Question and Answer

What about Saturday night worship services?

Question:

Does the OPC take a stand on holding worship services on a day other than Sunday (i.e. Saturday night) as an alternative to Sunday worship?

Answer:

The position of the OPC with respect to worship services is clearly stated in our Subordinate Standards (The Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms).

Our Confession of Faith, Chapter 21, section 7, says this:

As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven, for a sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord's day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian sabbath.

The Larger Catechism says much the same thing in the Answer to Question 116:

The fourth commandment requireth of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath, and in the New Testament called The Lord's Day.

And the Shorter Catechism says it even more briefly in the Answer to Question 59 which asks:

Q. Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly sabbath?

A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian sabbath.

No other days are recognized by these doctrinal standards as requiring the assembly of the congregations for worship.

The previous section of the Confession of Faith does recognize that God may also call his people to assemble for worship when his "providence" calls them to do so. Thus in times of calamity or dire emergency, it is legitimate for the elders of the church to respond by calling God's people together to call upon the Lord in worship and humble supplication.

There is no provision, as you can see, for moving the worship services from Sunday to some other day that we might think of as more convenient.

Thank you for a good question.


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