Worship

As a church we believe in the Regulative Principle of Worship, namely that we should only offer to God in worship what He has commanded. Anything that is not commanded is forbidden. In applying this principle we believe that in the singing of the praise of God in public worship we should use only the book of psalms and that our singing should not be accompanied by musical instruments.

Like most historic reformed churches, worship centres on the reading and preaching of the Bible, with the response of the people to God in praises, prayer and giving. Two areas of distinctiveness in the matter of praise are that the only words used in singing are from the Book of Psalms and that no instrumental accompaniment is used. This is the original practice of Presbyterian churches, which the Reformed Presbyterian church, alone in Ireland, maintains to this day. The rationale, however, is deeper than loyalty to a historic tradition. Since God has revealed in Scripture how he is to be worshipped, nothing is to be introduced which he has not specifically commanded. Nowhere has he instructed his people to praise him with songs other than those provided in the Book of Psalms. Instrumental music was an integral part of Old Testament sacrificial worship, which was fulfilled in Christ, and there is no example of such accompaniment in the church of the New Testament.

The Book of Psalms provides songs which are inspired, Christ-centred, timeless, non-sectarian and continually relevant, the property of the universal church. Reformed Presbyterians experience profound spiritual fulfillment in singing, usually in four-part harmony, these glorious praises. The basic version used is the Scottish Metrical Psalter, with supplementary alternative versions.

As a denomination we undertook the task of revising our psalm book to bring it more in line with modern English but at the same time holding as a true translation. This work was completed in 2004. The new Psalter is now in use in many of our congregations including the Bready congregation.

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