What is Contemplative Worship?
Through days of exhausting schedules, multiple responsibilities, and critical decisions many persons are looking for a place of quiet rest, a setting for worship that will refill and revitalize. Sometimes we find such buoyancy in praise or in the preached Word of God. We also may find such spiritual refreshment in worship which is still, reflective, and meditative. Contemplative Worship is a setting in which we quiet ourselves in order to open our souls to the ministry of God within. It is one way to hear the voice of God with our hearts. Contemplative Worship waits for God in the silence. Contemplative Worship is an opportunity to be quiet and still in the midst of busyness, finding our spiritual center. Contemplative Worship practices us in the rhythm of Jesus, a rhythm of moving into prayer and communion with God before going out to engage the world in meaningful ministry. Contemplative Worship does not imply that a person must be proficient in a certain skill or discipline to participate. It simply implies a desire to seek God and to be open to however God might choose to move within our lives. Historically, contemplation has implied two things: fire and love. Contemplative Worship kindles the inner fire of the Spirit of God. Further, Contemplative Worship grows us in love and devotion for God. The aim is an intimacy of relationship which comes from falling deeply in love with One who loves us and gives himself for us.
Each Sunday morning Chapelwood offers a Contemplative Worship experience at 8:45 a.m. in the Chapel. Each service is unique. The services offer extended times of stillness, Scripture readings, music, sacred reading (lectio divina), healing prayer, meditation, and Holy Communion. Though each service is different, there are three common elements.
Each service provides extended quiet time for worshippers to reflect and sit with the extravagant love of God. Scripture passages and quotes from those who walked with God before us are provided for meditation in the weekly worship guide. Most services include a guided meditation, allowing participants to hear what God speaks in the Word. Persons may come early or stay late for extended periods of silence.
Holy Communion is offered weekly in Contemplative Worship. Liturgies from a variety of Christian traditions are utilized. For all of our differences in heritage, we come to a common table, the Table of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, while Communion may look a little different each week, we gather to celebrate Christ and the unity we have in him.
After each service participants are invited to experience God’s healing. Trained members of Chapelwood’s prayer ministry are available to pray with anyone who would like prayer. Persons who desire to receive prayer and be anointed with oil (according to James 5:14) may request this ministry as well. The prayer ministers are available at various prayer stations in the Chapel. Unless there is another activity scheduled in the Chapel, the prayer ministers will stay as long as necessary to pray with those who come.