The Lord's Day
The Shape of Worship
From the earliest days, Methodists debated the virtues of freedom of liturgical expression versus uniformity in worship achieved by adherence to standard patterns. The issue never resolved; rather, Methodists chose to live with the tension. Worship for morning, afternoon, and evening on the Lord's Day could therefore be a simple and informal service of the word, or it could have fuller content with a more complex and formal shape. Over the generations, denominationally approved orders of worship became increasingly elaborate. Such was the case even for Sunday School worship, which often imitated the shape of the morning worship service.
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