Our worship services are liturgical. This means we rely on God’s promise to work among us by His Word and sacraments. So in our worship services God’s Word is heard in reading, preaching, and singing. And God’s sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are administered according to His Word. This makes our worship centered on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin.
The Parts of the Liturgy
The service begins with words that call on the name of the Triune God. “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" is the same Word by which we are baptized. These words thereby assure us God Himself is present and He has given us place before Him in His own holy name.
We have no natural place before holy God. Therefore, we humbly confess our sins to God and then as humbly hear His proclamation that our sins are forgiven. Faith in such absolution cleanses us from all sin and assures our holy God has given us place before Him.
Song of Praise
In response to the forgiveness of our sins, we join our voices in a song of praise and thanks to God.
Prayer of the Day
We pray an appointed prayer for each particular Sunday of the church year that fits with the theme of the day.
The first reading from God's Word is usually from the Old Testament and is chosen for its direct correlation to God’s promise to send His own Son to suffer, die, and rise from the dead, to save people from sin, death, and the devil.
Psalm of the Day
The Psalms comprise the ancient hymn book of God’s people and serve as rich poetic resource for the theme of the day.
The Gospel reading from God’s Word is of the very words spoken by Jesus. As such, we stand to hear them. These words are the most direct expression of the theme of the day.
Hymn of the Day
One of the several hymns selected for the service, the words of this hymn in particular teach God's Word in relation to the theme of the day.
The pastor preaches a message based on one of the readings for the day. The sermon is not a ‘how to’ lesson for living but a proclamation of God’s law toward repentance and of God’s good news of forgiveness, life, and salvation through Jesus Christ.
Confession of Faith
Where the sermon proclaims what God has given us to believe, the confession of faith is our response affirming that we believe it. To do this we use the words of one of the ancient and universal creeds of the Christian Church - the Nicene, Apostles', or Athanasian Creed.
Prayer of the Church
With God’s promise to hear and answer, the Prayer of the Church is the common voice of Christians everywhere. So that in response to hearing God’s Word, we speak back to Him what we have heard in the form of petitions that express His praise, state our needs, and voice our joys. This is followed by praying the Lord's Prayer – the prayer taught by Jesus Himself.
The Lord's Supper
The Lord’s Supper is the high point of the service. Known also as Holy Communion, brothers and sisters united in confession of faith, receive under bread and wine the true body and blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith.
As the Invocation is God’s Word to bless His people in gathering in the church to hear His Word, the Benediction is God’s Word to bless His people in returning to the world to share His Word.