The Parts of the Liturgy

 

What are the parts of the liturgy?

 

Preparation

 

Invocation

We begin the service “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, the name into which we have been baptized. This is a reminder that we can enter into the presence of the holy God only because we are his baptized children.

 

Confession of Sins

Rather than trying to ignore or downplay the reality of sin in our lives, we openly and honestly confess that we are sinners at the beginning of each service.

 

Absolution

In one of the high points of each service, the pastor, serving as a representative of Jesus Christ himself, announces the good news that all of our sins are forgiven (absolved).

 

Hymn of Praise

We respond to the good news of forgiveness by singing a joyous hymn of praise to God. Usually we use a song called the Gloria Excelsis, based on the song that the angels sang on the first Christmas (Luke 2:14)

Service of the Word

 

Prayer of the Day

This marks the beginning of the first main part of the service, the Service of the Word. Before we hear God’s Word, we pray to him and ask for his blessing.

 

First Lesson

The first lesson we hear from God’s Word is usually taken from the Old Testament.

 

Psalm of the Day

Just like David in the tabernacle and Jesus in the synagogue, we sing from the Book of Psalms.

 

Second Lesson

The second lesson we hear from God’s Word is usually taken from the New Testament epistles (letters).

 

Verse of the Day

We sing a verse to focus our minds and prepare our hearts to hear the Gospel.

 

Gospel

We read from one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) about the life and work of Jesus Christ. This is another high point of the service. The theme of the entire service is based on the Gospel for the day.

 

Hymn of the Day

We sing a hymn specially chosen to match the theme of the service.

 

Sermon

The pastor explains one of the lessons and applies it to our lives.

 

Confession of Faith

We proclaim what we as Christians believe using one of the historic creeds of the Christian Church.

 

Offering

In response to the Word, we joyfully give our best to support the work of the congregation.

 

Prayer of the Church

We pray specifically for the specific needs of our members.

 

Lord’s Prayer

We pray the prayer that Jesus Christ taught us.

Service of Holy Communion

 

Preface to Holy Communion

This marks the beginning of the Service of Holy Communion. The responses that we speak or sing are among the most ancient portions of the liturgy.

 

Holy, Holy, Holy

As we prepare for the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in our midst, we sing this song, based on the song sung by the angels who dwell in the presence of God (Isaiah 6:3) and the song sung by the crowds as Jesus rode into their midst on Palm Sunday (John 12:13).

 

Words of Institution

The pastor repeats the words that Jesus spoke when he instituted the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Through the miraculous power attached to these words, Christ’s body and blood are truly present among us.

 

Lamb of God

In this song, we proclaim the good news that in Holy Communion, Jesus, the Lamb of God, takes away our sins and gives us peace.

 

Distribution

Christ’s body and blood are distributed to the members of the congregation for the forgiveness of sins.

 

Song of Simeon

Like Simeon (Luke 2:25-32), we thank God that we too, in Holy Communion, have been able to hold salvation in our hands.

 

Prayer of Thanks

We say a prayer to God thanking him for giving us the gift of forgiveness through Holy Communion.

 

Blessing

The pastor speaks the blessing of God over the people. This is the same blessing used by Aaron 3500 years ago. (Numbers 6:22-27)

 

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