We strive to make the Worship Service reverent and respectful as we come into God’s presence to receive His gifts and to return thanks for His blessings. As with any church with which you’re not familiar, you should expect it to take at least a couple of Sundays to become accustomed to the service. And we will help you along the way.
The Divine Service is liturgical, which means that it follows a set order each week (making it easier to follow with every attendance). The service focuses on God’s Word and Sacraments because they are the only means by which God has promised to offer us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. We pray that through the Divine Service God will awaken and strengthen your trust in Him and His forgiveness.
The Divine Service is nothing new, but it isn’t outdated either. The service order we gladly use now is the product of 2,000 years of development in the Christian Church. In the service, you will see music with foreign names like the Introit, the Kyrie, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Alleluia, the Sanctus, etc. These titles come from the first words of the song in the original Hebrew, Greek, or Latin languages. We retain these titles to help us remember that we share the Christian faith, not only with those living with us today in our community but also with those who have lived before us and in all parts of the world.
What is a liturgy?
The liturgy is our order of service. It includes the following:
- The Confession of Sins: We confess to God that we have failed to live up to the perfect standards in His Law, and we plead for His mercy.
• The Announcement of Forgiveness (Absolution): The pastor announces the forgiveness of sins won for us by the perfect life and innocent sufferings and death of Jesus, our Savior.
• A Song of Praise: These songs of praise remind us of the wonderful things God has done for us, not the least of which is the salvation He gives through Christ.
• Prayer of the Day: The Church brings her concerns and prayers to a loving Father in Heaven, who has shown great mercy and promised to hear our cries for help.
• Scripture Readings: The pastor reads three selections from the Bible. They usually include one selection from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament epistles (letters), and one from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John).
• Sermon: The pastor offers instruction and encouragement in a sermon, usually based on one of the three readings. Expect to hear God’s guidance for dealing with the problems of life, along with the promises of forgiveness and eternal life in heaven through Jesus.
• Response to the Word: We respond with offerings and prayers for the things God has promised us and for strength to do what he has asked.
• Holy Communion: God comes to us in His Holy Body and Blood which was sacrificed for our sins on the cross at Calvary and was raised three days later on Easter morning. In eating and drinking this precious Sacrament, we receive the forgiveness won for us on the cross as well as the new life given to us in the resurrection. (Currently, we celebrate Holy Communion every first and third Sunday of the month. Before communing, however, we ask our guests to please speak with the pastor beforehand.)
• Final Blessing: We hear one last assurance of God’s guidance and love.
What is close Communion?
First of all, a disclaimer: we do not practice close Communion to be exclusionary or judgmental. We do not judge a person’s faith. The purpose of our practice of “close communion” is to make sure that those who receive the Lord’s Supper are close to God and close to each other in the Christian faith. We want all people who share the same faith and understanding to join us for this heavenly banquet. So please don’t think that we want to exclude you. Nothing could be further from the truth.
That being said, the Scriptures do have some very definite things to say about who is to be invited to the Lord’s table. You must be able to “examine” yourself. That’s why we ask that you speak with the pastor so we have a chance to explain what the Bible has to say about properly receiving this precious sacrament.
If you still have questions ask one of the members, or the pastor they would be glad to explain.