CHAPTER VI. THE WORSHIPS SESSIONS
1. THE SERMONS
i. The Sermon of the Holy Day. A sermon will be held on Holy Day in every Chapel, in accordance with normal practice. For the morning Sermon, two Lessons will be read from the Old and the New Testaments.
ii. Both the Hymn Book and both Bibles can be used.
iii. If any song is to be sung which is not in the Hymn Book, the Minister can decide if that song is suitable, and if it is not suitable, to stop.
iv. The Minister will stop the use of Chapels for any purposes that are not suitable with the practices of the church.
v. To advise the people of the church to kneel and face the front when praying.
vi. There will also be a Sunday afternoon Sermon, and a weekday Sermon. (a) It will be up to each Minister to consider a convenient time for each Parish to hold the weekday Sermon. (e) The Sunday afternoon Sermon will be delayed from 3pm to 4pm.
vii. The Head Minister will do the allocations, and it is up to him to appoint his replacement, after the sermon on Wednesday morning.
2. THE TWO SACRAMENTS
1. The two sacraments are the Baptism and the Lord’s Last Supper. It is God's command to do these two things, and it is always the Christians’ duty, to mark the covenant between Christ and his people.
A. THE LORD’S LAST SUPPER
i. The Lord’s Last Supper: It is God’s instruction, “Do this in remembrance of me”, and we endorse this by believing his precious death on the Cross as our salvation. And we commemorate His suffering and death with the bread and wine, and by accepting this Holy Sacrament in faith and peace, we feel the work of the Holy Spirit, and we have fellowship with the Lord, and each of our fellow worshippers.
ii. The Ordained Ministers can conduct the Sacraments, but the President can authorise any Probationary Minister to do this.
iii. It will be conducted no less than two occasions a year namely, the first Sunday of the New Year, and the Easter Sunday.
iv. It is up to the Minister to advise the congregation how precious the Sacrament is, and to stop just anybody from doing it.
v. To restrict the Sacrament to only the Catechumen and the Learners, and for anyone under the age of 15 years not to participate in it.
vi. To say a collective prayer for those waiting to have the Sacrament. The Sacrament can be taken to those who are ill.
vii. The Steward is to ensure when arranging the seating that enough space is available at the place for kneeling during the Sacrament, and for people to proceed in an orderly and solemn manner. And for them to all gather together to the kneeling place.
viii. The President can authorise a person to conduct the Sacrament of the Lord’s Last Supper, during each Conference year, and it can be given to the following position holders: (a) Any Probationary Minister assigned to any Section or assisting one. (e) Any Trainee Minister assigned to any Section or assisting one. (f) Any Conference Steward assigned to any village or any place difficult for the Minister of the Section to visit.
E. THE RULES OF BAPTISM
i. The parents who wanted a child to be Baptised to first inform the Minister, in a few days before the Sunday. And for the Minister to meet with them to receive their dedication to raise the child in the religious way. If the Minister is not satisfied with them and how they make their dedication, he must allow for the child to be brought forward by any relative who could make a true dedication to raise the child in a religious manner.
ii. To Baptise the illegitimate children in the church building before the congregation. The parents are to line up with the children to be Baptised (if there are a number of them), but it will start with the Baptism of the legitimate children and finish with the illegitimate ones. For the parents intending to bring the illegitimate children, the fathers will still not be allowed to come forward, but it will still be allowed for the mother only to proceed if she could truly dedicate that the child will be raised in the religious ways; but if the Minister is not satisfied with the mother’s dedication, the child must be brought forward by a relative who will truly dedicate to teach the child in the Doctrines and practices of the Christian Religion. Let us always emphasise on the joint vow between the Church and the parents, in the teaching of the children in the religious things.
iii. A miscarried foetus or someone who has died cannot be Baptised. And for our people to be taught that the focus of the Baptism if on the rearing children for the Lord for them to join in his Church to grow up in a truly Christian manner. And if a child had no opportunity to be Baptised it is quite wrong for some people to consider that God will not accept such a child.
iv. The Baptism is a Sacrament to demonstrate the accepting of people to the Church of Christ and this has been done from the beginning, not only for adults who believe, but for children as well, for it was written in the scripture, “Somebody died as a Substitute for everyone.” So the blessings from the sacrifice that has been done for the world are endowed on everyone. So, when it is clear that it is God’s will, they will be allowed to be included in the Church of Christ through Baptism.
v. The Ordained Minister can conduct this, but in the case of any emergency, he can delegate to a Steward or an Ordained Preacher. He should belong to the chapel and the parents should attend. The Minister is to emphasise for them to remember, when they bring their children to be Baptised, they are dedicating them to God, and they vow that they will teach them about religious conduct.
vi. The Minister has the responsibility when a Baptism occurs to then inform the Head Minister, so he could record it in the Baptism Book where the Baptisms are collated.
3. CONDUCTING A MARRIAGE CEREMONY
i. Any Ordained Minister, and any Retired Ordained Minister, and a Probationary Minister who has been authorised by the President, can conduct a marriage ceremony.
ii. The Minister will conduct the marriage in conformity with the instructions laid down by the church.
iii. It cannot be done without authorisation from the Government.
iv. If done, the Marriage Certificate is to be forwarded to the Government and the President, no later than three (3) weeks.
v. The donation for the marriage is eighty cents (80s), and each Minister will keep the money when he conducts marriages.
4. CONDUCTING A FUNERAL
i. It will be done in conformity with the Instruction Book of the Church.
ii. The Minister can conduct it, or anyone he has authorised to do it.
iii. The bell will be rung, then recite every prayer published for conducting a funeral of everyone, irrespective of whether that person had been Baptised or not, or how the deaths came about; but the Minister can delegate the sermon (advice) for anyone that he is not satisfied with the deceased's conduct. The Minister and the family can decide how to conduct a funeral for any miscarried foetus.
iv. The funeral service can be held in our chapels.
5. THE CHURCH SERVICES
i. There shall be a Prayer Service on Monday afternoon, Friday morning, and Sunday morning, and in any other time that the President and the Chairing Minister see fit. To leave it for each Minister to check a convenient time for each Parish on which to have the weekday service.
ii. The Head Minister can lead, or he can delegate to any of the other Ministers or the Steward or Lay Preacher.
iii. Cheering, clapping, and making noises are not to be permitted during church services.
iv. To allow the wearing of the Tongan traditional costumes during meetings.
i. There will be an observance of fasting days, once every Quarter, on the last Friday of March, June, September, and December, and in any other time that the President and the Chairing Ministers see fit.
7. NEW YEAR’S EVE SERVICE
i. There will be a night service on New Year’s eve, starting from 10 pm and up to midnight.
8. NIGHT TIME PRAYER SERVICE [POLOTU]
i. The Head Minister of each Parish can decide when and how the Evening Prayer Services are conducted. It can be held on the evening of the First Sunday of the new month or in any other time.
ii. The Minister can direct the Steward or any of the Lay Preachers to lead the Evening Service.
iii. The Minister has the responsibility to be particularly careful that the Evening Services are conducted in ways that are fit and acceptable with Religion.