Evening Worship

The following is an excerpt from The Covenant Foundation's Leading in Worship: A Sourcebook for Presbyterian Students and Ministers Drawing Upon the Biblical and Historic Forms of the Reformed Tradition, pp. 17-18).

Regarding the tendency to drop Sunday evening services, we would urge caution for the following reasons:

First, the scriptural pattern of morning and evening sacrifice (e.g., Ex. 29:38-39) was seen by David as providing a pattern for his prayers (Pss. 5:3 and 141:2), and likewise by the Apostles (Acts 3:1; 10:9), the early church, the Medieval monastic orders, and the Reformers as providing a pattern for Christian practice. It is a venerable Chrisitan tradition. 

Second, morning and evening services on the Lord's Day provide a rhythm within which the Sabbath may more easiliy be observed. When one is returning for the evening service, the Lord's Day is full of worship, and typically, rest between services. In other words, when public worship ends at noon, it is exceedingly difficult to hallow the rest of the day without falling into dreaded monotony and boredom. Secular alternatives may prove irresistible to willing spirits with weak flesh. Two services provide the structure for remembering the Sabbath. 

Third, a second Sunday service, conducted with thought and excellence, is an opportunity to build the body of Christ that is not to be lightly dismissed. The primary means of grace—prayer, the sacraments, and the reading and preaching of the word, are operative primarily in public worship. A Reformed ecclesiology would recognize that Christian piety is nurtured, Christian commitments are solidified, Christian character is developed, and Christian knowledge is imparted not so much in special camps, conferences, and seminars, but in the regular worship services of the church. A second service has the potential to double the exposure and impact of the regular ministry of the church without taking week nights away from families.