What to Expect

…at a typical Sunday Worship service


Welcome to worship at Richmond UMC! You may have questions about our Sunday worship services. What will happen during the worship service? Where should I sit? What does the pastor do? How should I dress? We hope this page will answer those questions.

On a typical Sunday morning, those in our congregation dress neatly, but not too formally. (You don’t have to wear a hat or a suit, if you are worried about that!). Of course, we encourage you to look your best for God and not for us! Please be comfortable wearing whatever you have.

When you arrive at Richmond UMC, our ushers and greets meet you with a smile and hand you a bulletin, and if needed will help you use our elevator or find a seat in the sanctuary. Our organist welcomes you with gathering music as you take your seat and settle in. Take this opportunity to relax and say “Hello” to neighboring worshipers around you.

An acolyte brings in the Light of Christ to light up the altar candles. The pastor gives words of welcome and the liturgist shares important announcements for the week. We then re-focus on worship, beginning our liturgy with a Call to Worship.

The Call to Worship is a responsive reading, in which the pastor reads a portion and the congregation reads a response. We then sing an opening hymn and say an opening prayer together, followed by the “Gloria Patri,” a traditional song that gives praise to God.

Because we believe that Richmond UMC is a friendly church, we then take the opportunity to greet our neighbors in the love and peace of Jesus Christ.

We begin our scripture readings with a responsive reading of a Psalm in the United Methodist Hymnal (located in your pew). A member of the congregation will typically read another scripture passage after the Psalter. After this reading, the pastor will use this scripture as the basis for a children’s message. Together, the entire church responds by singing a hymn of response as we prepare our hearts for a time of prayer.

As a congregation, we lift up individual prayer concerns for those who are in need of healing, comfort, or strength, as well as prayers of thanksgiving for the ways in which we have seen God working in our lives. After we have shared our concerns and our joys, we spend a few moments in silent prayer, followed by a pastoral prayer and the Lord’s Prayer.

Our time of prayer is followed by an opportunity for offering. At Richmond UMC, we take two separate monetary collections. Some of our young people will collect our “Tin Bucket Offering,” an offering of loose change which provides support for our Missions programs. Our ushers pass collection plates for our general offering, which supports the ministries of Richmond UMC as well as the worldwide United Methodist Church. After we make these financial offerings, we sing the words of the traditional “Doxology” and pray a prayer that reminds us that we offer God not only our financial resources, but also our lives.

After the offering, the pastor shares a final scripture reading and preaches a sermon, seeking to connect that scripture passage with our daily lives. On the first Sunday of every month, we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion, and all are invited to participate. Afterwards, we join in a closing hymn and receive words of blessing in the Benediction. While the congregation sings the final postlude hymn, the acolyte and the pastor will then process out with the Light of Christ, symbolizing the fact that we are to share Christ’s light with the world beyond our church doors.

The worship service has ended, and you are free to leave your pew and spend time talking with old and new friends. As you leave, you can take a moment to greet the pastor. On special Sundays, we will often share a potluck meal downstairs in our Thomas Hall.

It is our hope that when you leave our worship service, you feel closer to God and more prepared to share Christ’s love with the world.

Questions about our worship services? Please contact the Church Office! Email: richmondumc@epix.net     Phone: (610) 588-7317

Curious about the sermons? Visit the Sermon Archives page!