephesians 2:8-9)   

                                (I John 5:13)

(Other Scripture Verses may be substituted for these Verses on Services held on days other than Sunday, or they may be simply omitted on those days: see Alternate Verses)

(155 A.D.)                 (Scripture readings retained from Synagogue Service.)



(Colossians 3:16)

(Psalmody retained from Synagogue Service.)




(155 A.D.)                (Scripture readings retained from Synagogue Service.)







(Mark 12:29-31)


                                                   (200 A.D.)

                                      (See: The Ten Commandments: Different Versions)

(Luke 2:14








                                         (155 A.D.                (Scripture readings retained from Synagogue ServiceNew Testament Scriptures added.)



(Verbum Tuum Veritas "Thy Word is Truth" was first used: in this Liturgy, 2010 A.D.)                          (Psalm 40:7-8)

(John 17:17)

(Psalm 119:130)

(Psalm 18:28)


(155 A.D.                (Scripture readings retained from Synagogue ServiceNew Testament Scriptures added.)



(Ruth 2:4)





                                                   (155 A.D.                (Teaching from Scripture retained from Synagogue Service.) 


(John 1:12-13)        (This was the point in the ancient Liturgies where the Catechumens, those studying before joining the church, were dismissed; the dismissal is still retained in the Eastern Orthodox Liturgies, though since the seventh century no one has actually been expected to leave.  The non-baptized were excluded from even attending, not only the Eucharist, but also the Prayer of the Faithful which preceded it.)

(The Unity of the Spirit: Romans 12:5; Ephesians 4:3-6)



(325, 381 A.D.)



(The Nicene Creed is always included in historical liturgical worship whenever there is CommunionThe Apostle's Creed may be added elsewhere in the Service.  Or it may be used  in place of the Nicene Creed, if there is no Communion.  See also: Nicene Creed: Scripture Basis.)




                                             (Or: General Intercessions)        (155 A.D.)        (General Prayers retained from Synagogue Service.)

(I Timothy 2:1-6)


                                  (Matthew 9:38)





                               Psalmody retained from Synagogue Service.)









(Related: Psalm 141:2; I Timothy 2:8)




("Eucharist" means "Thanksgiving".) 


(434-446 A.D.)

(Isaiah 6:33; Revelation 4:8)

                                      (Eastern Offertory Processional: 250 A.D.)


(375-380 A.D.)

(Ecclesiastes 3:13, Psalm 104:15, Genesis 14:18)


(230 A.D.)

(Romans 12:1-2)




(595 A.D.)                                      (The Three petitions acknowledge the Trinity. Psalm 51:3-4)


(700 A.D.)

(John 1:29)





                                                    (I John 1:8-9)


                                       (Luke: 5:20-24; Matthew 9:2-6; John 8:11)



(Revelation 5:9)

(I Peter 2:9-11)



(The Peace: Pre-Nicene; The Last Supper?)                     

                                         (Matthew 6:12; Ephesians 4:32)


(We grant The Peace with The Priestly Blessing: The Lord Bless Thee and Keep Thee - Numbers 6:24-26)           

                                (Philippians 4:7)




(Ruth 2:4)

(230 A.D.)





(230 A.D.)

                                                    (Sanctus: Isaiah 6:3; Luke 13:35.  Bell Rubrics as in the Celtic Lorrha Missal: ca. 600 A.D.  According to Dix, the Lorrha Missal is actually a Celtic version of the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the time).

(Or: Memorial Acclamation: from at least the 7th century.)




(Revelation 19:1-6)


















                                          (250 A.D.)



(The Last Supper: 33 A.D.; actually 27-29  A.D.?)


(I Corinthians 11:24; Matthew 26:27-28; I Corinthians 11:25-26)

                                  (4th Century, Eastern Liturgies: "Holy things for Holy people.")





(Habakkuk 2:20) (Psalm 46:10  



(Gloria Patri: Western Version.  Note: "world without end" is a Medieval English phrase meaning "forever and ever" or "unto the ages of ages".)


(Mark 16:15)        


                                           (II Corinthians 13:14)

                                                                             The Doxology may be the world's most sung music.  Words: Thomas Ken, 1674.  Music: attributed to Louis Bourgeois, 1551 ("Old Hundredth"  Hymn, Geneva Psalter).





                                        (See :The Ten Commandments: Different Versions)

                                        (Excerpted from: Exodus 20:1-17)