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Take the Name and Hold if High - Psalm 34, 86, HCLD 47

A service plan from the Lord's Prayer focused on the use of God's name and how we are to honor it in a series on prayer as explained in the Heidelberg Catechism.

Worship Service

Theme of the Service

Because God's names reveal his person and character, the use of his names is a privilege. However, such privilege also involves great responsibility. His name may be used in such a way that he will be offended and his honor discredited, or that he will be praised and honored to bring knowledge of him to others. This service aims to hold his name high (to “hallow” it).


We suggest a number of resources that will be valuable tools for you in this study of the Lord's Prayer.

  • Each week we will provide references for you from the Heidelberg Catechism and both the Larger and the Shorter Westminster Catechism.
  • The website of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary also provides sermon ideas for each Lord's Days.
  • Comfort and Joy: A Study of the Heidelberg Catechism, Andrew Kuyvenhoven, Grand Rapids: CRC Publications, 1988.
  • Our Only Comfort: A Comprehensive Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (vol. 2), Fred Klooster, Grand Rapids: Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2001.

Catechism References:
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 47
Westminster Larger Catechism, Q.190
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 101

* * * * *


Prelude: "Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" [seemusic notes]

Call to Worship [seeliturgy notes]

*Song: "Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" CEL 371, PH 466, PsH 501, RL 362/363, RN 32, SFL 19, SWM 42, TH 164, TWC 130, UMH 57 [seemusic notes]

*Our Declaration of Trust and God's Greeting:
Congregation of Jesus Christ, where is your trust placed?
Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Grace, mercy and peace to you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

*A Call to Praise God's Name:
What does the first request mean?
"Hallowed be your name" means,
Help us to really know you,
to bless, worship, and praise you
for all your works
and for all that shines forth from them:
your almighty power, wisdom, kindness,
justice, mercy, and truth.
And it means,
Help us to direct all our living—
what we think, say, and do—
so that your name will never be blasphemed because of us
but always honored and praised. (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord's Day 47)

*Responsorial Psalm: "Psalm 145" SNC 27

WE ARE RENEWED IN GOD'S GRACE [seeliturgy notes]

Call to Confession

Our Prayer of Confession

Assurance of Pardon

Response of Gratitude: "Lord, I Lift Your Name on High" CEL 107, RN 4, SNC 157, SWM 39, WR 88


Anthem: "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name," Fettke and Johnson [seemusic notes]

Children's Moment [seeliturgy notes]

*Song: "Tell Your Children" PsH 588 [seemusic notes]

Prayer for Illumination: [see liturgy notes]
God, the Bible is a very special book.
It is so big and so old.
What do these old words mean for our lives today?
Please send your Spirit,
so that we can understand your Word. Amen. (TWS, 3.1.22)

Old Testament Reading: Psalms 34:1-3; 86:8-13

New Testament Reading: Hebrews 13:5-21
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Sermon: Take the Name and Hold It High
Prayer Patterns 3

Prayer of Application


*Song of Response: "Holy God, We Praise Your Name" CEL 2, PH 460, PsH 504, RL 619, TH 103, TWC 3, UMH 79

We offer our gifts for .
The offering of music: "With a Voice of Singing" Shaw [see music notes]
or: "Holy God, We Praise Your Name"

Prayers of the People [seeliturgy notes]


Words of Sending:
"And whatever you do,
whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him."(Colossians 3:17)

*Benediction and Congregational Amen!

*Song: "Let All Things Now Living" CEL 794, PH 554, PsH 453, RN 48, TH 125, TWC 53 [seemusic notes]

Postlude: "Let All Things Now Living" [seemusic notes]

*Please stand if you are able.

* * * * *

Sermon Notes

In the first two sermons of this series, two basic thoughts were established that can be reviewed at the beginning of this sermon: First, prayer is an act of gratitude, "the most important part of thankfulness that God requires of us" (Q&A 116). Second, prayer is for God's children (see Q&A 120). When we tie those two together, we can see that we should pray as thankful children.

We cannot stress too much the important privilege we have in carrying the name of God upon us. Take your listeners back to the scene in Numbers 6 when Moses and Aaron were preparing the Israelites for their journey. The Aaronic Benediction is found in verses 24-26, words which should be familiar to each worshiper. Illustrate the importance of such words by pointing to the conclusion of the worship service when we face the challenge to leave the security of the worship space and take up the awesome challenge of living our faith out in the world. Notice what happens then: God's name is put on us! (v.27). Awesome! So comforting! But also so challenging.

