Worship is the central act of the Christian Church. First Presbyterian Church places a great emphasis on worship and urges all members to worship on a weekly basis. The two Sunday morning worship services are based on the best tradition of the rich and deep worship that has sustained the Christian Church for two thousand years. These services are at 8:30 AM (normally in the Williams Chapel) and at 11:00 AM (in the sanctuary), except during the summer months when there is one combined service at 10:00 AM in the sanctuary. Childcare for infants through pre-K is provided during all worship services.
While both of these services are deeply rooted in the rich traditions that have sustained Christian worship for two thousand years, we seek to allow room for the Spirit of God to blow a new and living, giving Word to us.
The Lord’s Supper is the re-enactment of Jesus’ last meal in the Upper Room as described in the Gospels and in 1 Corinthians. It is a holy celebration of the presence of Christ, who is risen and alive. Holy Communion points to our union with Christ as we live and work within the community of faith. The Lord’s Supper is usually celebrated at least once per month and on special days in the Christian year. Communion is open to all people who trust in Jesus. Baptized children may also receive the elements.
The Lord’s Supper is served two ways at First Presbyterian Church: by intinction, in which the congregation comes forward and receives a bread wafer which they then dip it into the chalice of juice; or by the elements being brought to worshipers as they sit in their pews.
The services found here highlight seasonal offerings of worship at First Presbyterian Church.
Services of Music
The Chancel Choir presents two services of music during the year. All Saints’ Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of November. For this service, the Choir has sung REQUIEMS by Gabriel Fauré, John Rutter, and Philip Ledger, among others. In the spring, the service of music has included Masses by Charles-Marie Widor, Franz Schubert, Louis Vierne, and the Messiah by George Frideric Handel. These services take place during morning worship, 8:30 and 11:00 AM.
Children’s Christmas Service – 5:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening during Advent, with dinner following worship
Our children (pre-K through 7th grade) lead us in worship as we remember the story of Christ’s birth by portraying the animals and people found in the Gospel of Matthew.
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols – 5:00 PM on a Sunday evening during Advent
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols follows the format begun at King’s College, Cambridge, England in 1918 – that is, alternating scripture lessons and Christmas carols for choirs and congregation. At FPC, our Choirs are joined by a chamber orchestra or brass ensemble as we celebrate the birth of Christ through song. A prelude of carols for handbells, strings or brass, and harp precedes the service.
Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion Worship – 5:00 PM and 11:00 PM.
On the night of Christ’s birth, people from far and near gather in the sanctuary as the Gospel story is told through sermon and song. We share communion and close the service with candlelight.
Community Lenten Services – noon
Several churches in Alamance County alternate hosting the worship service and meal.
Ash Wednesday Worship – 7:00 PM, First Wednesday in Lent
This meaningful and moving service guides us into the season of Lent. As a reminder that we are God’s own, we are marked with a sign of the cross on our foreheads.
Maundy Thursday Communion and Tenebrae Worship – 7:00 PM, Thursday of Holy Week
In this powerful service of light and darkness, we remember and celebrate the final supper Jesus shared with his disciples. Through the progressive darkening of the sanctuary, we recall the suffering and death of Christ.
Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan
This service, usually held on Reformation Sunday, recalls our heritage as Presbyterians. Families are invited to carry their family tartan in procession, a symbol of love and togetherness.