Why does a congregation gather on the Lord’s Day? More can be said, but not less than this: our aim, as the congregation gathers to meet with God in public worship on the Lord’s Day, is to glorify and enjoy God, in accordance with his written Word. That is, the very purpose of assembling together as the people of God in congregational worship is to give to the Lord the glory due his name and to enjoy the blessing of his promised special presence with his own people, in obedience to his instructions set forth in the Bible.
Corporate worship (so-called because the body or corpus of Christ, that is, the people of God, the Church, is collectively involved in this encounter with God) is sometimes referred to as “gathered,” “assembled” “public,” or “congregational” worship. All of these names are helpful, and bring out different dimensions of this important aspect of biblical worship. Though the Bible indicates that there are, in addition to public worship, other distinct and significant facets of Christian worship (like family worship, private worship and all-of-life worship), the importance of public worship is featured in both the Old and New Testaments. When Psalm 100:2 and Hebrews 10:25 speak of “coming before the Lord” and “assembling together” they are both addressing public or gathered worship.
The great distinctive of the Reformed approach to public worship is that we aim for the form and substance of our corporate worship to be suffused with Scripture and scriptural theology. An apt motto for this approach is: “Read the Bible, Preach the Bible, Pray the Bible, Sing the Bible, See the Bible.”