THE TWO-SERVICE (MINIMUM) IDEAL
There are ideally at least two public worship services on the Lord’s Day. The Biblical rationale for this is suggested in the following exchange on the r-f-w list:
I think some puritans argued
that the morning and evening sacrifices showed there ought to be 2 services.
Matthew Inverness, FPCS
I would submit this two-service (minimum) ideal not only pertains to public worship, but also to daily private and family worship. The Old Testament Temple was a type of what we as Christians are in our persons. Hence we read in I Corinthians 3:17, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.” The Directory for Family Worship approved by the historic Church of Scotland appropriately therefore says this:
“BESIDES the publick worship in congregations, mercifully established in this land in great purity, it is expedient and necessary that secret worship of each person alone, and private worship of families, be pressed and set up; that, with national reformation, the profession and power of godliness, both personal and domestick, be advanced.
I. And first, for secret worship, it is most necessary, that every one apart, and by themselves, be given to prayer and meditation, the unspeakable benefit whereof is best known to them who are most exercised therein; this being the mean whereby, in a special way, communion with God is entertained, and right preparation for all other duties obtained: and therefore it becometh not only pastors, within their several charges, to press persons of all sorts to perform this duty morning and evening, and at other occasions; but also it is incumbent to the head of every family to have a care, that both themselves, and all within their charge, be daily diligent herein.
II. The ordinary duties comprehended under the exercise of piety which should be in families, when they are convened to that effect, are these: First, Prayer and praises performed with a special reference, as well to the publick condition of the kirk of God and this kingdom, as to the present case of the family, and every member thereof. Next, Reading of the scriptures, with catechising in a plain way, that the understandings of the simpler may be the better enabled to profit under the publick ordinances, and they made more capable to understand the scriptures when they are read; together with godly conferences tending to the edification of all the members in the most holy faith: as also, admonition and rebuke, upon just reasons, from those who have authority in the family.”
May we not grow weary in well doing.