There is pain involved in carrying the name of God on us and in praying this petition. We must be able to feel the pain of the way his name is abused in our society. On a daily basis it is not hallowed, but abused. There is also pain in praying this petition because it brings us face to face with how often we have used his name in ways that are less than holy. This pain calls for confession.

But there is also promise involved in this prayer. It's the promise that we are making to God about how we, as his thankful children, will handle his name. In Psalm 34, David is reflecting on the time when he narrowly escaped the sword of Saul in Gath. In his gratitude he promises that he will praise and exalt the name of God and call others to join him. In Psalm 86, also attributed to David, the Psalmist is speaking while under attack from enemies. He extols God as the only true God (verses 8-10) and promises to glorify his name forever (verse12). Notice how the writer of Hebrews closes his epistle with exhortations to hold high God's name (Hebrews 13:15).

This petition, therefore, involves a commitment to take God's name and hold it high, in honor, so all may join in the same. The Catechism speaks about doing so in our language, our worship, and all our living. If you tend to think this is without practical application, we encourage you to read Q&A 190 of the Westminster Larger Catechism and notice how each line calls for careful application.

Music Notes:

Glossary of Hymnal Abbreviations:
CEL Celebration Hymnal (Word Music/Integrity Music)
PH The Presbyterian Hymnal (Presbyterian Church USA; Westminster/John Knox Press)
PsH The Psalter Hymnal (Christian Reformed Church; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
RL Rejoice in the Lord (Reformed Church in America; W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
RN Renew! (Hope Publishing Company)
SFL Songs for LiFE (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SNC Sing! A New Creation (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Christian Reformed Church,
Reformed Church in America; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
SWM Sing With Me (children's songbook; Faith Alive Christian Resources)
TH Trinity Hymnal (Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in America; Great
Commission Publications)
TWC The Worshiping Church (Hope Publishing Company)
UMH The United Methodist Hymnal (United Methodist Publishing House)
WOV With One Voice (Augsburg Fortress)
WR Worship & Rejoice (Hope Publishing Company)

You may wish to include the singing of the Lord's Prayer throughout this series of services. Here are some suggested settings that could be used congregationally:

GREGORIAN [The Lord's Prayer] (UMH 270)
LANGDON [The Lord's Prayer] (PsH 207)
MALOTTE [The Lord's Prayer] (RN 177)
MELITA [The Lord's Prayer] (TH 725)
ST. MICHAEL [Our Heav'nly Father] (RL 262)
VATER UNSER [Our Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth] (PsH 208)
VATER UNSER [Our Father, Clothed with Majesty] (PsH 562)
Our Father in Heaven (PH 571)
Our Father in Heaven (SNC 196)
The Lord's Prayer/Our Father (SWM 174)

Suggestions for prelude and alternative harmonizations based on the opening hymn of the servicecan be found in the following resources:

AZMON [Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing]

Bouman, Paul. Partita on Azmon. CPH 97-6506 [1995] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Groundings. Augsburg 11-11119 [2001] (E-M)
Cherwien, David. Joyful Praise. Morningstar MSM-10-738 [2004] (D)
Hobby, Robert A. Three Hymns of Praise, set 6. Morningstar MSM-10-542 [2000] (E-M)
Kosche, Kenneth. Musica Sacra: Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol. 2. Concordia
97-7015 [2003] (E-M)
Jordan, Alice. Worship Service Music for the Organist. Broadman 4570-27 [1975] (E-M)
Manz, Paul. God of Grace. Morningstar MSM-10-599 [2004] (E-M)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 9. Concordia 97-5556 [1980] (E-M)
Smith, Mark. Brampton Partita on Azmon. Morningstar MSM-10-718 [1996] (E-M)

Sherman, Arnold B. Acclamation on "Azmon." Agape 1363 [1989] (3-5 octaves, M)
Sherman, Arnold B. Our Great Redeemer's Praise. Red River HB0018 [1997]
(3-5 octaves, level 3)

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 2. Ludwig O-07 [1983]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Carlson, J. Bert. Let It Rip! At the Piano, vol. 2. Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]

"The Majesty and Glory of Your Name" by Tom Fettke and Linda Lee Johnson is published by Word 3010122160 [1979]. This anthem is scored for SATB voices and piano (E-M).

