When we have encountered God at work among us in our worship and in our daily lives, our proper response is a lifelong Alleluia and a shout at the end of our worship, “Thanks be to God!” We place our “Amen” over all that the liturgy celebrates.
You are a worshiper. You are not a spectator. Lutheran worship invites the active, full, conscious participation of each worshiper. As a worshiper, you will be invited to listen to God’s word and to receive Holy Communion. You will have the opportunity to confess your faith, to praise God, to pray, to offer yourself for God’s mission, and to share the peace of the Lord. You will hear a sermon, which sets the meaning of salvation through Christ in the context of present hopes, fears, and needs.
The pattern for Lutheran worship as a congregation is called the liturgy. Liturgy means the “work of the people.” Liturgy is working with words and actions to honor God. As the Word of God is proclaimed and the sacraments are enacted among us, the Spirit touches our lives. Be open to the Holy Spirit who will draw you into a congregation at worship as an active participant. Then liturgy will not be in a book or bulletin, but also in you. In the worship event you can encounter God and God’s people as you listen, pray, praise, sing and share in the sacraments.
The two principal parts of the liturgy, the Proclamation of the Word and the celebration of the Eucharist (Communion), are so intimately connected as to form one act of worship.
Through the Proclamation of the Word, as through the sacraments, God gives faith, forgiveness of sins, and new life. The public reading of the Holy Scriptures is an indispensable part of worship, constituting the basis for the public proclamation of the Gospel. The preaching of the Gospel of the crucified and risen Christ is rooted in the readings of the Scriptures in the assemblies for worship.
The Celebration of Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, was instituted by Jesus Christ on the night of his betrayal. At the table of our Lord Jesus Christ, God nourishes faith, forgives sin, and calls us to be witnesses to the Gospel. In this sacrament the crucified and risen Christ is present, giving his true body and blood as food and drink. We receive Christ’s body and blood and God’s gifts of forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation for the strengthening of our faith. Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, All who believe that Jesus Christ is present are welcomed to the Lord’s Table.