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Patterns for Worship

Patterns for Worship is designed to encourage understanding of the ways in which we worship together. It has evolved over the years as the orders of service have been used in the life of the Church and as the notes have been used as part of the Congregational Federation’s Integrated Training Course.

Patterns for Worship is not an authorised service book. This is in keeping with our Congregational heritage. We hope that it will be used as one set of resources among many by those who share in the preparation of worship. More than this, it can also stimulate the thinking of many others in the churches. Each order of service provides a framework on which to build, rather than a complete order to be used uncritically. The prayers and readings suggested are examples, rather than words appropriate for every occasion.

A particular feature of Patterns for Worship is that it includes extensive notes on each service.

They give an insight into the thinking behind each way of ordering worship. In the Congregational tradition the most appropriate form of worship is decided locally. It is important that the local church has a good understanding of how a service is ordered.

The notes can help increase this understanding and they should be read before using or adapting any of the services.

For this edition, the notes and text of the marriage services have been revised to take account of recent changes in the law in England and Wales.