An alternative harmonization on the song of preparation can be found in the June 1992 issue of Reformed Worship (24:35). Song commentary can be found online at

Suggestions for offertory music based on the response hymn can be found in:

GROSSER GOTT [Holy God, We Praise Your Name]

Bish, Diane. The Diane Bish Organ Book, vol. 1. Fred Bock B-G0548 [1980] (E)
Burkhardt, Michael. Praise and Thanksgiving, set 4. Morningstar MSM-10-754 [1991]
Dahl, David P. Hymn Interpretations. Augsburg 11-10972 [1999] (E-M)
Held, Wilbur. Hymn Preludes for the Pentecost Season. Concordia 97-5517 [1979] (E-M)
Hobby, Robert A. Three Hymns of Praise, set 5. Morningstar MSM-10-760 [1998] (E-M)
Manz, Paul. God of Grace. Morningstar MSM-10-599 [2004] (D)
Manz, Paul. Ten Chorale Improvisations, set 8. Concordia 97-5342 [1979] (D)
Peeters, Flor. 30 Chorale Preludes, set 3. Peters 6025 [1950] (M-D)

Wiltse, Carl. Holy God, We Praise Your Name. Stained Glass SGM-136 (4 octaves [3-4
octaves hand chimes], level 4)

Choral Resource:
Ferguson, John. Holy God We Praise Thy Name. GIA G-3167 [1988]
(SATB, congregation, organ and opt. brass quartet; Concertato; M)

A choir could also sing an anthem during the offertory: "With a Voice of Singing" by Martin Shaw is scored for SATB voices and organ and is published by Schirmer 8103 [1923] (M).

Suggestions for alternative harmonizations on the closing hymn as well as postlude suggestions are as follows:

ASH GROVE/THE ASH GROVE [Let All Things Now Living]

Alternative Harmonization for Organ:
Burkhardt, Michael. As Though the Whole Creation Cried. Morningstar MSM-10-555 [2001]
Eggert, John. Creative Hymn Accompaniments for Organ, vol. 2. CPH97-6851 [2000]
Ferguson, John. Hymn Harmonizations for Organ, bk. 3. Ludwig O-10 [1986]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:
Organ, Anne Krentz. Let It Rip! At the Piano. Augsburg 11-11045 [2000]

Cherwien, David. Triptych on The Ash Grove. Augsburg 11-10971 [1999] (M-D)
Kosche, Kenneth. Musica Sacra: Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ, vol. 2. Concordia 97-
7015 [2003] (E-M)
Schulz, Christine. Variations on The Ash Grove. Morningstar MSM-10-708 [1995] (M)
Sedio, Mark. Recessional on Sent Forth by God's Blessing. Concordia 97-6864 [2000]

Larkin, Michael. Be Thou My Vision. Morningstar MSM-15-832 [2004] (E-M)
Leavitt, John. How Sweet the Sound. CPH 97-6891 [2000] (M)

Moklebust, Cathy. Let All Things Now Living. Choristers Guild CGB-170 [1995] (3-5
octaves, D)

Liturgy Notes

1. We encourage you to note the intent of Lord's Day 47 during the Call to Worship so the theme of the entire service is set. The songs and the reading of Lord's Day 47 will be more meaningful if it is all seen as an expression of the central theme of this service. To reprint for personal use, a ministry setting, or classroom use, include this credit line: © 1987, CRC Publications, Grand Rapids MI. Reprinted with permission.

2. For the prayers of confession each week, you may either rely on your own formulations for this prayer or draw from the many resources available in The Worship Sourcebook (section 2.2).

3. The Children's Moment can include a brief expression of God's desire that we always use his name carefully and with thanks and praise in our hearts. Reinforce that their parents have been trying to teach them that since their birth, and then the song ("Parents, Tell Your Children") will be a part of the message to the children.

4. Note the Prayer for Illumination is in the language of children. If all your children leave the service for their children's classes, you may want to change this. If not, perhaps having a middle school child lead in this prayer would be very special!

5. For the Prayers of the People we offer another alternative this week. Previously we have suggested the possibility of an extended paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer with phrases from one of the catechismseither the Heidelberg Catechism or the Westminster Shorter Catechismor expanding each petition with your own words (see previous weeks). This week we suggest the possibility of singing the Lord's Prayer as the Prayers of the People.

Also in this series: