The 213th General Assembly (2001) requested the Office of Theology and Worship to “prepare worship resources based on the Book of Confessions which are sensitive to inclusive language with regard to men and women.”
The 214th General Assembly (2002) voted to “direct the Office of Theology and Worship to develop a lectionary-based liturgical resource as a supplement to the Book of Common Worship that draws affirmations of faith from the entire Book of Confessions. It shall use gender-inclusive language for the people of God and be designed with a format that encourages use on a regular basis in the Service for the Lord’s Day.”
In response to these referrals, the Office of Theology and Worship has developed this provisional worship resource, which includes not only selections from the Book of Confessions adapted for liturgical use, but also biblical selections to complement those already included in the 1993 Book of Common Worship. We have also included selections from the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity, the Declaration of Faith, the French Confession of 1559, the Confession of Belhar, and the new catechisms adapted for liturgical use.
The material is organized in three sections. Section one is arranged according to the order of the Service for the Lord’s Day so that it can be used on a regular basis for congregational worship. Section two is arranged according to the festivals and seasons of the Christian year. Section three provides biblical and confessional materials related to other topics and themes.
Please note the following policies with respect to alterations in language:
- Materials provided as Affirmations of Faith are reproduced nearly verbatim from their biblical and confessional sources, with the exception of subtle alterations to gendered language for humanity (i.e., man, men, mankind) and archaic expressions (e.g., doth, requireth).
- Other elements of worship are somewhat more freely adapted from the Bible and Confessions for contemporary liturgical use – nevertheless with every effort to preserve the meaning and intent of the original language.
Unless otherwise noted, the biblical texts are taken or adapted from the New Revised Standard Version, © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches in the U.S.A.
Some liturgical selections from the Belonging to God catechism are taken from Belonging to God: Catechism Resources for Worship, © 2003 Office of Theology and Worship, PC(USA), A Corporation. Published by Geneva Press and reprinted by permission. To order this book, call 1-800-227-2872.
As in the Book of Common Worship, lines printed in bold text are to be read by the congregation, while the plain text is for the worship leader.
In the spirit of the Book of Common Worship, we offer this resource to congregations committed to worship that is biblical, liturgical, ecumenical, and Reformed—all to the glory of God. Drawing deeply from the scriptures and the Book of Confessions, may this collection enable Presbyterian worship that is faithful, joyous, and ever new.
O praise the Lord with me;
let us exalt God’s name together.
Ps. 34:3, Book of Common Worship p. 49