Worship Practices (2 of 3)
We are a Liturgical Church
A liturgical church is one in which all the services, including the ”contemporary” service, have a set form. The basic form of worship is:
1. Gathering (Songs and Prayers)
2. Word (Scripture and Sermon)
3. Meal (Holy Communion)
4. Sending (Songs and Blessing to go and serve God and neighbor)
Liturgical worship prefers the words of worship to be from the Bible. For example, we greet each other with the words Paul used in 2 Corinthians 13:13: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” This is the main reason the words of worship do not change often; we want to be formed as God’s people by saying God’s Word.
This form goes back to Christian worship in the 2nd century. The Lutheran Churches join with their brothers and sisters in Christ in the Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church to celebrate their common liturgy together. We work with other liturgical churches to have common language in our worship services. We express that we are one in Christ by using common words. Click on the button for more information.
The form for the 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday Services is found in the hymnal Evangelical Lutheran Worship. In addition to variations of Sunday worship services, you will find in the hymnal services for Baptism, Affirmation of Baptism, Marriage, and Burial of the Dead. The 11:00 a.m. Sunday Service follows the same form of worship but uses music accompanied by a band and words based on scripture that change each week.
In reality, most churches follow a set form for the simple reason that a church service, as an assembly of a group of people, has to have some form of order. In a non-liturgical church, the pastor and the congregation have greater degrees of freedom to define that form and allow for some spontaneity.