In modern times, it is common for various churches to offer multiple services. These services commonly have the same sermon preached at each given time. It is a part of our Heritage Presbyterian Church schedule to have a morning worship service and an evening service. Unlike our friends in the evangelical realm, our evening service is a completely separate service with a completely different sermon. Currently Pastor Miller is going through the First Letter to the Corinthians in the morning and the Book of Hosea in the evening.
Before I jump to the explanation, let’s establish a few things. We don’t believe that the evening service can be “required” of any member, or that you are somehow derelict in your duties if you do not attend evening service. Of course, there are reasonable reasons why one might not be able to make it to evening service. However, I want to discuss the blessings of worshipping in both the morning and evening.
The evening service has been a long tradition in the ancient church, to the Reformation, and up until recently it has become rare. It is a shorter service in that we don’t participate in the sacraments of baptism or the Lord’s Supper. Why an evening service? The evening service is a book end to the Lord’s Day. If we are going to truly, “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy,” the evening service provides an opportunity to do so. It provides a pattern of worship on the Lord’s Day. Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones said that we should, “have a hunger that desires for a second time to feast on the Bible.”
Psalm 92 is a song for the Sabbath. The psalmist begins by singing in verses 1-2, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,”
It is the Lord’s DAY and not the Lord’s hour. When you attend the morning and evening services, you are experiencing the whole Lord’s Day. The Westminster Confession states: ….”do not only observe an holy rest, ALL THE DAY [emphasis added], from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.” (see Confession of Faith Chapter XXI, Section 21:7-8)
When you participate in morning and evening, you are getting the Word of God poured over you twice. This is a mighty fine way to grow in the knowledge of the Lord. It is also a great opportunity for additional fellowship with believers. When you attend both services, you are getting to know the fellow members of your church more.
During the time that the Dutch theologians were writing the Canons of Dordt, they were concerned that families may not attend evening service. In order to prevent this, they required that the Pastor’s family to attend. This helped spur on attendance. When we called our pastor, we wanted to make sure we had the blessing of an evening service as well. Praise God that we have a pastor that prepares two distinct sermons and services weekly.
We live in a fast-paced society. We have an endless supply of distractions. What an immeasurable amount of blessing that we have, that our church provides a morning service and evening service to worship our one and true living God. If attending both services isn’t a part of your families’ routine, I would encourage you to consider it.