What Are Your Feelings Regarding Standing for the Church's Creeds and Confessions but Not for God's Word During Worship Service?
December 31, 2013
Updated May 22, 2018
9 comments 911 views
It seems to me rather backwards, in most church services I've attended, that we are standing to recite the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, and other of the church's documents, but not standing for the reading of God's Word? I know it doesn't make sense to stand every time a verse of Scripture is read, but say in relation to the sermon, why do we sit? We even stand for worship songs, but not for Scripture?
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Read Nehemiah 8. There it talks about the Reading of the Law and the People standing to hear the Law being read. (It has other acts of worship in there too! - not to mention the idea of a pulpit above the congregation). So It is appropriate to stand to hear God's Word being read. Other Denominations (Lutheran, etc.) stand to hear the Gospel Reading. Jesus must have stood to read the scroll in the New Testament, because the passage says that he "sat down" after Jesus read. So why not stand to hear the reading of God's Word? It Is Biblical!
Does that mean that we as preachers can sit down when we preach like the rabbis did? Sounds good to me! ;)
Are there churches that are really doing this? I bet the meeting that decided it was interesting ;)
You should either stand for neither, both, or the Word.
Yes, there are churches stand for the Gospel Reading and the recitation of the creed. I was in an ELCA (Lutheran) church for a year, and it was "standard" to stand.
We stand for scripture reading every Sunday. About 8 years ago, one Sunday the worship leader invited us to stand, saying this was customary in Jesus' day. No fuss, no discussions, no meetings needed. We were invited to stand, we did it, it was well received and we've done every Sunday since. It has became the norm for us. On the occasional time we forget to let a guest pastor know they should invite us to stand, the congregation just gets up of it's own accord. Now when we visit another church where they remain seated, it feels very strange and borderline disrepectful. I heartily recommend standing for the reading of scripture.
I think standing for the reading makes sense and is a good thing, but I would be fine with not standing as well. The Word is strong enough whether we stand or sit. I read the Word sitting, even lying in my bed. It's not a sign of disrespect.
We stand occasionally for the reading of the Word, but we *always* stand for reciting the creeds of the church. I say to we stand for both, neither, or only the Word. Not only the creed. It's been bothering me. When I'm alone at home I don't stand when I read, my problem is with standing for the creed and not the Word.
I can't remember standing for the reading of the Word, the Apostolic creed which we used every Sunday was sung for a long time, but this was done in a time where we would stand for each hymn if able to do so. It has been suggested that we would stand for each song again, but that because one sings better standing. As for the reading for the sermon passage, our minister uses this mostly throughout the sermon. Is it important, Biblical? or is it legalistic?
I don't folks. If the word is truly as powerful and convicting as we say it is, maybe we should be sitting down to hear that? I'm being facetious of course, but the point is that standing or sitting can be symbolic and/or practical either way. Perhaps standing for the reading was always symbolic of respect, or perhaps it was just a practical way to get people closer to the speaker because sitting takes more room. Obviously in Nehemiah the symbol of respect came primarily from the length of time that the people stood. If our churches are being intentionally symbolic with sitting or standing, I think very few people would argue in favor of giving the Creed a place of highest honor. But if we are using this as a standard to try and judge other congregations, this is a silly display of insecurity, and besides, we should be careful not to assume that a symbol understood one way in one congregation will carry the same meaning in another congregation.
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