Traditional Christian worship often begins with a processional in which the officiants and other representative worshipers, such as the choir, enter the sanctuary. Processions may also occur outside the church on festive occasions. The procession is based on biblical models and is a way of proclaiming the victory and dominion of the Lord and of his Christ.
Only recently, in its expanded awareness of entrenched spiritual evil, has the Christian church begun to recover the scriptural understanding of warfare in the realm of the spirit. The Bible clearly reveals the spiritual nature of the struggle against sin and the opposition of demonic powers to the gospel of Christ. As the celebration of the Lord’s dominion and victory, worship is a major weapon in the arsenal of spiritual warfare.
Dance is a regular feature of Israel’s festive worship and is viewed as an act of obedience to the Lord, for his praise and glory.
Despite the predominant function of the king as a military leader, the Bible records many occasions when the kings of Israel and Judah fulfilled a significant role in the leadership of the nation’s worship.
In the directives of Moses, priests were specially commissioned for the role of representing the people before the Lord and thus occupied a central position in the worship life of the covenant people.
A careful survey of scriptural evidence discloses that the worship of the Lord is most significantly influenced, and often expressly led, by persons functioning in a prophetic role (as opposed to a priestly role). Prophets served as mediators of the covenant; they were closely associated with the sanctuary and vitally concerned with the integrity of worship; they functioned as directors and musicians.
The patriarchs of Israel and the leaders or elders of the Israelite tribes are portrayed often in Scripture as taking the lead in their family or community worship of the Lord.
In Canaan Israelite worship incorporated elements from pagan worship, especially that of Ba‘al, and Israel went through periods of apostasy and reform.
The New Testament records a number of occasions on which Jesus, the apostles, or the early Christians are found taking part in Jewish festivals or other acts of worship. The accounts of these events involve terminology descriptive of Jewish worship.
It is significant that the New Testament authors apply words and images from Israelite worship to Jesus Christ. In so doing, they show how the church sought to interpret Jesus, whom it recognized to be the Christ.