We understand that it may be intimidating to walk into an unfamiliar church. No matter who you are, we want you to feel welcome - God's love is for all.
Concordia Lutheran Church uses the Lutheran Service Book for our order of worship. Specifically, we use 5 different settings of the Divine Service. We believe that God is very orderly shown to us in the order of creation (out of chaos came order). So we formally use the order of worship found in the Lutheran Service Book.
The Divine Service
The Divine Service has three main parts: Confession and Absolution, The Service of the Word and The Service of the Sacrament. Service of Word and Sacrament are the main emphasis of ministry in the Lutheran Church. It is through His Word and Sacrament that God delivers His gifts to His people. In the Divine Service God delivers forgiveness, life and salvation through His Word and Sacrament. It is by means of these gifts that He feeds and strengthens our faith unto life everlasting.
We welcome all children to attend our services. However, often parents are not able to bring their children to Sunday School for various reasons, so Children’s Church is a form of Sunday School that is offered for children during the Sermon only.
Like most people, our members try to make their worship time an important and special time. One may dress casually and rejoice in having a God who will accept us as we are; another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Lord and Savior. When a person dresses out of love for God, the choice of dress (casual or formal) is acceptable to God and us.
Before the Service
As you arrive for The Divine Service, you will be provided with a bulletin that gives information about the service and about the congregation. In each pew is the Lutheran Service Book which contain all the orders of worship and hymns used for worship. On the inside cover of the hymnal are prayers for all to pray before the service begins. As well, inside the back cover are the Creeds and the Lord’s Prayer conveniently placed for your usage.
The Opening of the Service
The service begins either with an opening hymn or with the words of the Invocation, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” As these God’s name is spoken, you may make the sign of the cross to remember your Baptism.
We then kneel confessing our sins to God, and then the pastor declares God’s forgiveness to us. When the pastor says these words of absolution, he is speaking on behalf of Jesus, as He Himself said in the Gospel of St. John Chapter 20, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them,”and we can be as sure of God’s forgiveness as surely as if Jesus were saying those words with his own lips.
The Service of the Word
The Divine Service then continues with “the Service of the Word”. This starts with the pastor and congregation reciting a psalm or the singing of a hymn. The Kyrie, Hymn of Praise and Prayer follow leading up to the reading of God’s Holy Word. All of God’s Word is relevant so we include a reading from the Old Testament, a reading from one of the New Testament letters and rise for the reading of the Holy Gospel. At Concordia we use the historical 3 year series of readings. After the readings there is a special message for the children, the sermon hymn and then the sermon.
The Lutheran Sermon has always been most unique to all denominations because all sermons are Law and Gospel. The Law shows our sins while the Gospel shows how Christ has accomplished forgiveness of all our sins by dying for our sins. The sermon lets us know that God loves us and has mercy on us for Christ’s sake.
At the completion of the sermon we often express our faith as a group by reciting one of the creeds of the Church. Depending on the setting of the service, the Creed is confessed either before or after the sermon.
The Offering is taken and is an opportunity to give as God has given to us. It is our response to God’s gift of forgiveness of all our sins through Christ. And we know that where there is forgiveness there is life and salvation. It is also time for members to submit, in the offering plate, any prayers to be mentioned in the prayers of the Church. The Prayers of the Church complete the Service of the Word and leads into the Service of the Sacrament.
The Service of the Sacrament
The liturgy of the Service of the Sacrament is as old as the Holy Christian Church. The Service of the Sacrament is a time to remember the journey Jesus took from His entrance into Jerusalem to the night in which He was betrayed to His suffering and death that led to His glorious resurrection and His coming again for the final judgment. As we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. We believe that in, with and under the bread and the wine is the very true body and blood of Jesus.
End of the Service, and After
After the distribution of the Supper, there is a closing prayer and then a final hymn. We depart with the love of Christ dwelling in our hearts and a brotherly love that is extended to all.