Liturgical Lutheran Worship
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Next we have the Salutation, a verbal expression that we’re in this together. It signifies an openness and trust, unity in our position under God’s word. “The Lord be with you” is a prayer that we all may receive the full benefit of the message we’re about to hear. “And also with you” is a response of peace, that God might bring His word to fruition. Then the Prayer of the Day, formally known as the Collect, is prayed. This gathers the people’s petitions and collects the thoughts of the day into one arrowlike prayer. The congregation responds with Amen, “it shall be so,” a declaration of faith that its prayer is heard.

The Scripture Readings and Sermon together are the first high point of the service. These readings set the theme for the service, taking into account the day and the season. Usually there’s a stronger unity between the Old Testament reading and the Gospel, with the Epistle readings generally reading through a New Testament book, or a longer section of a book, over several Sundays. The three readings are on a three-year cycle. After the reading of the Epistle, we frequently respond with an alleluia verse, “alleluia” meaning “Praise the Lord,” an exclamation that stems from God’s love and kindness in teaching us by His holy word. Before the Gospel is read, the congregation rises as a mark of special honor to Jesus, whose life and words we’re about to hear. This is a time for deepest reverence and sharpest attention, as we sing “Glory to You, O Lord,” and stand ready to hear His words and act on His commands, which honestly have life-or-death meaning for us. 
The hymn before the sermon is called the Hymn of the Day because it usually emphasizes the theme and prepares for the sermon to follow. The Sermon then is most often based on one of the Scripture readings of the day. If it’s based on a topic rather than a biblical text, it’s technically called a homily. The sermon is intended to be a prayerfully prepared preaching of God’s word, exposing our sin, applying God’s forgiveness, and exhorting to life in Christ. As God once planted the cross of His Son into the earth, He now places His word about this cross into the ground of our hearts. And something happens—either His word is choked and parched, or by His word our life in Jesus produces fruit. The standard closing blessing, from Philippians 4:7, prays that the peace of God may never leave us.

Since we’ve heard God’s word spoken to us, we respond by confessing our faith through one of the Creeds of the Church. Speaking to God and confessing to one another, we are happy and proud to publicly voice our faith. The Apostles Creed is shorter, was probably composed earlier, and is the simplest statement of the Christian faith. The Nicene Creed is more detailed, was composed primarily as a reaction to false teaching, and came out of a 4th century Council of the Church. 

Next we respond to what God has done to us and for us by bringing our money Offering, an act of worship. In this we are active, we’re giving, we offer ourselves to God and show it by giving our monetary contribution. In the ancient church, worshipers brought bread and wine to be used in Lord’s Supper. All that was left was distributed among the poor. 

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John Lutheran Church, 607 S. E. 9th Street, Pryor, OK 74361 
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