Christ is at the center of liturgical worship. Some parts of the liturgy stay the same each Sunday. This is to make sure that Christ is proclaimed and praised during every service. Some parts of the liturgy change every week. These changes are based on the appointed calendar of the church. This calendar makes sure that we cover the important events and teachings of Christ every year. If you join us for worship, this is what the liturgy for a typical service would be like:
1. Invocation: Each service begins “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” These are the words spoken at your baptism. They show that we enter God’s presence to worship him because we are his baptized children.
2. Confession and Absolution: In each service we humbly confess our sins to God and then gladly hear his proclamation that each one of them has been forgiven. It’s included in every service because we can never hear those amazing, comforting words too often.
3. Song of Praise: In response to the forgiveness so freely to us, we join our voices in a song of praise to God.
4. Prayer of the Day: In the Prayer of the Day we ask God to give us the blessings that the Scripture readings will tell us about. The Prayer of the Day has a long history in Christian worship services. Many of these prayers have been prayed by countless Christians over hundreds of years. We offer each prayer through Jesus, the living Lord, who said, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father” (John 14:14).
5. First Lesson: The first lesson is usually taken from the Old Testament. Many times we will hear about a prophecy that was fulfilled by Christ in the Gospel lesson for the day.
6. Psalm of the Day: For 3,000 years believers have worshiped God by singing and reciting psalms. Worshipping in this way connects us with the believers who have gone before us.
7. Second Lesson: The second lesson is usually taken from the Epistles—the part of the New Testament after the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Typically they apply God’s Word specifically to the believer’s life.
8. The Gospel: The entire service revolves around the Gospel lesson. We stand to hear the words of Christ our King, just like people stood in the presence of royalty in ancient times.
9. Children's Sermon: Jesus told us, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (Matthew 19:14).” Paul reminded Timothy that it was from infancy that he had known the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:15). Children are sinners too. Children need a Savior. God’s saving Word is for them and pastor share a brief message with the children.
10. Sermon: The pastor preaches a relevant message based on one of the lessons or the gospel for the day. The sermon teaches how God's word applies to our Christian life.
11. Confession of Faith: We proclaim what we believe—what the Christian Church has always believed. To do that we use the words of the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds—both of which have been used in the Christian Church for almost two millennia.
12. Prayer of the Church: We join to pray to God about specific joys and troubles in our church and in the Church around the world. This is followed by the Lord’s Prayer.
13. Lord's Supper: The Lord's Supper is offered once a month. We receive Jesus’ true body/blood in and with the bread/wine for the forgiveness of our sins
14. Benediction: We receive the same blessing spoken over God’s people for 3500 years. (See Numbers 6:27)