ABOUT OUR LITURGY: Worship in the Lutheran Church follows a pattern that Christians have practiced for centuries. Certain things done, if understood, can have great meaning and impact on one’s worship experience. This brief explanation of the Service is designed to assist those who worship and gain the most benefit from their participation
THE INVOCATION: The name of the Triune God, Father Son, and Holy Spirit, is called upon (invoked) to be present and bless our worship. It is a reminder of our Baptism and a testimony to others of the God we worship. Some will make the sign of the cross to remind them of their baptism.
CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION: By confessing our sins to God, we are acknowledging our greatest need for Him and His forgiveness. Our only hope for heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ. Absolution means the announcement of that forgiveness in Christ. Now we can joyfully “come into His presence with singing.” In John chapter 20, Jesus gives the church the ability to forgive sins (Office of the Keys), and the church administers this through the called pastor.
SCRIPTURE: All parts of the Divine Liturgy are rich with direct and indirect references to verses from the Bible. Selections from both the Old Testament and New Testament, Epistles (originally letters to individuals or churches) and the Gospels (dealing with Jesus’ life on earth), are read during the Service.
THE CREED: The congregation recites one of the three Christian Creeds (Apostles, Nicene or Athanasian) as a reminder to ourselves and as a testimony to others of the Biblical teachings of the historic Christian faith that are believed and confessed by all true Christians.
THE SERMON: Proclaiming Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the sinner. Sermons proclaim not only God’s Law (His will for our lives and our own sinfulness), but also the Gospel (that Christ in His love died to save sinners).
HOLY COMMUNION: Also known as the Lord’s Supper, it is celebrated in the church at Christ’s command and invitation. In, with, and under the bread and wine, communicants also receive Christ’s true body and blood (real presence) for the forgiveness of sins. There are wonderful blessings connected with the Lord’s Supper: the forgiveness of sins, strengthening of faith, life, and salvation. St. Paul also warns in 1 Corinthians 11:27-30, it is possible to take the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner which leads to one’s judgment. Motivated out of love and concern, we kindly request guests and non-members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to please speak to the pastor privately before coming to the Lord’s Supper.
THE BENEDICTION: At the conclusion of worship, we receive the blessing of the Triune God that He has placed on His people for close to 3,500 years. (Numbers 6:24-26)
ROBES: Robes are worn to symbolize the “robe of Christ’s righteousness.” It is meant to cause people to look, not at the man or what he’s wearing, but at Christ and His forgiveness.
STANDING/SITTING: The congregation stands when addressing God in the confession of sins, during the creed, in prayer, and as the Gospel is read.
COLORS USED ON VARIOUS SUNDAYS: The colors arranged on the altar and pulpit represent various seasons of the Church Year. White: for holiness and purity, is used during Christmas, Epiphany, and Easter Seasons; it is also used on special feast days. Blue: for royalty, is used during Advent. Purple: for repentance, is used during Lent. Red: signifies the Holy Spirit, martyrdom, and special events in the lives of Christians, and is used for Pentecost, Reformation, confirmation, commemorative days, etc. Green is the color for life and is used throughout the season of Pentecost as it emphasizes the Christian life; it is also used during Epiphany.