Making orders of service easier

Another project in the works — this time over the next few months, not weeks — is to apply XML to a number of churchly applications, including the production of worship orders of worship (also called “orders of service” and “service sheets” — did you get that Google robot?)

Yes, I need help on this project.

First, I need to get my hands dirty with XML. (Fortunately, I’m doing that at Day Job, too.)

Next, I would like to know from work-a-day ministers and church administrators of different denominations what kinds of things you put in orders of service.

Please add these and other thoughts in the comments.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. I have been doing the OOS for our church for the past ten+ years. Not sure exactly what you want so this may be to much. The cover has our logo, the date, and title of the service on the front. On the back, we have our Mission Statement, UU Principles, contact info for main committee chairs, minister, office administrator, Kids RE Director. Inside the actual OOS (sample)
    Ringing The Bell
    Lighting The Chalice
    Words of Welcome
    Opening Hymn 179 “Words That We Hold Tight”
    Joys and Concerns – This is a time for sharing personal joys or concerns with the community.
    Sing Out the Children
    “We bless you on your sacred quest,
    we send you with love on your journey,
    a journey that has no beginning nor end
    may you grow and be filled with your spirit.”
    Offering & Offertory Response
    From you I receive,
    To you I give,
    Together we share,
    And from this we live.
    Special music by Kevin Caran
    Experiencing Three Traditions from around the World
    Taoist philosophy … Patti Rose
    Mayan religion … Julie Caran
    Yoruban tradition … Kevin Caran
    Hymn 186 “Grieve Not Your Heart”
    Community Sending Forth
    As we leave this friendly place,
    Love give light to every face;
    May the kindness which we learn,
    Light our hearts till we return.


    and a listing of announcements for the coming weeks. It may or may not contain an insert depending on the elements of the service. Be glad to provide an example.

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