Worship for Lutheran Christians (3 of 4)
Hymn of Praise
Two hymns of praise, "Glory to God in the highest" and "This is the feast of victory," give the congregation the opportunity to praise God and express joy because Jesus is our victorious Savior. During Advent and Lent, the hymn of praise is omitted. (“Glory to God in the highest,” Luke 2:14; “This is the feast of victory,” Rev. 5:12ff; see Ps 148:13; Ps 2:7)
“The Lord be with you.” “And also with you.” This greeting model the way believers interact with one another. It is a usual way to call people to prayer. (Ruth 2:4; Luke 1:28; 2 Thess 3:16; 2 Tim 4:22)
Prayer of the Day
The main thoughts of the day are collected, or summarized in this short prayer. The prayers of day of the Church year have come to us from the rich treasury of the Church, often based ancient prayers.
The First Lesson
The first reading is from the Old Testament, except during the Easter season when it is from the Book of Acts. This reading usually relates to the Gospel of the day. After each reading the reader says, “The Word of the Lord” (see 1 Peter 1:25) and the congregation responds, “Thanks be to God” (see Rom 6:17; 2 Cor 9:15; 1 Tim. 4:13)
The Psalm is chosen as a response to the First Lesson and a bridge to the Second Lesson. (Col 3:16; Eph 5:18-20)
The Second Lesson
The second reading is from one of the epistles (letters) in the New Testament. (2 Peter 3:15-17; cf. 1 Thess 5:27; Col 4:16)
A verse from the holy scriptures is usually sung in preparation for the reading of the Gospel. There are general verses as well as specific verses for the seasons of the church year. (John 6:68; Joel 2:13 in Lent)
The Holy Gospel
The Gospel Lesson is a selection from the accounts of the life of our Lord recorded by the four evangelists, St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John. Because the Gospel Lesson specifically brings the life, death, and resurrection of Christ to us, we stand to honor Christ. On certain festival days, the minister may read the Gospel while standing among the people. He may be flanked by acolytes carrying candles who proclaim Jesus and his word as the "light of the world."
The Hymn of the Day
This hymn follows the theme of the readings and set the stage for the sermon.
The Pastor proclaims God's Word and guides the congregation to apply that Word. The Preacher stresses both what God requires of us (the Law) and what God does for us through Jesus Christ (the Gospel).
After hearing the word of God read and proclaimed, the worshiper responds with his confession of faith in the words of the Nicene Creed. It is customary for the Nicene Creed to be spoken on major festivals. The Apostles' Creed is used at other times. (1 Cor 15:1ff; 1 Pet 3:18ff; 1 Tim. 3:16. See the confessions in Mark 9:24; John 11:27; also, John 14:1; 1 John 5:10)
Prayers of the People
Paul directs Timothy: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for Kings and all those in authority, that we may live in peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim 2:1-2). For 5 this reason, we pray “for all of God’s people and all of God’s creation,” typically around the categories of the world, the congregation, and the whole Church. (See also James 5:13-18)