Traditional worship at First United Methodist Florence is held in our sanctuary on the south end of the building (facing Tuscaloosa St.) and stems from the time-honored worship practices of our Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren heritage, which themselves stem from the ancient traditions of historic Christianity.
In these services, traditional church dress is customary (dress to business casual) and our clergy wear the vestments of the Anglican-Wesleyan tradition.
In both traditional services, clergy are joined by laypersons who regularly lead prayer, read scripture, share community life and serve communion.
These services include historic creeds and congregational responses that have been a part of Christian liturgy from the beginning of the church.
Our sanctuary is designed in a variation of the Oxford style, originating in the early 19th century. It is appointed with stained glass windows, intricate woodworking, hand-stitched altar kneelers and paraments of the particular liturgical seasons. These appointments reflect the beauty of the history contained within our congregation while offering the comfortable rhythms of worship among a continually growing and adapting community of faith.
Our two traditional services are similar in most ways. Both feature pipe organ, piano and a wide variety of familiar and inspiring hymns. Both periodically highlight adult and children’s bell choirs. There are, however, some musical distinctions between the two.
Our early service feature a piano based instrumental and vocal combo, with a style based in blues and southern gospel. Our later service features a full, traditional choir and, occasionally, orchestral accompaniment.
In our traditional services, Communion is served as small, individual pieces of bread and individual cups. Our United Methodist tradition views Communion as a sacrament and as a means of God’s grace. Accordingly, we have an open table, meaning there are no denominational barriers to receiving. We welcome anyone, adult or child, who wishes to love God, repent of sin and live in peace with others to receive.