Christian Science Services

December 28, 2012 | 12 comments

I was listening to a Christian Science service in my local branch church recently. I was hearing many revolutionary ideas read from the desk that led to healing thoughts dancing in delight on the floor of my consciousness. “I’m not a material body. I’m a spiritual being. God governs my health. Medical belief does not….” And on and on came the enlightening inspirations.
Reveling in the bounty of inspiration coming my way, I stopped mid-thought and realized that I owed a debt of gratitude to Mary Baker Eddy for designing a church service that allowed for inspiration to come directly from God to a congregant.
Attendees have complained in the past that Christian Science church services lack pizzazz and theatre. They lack the dramatic and musical productions often found in the mega-churches that dot communities across the land, it has been said.
As I sat in the Christian Science service in quiet awe for the abundance of ideas flowing my way that took me very close to God, and away from personal sense, I rejoiced that nothing human-made was getting in the way of the message coming to me.
The readers were expressing vitality, life, vigor and conviction as they read from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, but there was no personal opinion getting in the way. I didn’t have to listen to their political position, their stand on abortion rights, or who they thought I should vote for. I didn’t have to listen to any personal opinion, either spoken or unspoken. It didn’t exist. It was not a part of the service. The service was set up and designed so that every congregant could listen to God. And the readers were doing a good job of letting the divine message shine through.
Mrs. Eddy was very wise in eliminating personal preachers from the pulpit. Unfortunately, it’s just too tempting for the human mind to get up on the stand and not be quiet. It wants to voice an opinion, state a position, push an agenda, or assert a belief that may or may not be spiritually inspired.
There are certainly places and opportunities for inspired individuals to share their helpful ideas with others: in talks, lectures, Sunday school, classes, forums, round table chats, one on one conversations. These are all necessary and vital parts of a growing and progressive community. But the church service can be very special. It can be the one place in our community that is free of human opinion and mortal viewpoint. It’s the one place any earnest seeker can go and collectively participate with his brothers and sisters in listening to God together for the common good. And it can be a holy experience for one and all.
I’m grateful for the simplicity of the Christian Science service. It serves a valuable purpose. It is an oasis in the middle of a busy hectic world, and a place for thinkers to thrive.

12 thoughts on “Christian Science Services”

  1. AMEN!
    I am often invited to attend a church service at the community church my husband and son attend, and occasionally, as on Christmas Eve, I accept. Each time I go there, I am grateful for their genuine warmth and much love expressed, and I enjoy the music; but I am also distracted by the very human slant on spirituality, by the pastor’s opinions, and by being told what to think. I am always so grateful to return to my beloved CS branch church because – well, for all the reasons you stated so well. You hit the nail on the head, Evan!

  2. Thank you Evan for sharing your appreciation of our church services in how they are structured. I’ve heard people make comments about the simplicity of our services, I always tell them if I want to rxperience a theatrical production I go to the theater. I then remind them that I go to church to worship God and hear His message.

    Thank you for reminding us how much we have to be grateful for in the simple richness of our services.

    Happy New Year too…….

  3. Yes, the simplicity of the Christian Science church service is unique. It is contemplative and quiet, an oasis from the frenzy of “out there”. It IS vital that the Readers read with conviction, understanding, and excellence or the service can fall flat. Music which is “old fashioned” and formal can also stifle the joy. Not asking for tambourines or drums, but just music that young people can enjoy. The message from the Pastor(Science and Health and the Bible) is the essence of the service but there’s no reason that joyful musical choices cannot set the stage. I love the blogger’s line: “the simple richness of our services.” Amen. Great blog, Evan!

  4. Let me secod the Amen in the frst comment. I have heard and read where some folks feel the Christian Science church service is old fashioned, etc. But for those who really want to hear directly from the Father, the service is wonderful. Many years ago before I knew about Christian Science, my wife and I attended a church of another denomination. My wife’s uncle was the pastor and was fairly high up in that church’s national organization. We went a few times and I told my wife I wouldn’t go again. The pastor spent most of the sermon time telling the congregation how to think about almost every political topic, war, economy, and on and on.

    The simplicity, the quiet, the inspiration received in the CS service was so wonderful to me and it remains that way to this day.

    I too am grateful to Mrs Eddy for her adherence to Jesus’ teachings and making our church service a place where God’s ideas can flow freely to our quiet thought.

  5. The only thing I can add to Evan’s blog is this; C/S and it’s services teaches people to think for themselves, how to meet any special needs and how to solve problems by themselves and for themselves without human opinion help. How to rely on God totally. This to me, is the greatest thing for human kind.

  6. in preWW2 days my dad was a seafaring man. It was a marvelous comfort to him to know that whenever he was in port on a Sunday or Wednesday he could find a familiar connecting church service to sustain him.

  7. Thanks for the great post. Yes, several times, after having taken visitors to CS services, I’ve heard this afterward: “your services are so quiet…”
    As I go again by myself and listen to all the Truth that comes to my thought in the midst of the “quiet” of those church services, I am — like you, so grateful to Mary Baker Eddy for establishing the services just like they are. After their first CS service, when a friend commented on the quietness, I replied “yes, that’s because it’s a thinking person’s church”. Your post here shows what an alternative service might be: congregants sitting thru a service where they are told how to think and what God is telling them. Makes me even more grateful for Christian Science services!

  8. I’ve enjoyed the highly entertaining Live Chats and Daily Lifts as much as others. But I’ve also felt some concern, especially with the Chats, as to whether this is a form of personal preaching and personal opinions trying to sneak its way back into the CS church.

  9. Please let me know what church or branch church you are talking about. I would like to Join.
    It sound like the church within consciousness. You know “The structure of Truth and Love, whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. That is the true Church. It is not an outside building, It is not tea and crumpets, or a social hour. It is whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle. And if it does not rest upon or proceed from divine Principle it is no part of church. The balance of that definition of Church found in Science and Health to me is the demonstration of Church (Our true Consciousness) So however that unfolds to each one of us is our concept of church. The true Church is an Idea that we can all imbibe whether in a church building or not. We can express it wherever we find ourselves in the human experience.

    1. Dear Cindy, I suppost you know already Christian Science because you know the definition of Church from the Glossary of the textbook Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy.

      It depends on where you live. But you can surch a branchchurch in the Christian Science Magazin, the Christian Science Journal, where all branch churches with their address and phone numbers are listed. You can buy this magazine in reading rooms or you can order it from the Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston.

      I fully go conform with what Evan says about the inspirations and angel thoughts coming our way. And I also am very very grateful for the simplicity Mary Baker Eddy established her church and the church services (without any personal comment) just the inspired words from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

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