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Rituals and Worship



Sacred Time

Methodist churches, like most Christian churches, divide the year into a cycle of celebrations based on events in the life of Jesus and the early church. In a sense, Methodists relive or commemorate the entire life of Jesus every year.

Sacred Space

Methodists do not have as stark a separation of sacred and profane spaces as some other religious traditions. Worship space is organized by the chief means of receiving God's grace, that is, it is designed to focus the worshipper on the sermon and the two sacraments (baptism and communion).

Rites and Ceremonies

Methodist rites and ceremonies resemble those of other Protestants closely, including an emphasis on the two sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper, however, has often been seen as less important to some Methodists (though not to John Wesley).

Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

Early Methodists met weekly, outside of worship, in "classes" for mutual encouragement in striving to live a perfect Christian life. The classes have a contemporary equivalent in small group meetings for Bible study.

Symbolism

Methodists, like most Protestants, have a relatively stark worship space. Their most important symbol is the cross. The official insignia of the United Methodist Church is the cross and flame.

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