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    Prayer & Christian Devotion - Thread: Lutheran Liturgy Explanation

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      Lutheran Liturgy Explanation

      I love to Skype with my friends! We end up talking about anything and everything and one day we were discussing the liturgy and how filled with God's Word it is.

      This is my thread to explain the Liturgy, but because I'm Lutheran, it will be a Lutheran liturgy. I'm going to try to post a new section daily instead of bombarding the thread all at once. I hope you all enjoy this!

      Liturgy = Service

      These will be the 3 web pages I'll be copying and pasting from:
      http://www.goodshepherd.nb.ca/liturgy/
      http://clclutheran.org/atlanta/bible...urgystudy.html
      http://www.trinityboulderjunction.or...p-service.html

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      The Prelude

      Music helps draw us into an attitude of prayer and praise. Come early to the Worship Service! This is your time of preparation, a time to get your mind off the distractions of life, job and the world, and on to God. Prepare yourself for the worship of your God and the hearing and learning of His Word by reading a psalm or pre-service devotion. Or look up and read the Scripture readings, sermon text, and hymns for the day. The rhythm of our worship is from him to us, and then from us back to him. He gives his gifts, and together we receive and extol them. We build one another up as we speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

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      The Ringing of the Bells

      Not all churches do this... This is a call to Gods people "to enter the lord's gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise" (Psalm 100:4).


      Opening Hymn

      We are a "singing church," so we follow the advice of the apostle Paul to teach and admonish "one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the lord" (Colossians 3:16). This hymn may be one of praise, prayer, or reflection on the season of the church year.

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      The Invocation

      By this we give testimony that we worship the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We ask the Triune God to be with us and to bless us as we carry on our worship. We call upon God to be present with us. We worship the triune God, remembering our Baptism in His name*. Amen means "So be it, it is true!"
      * Matt. 28:19; Matt. 18:20; Eph. 2:18.

      The Invocation states in whose name we are gathered – in the name of the Holy Trinity, the one true God – Father, Son and Holy Ghost. This is the God who comes to serve us in His Word and Sacrament. It is God who gathers us together in His name, just as He claimed us as His own by putting His name upon us in the water and word of Baptism. Thus, the Invocation also serves to remind us of our Baptism when we were baptized into the Christian faith.

      Already at the beginning of the service, our liturgy grounds worship in the incarnational presence of Jesus Christ, who is truly present with us in Word and Sacrament. The words of the Invocation are found in Matthew 28:19.

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      The Confession of Sins

      Before we can draw near to worship our holy God we must first of all cast away our sins. So we come to Him in penitence and faith and confess our sins, whereupon we hear the Pastor, as God’s representative, speak to us the words of comfort and forgiveness through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

      We examine ourselves and publicly confess our sins. Such a confession at the beginning of the service provides a climate of acceptance. In spite of our sins, we are accepted by God, and in turn we can accept each other.
      * I John 1:8-10 [Rom. 7:14-8:4].

      As sinful human beings, we could not stand in the presence of a holy and righteous God. For this reason, it is only fitting that we publicly confess our sins before our Father in heaven. The versicle preceding the Confession of Sins says: “Beloved in the Lord! Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins unto God, our Father, beseeching Him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.” The Scriptural basis for this is found in Hebrews 10:22. Confession has always been a part of the life of all believers. Throughout Scripture, we find beautiful examples of confession, such as King David’s confession in Psalm 51. Though we are baptized into Christ and His forgiveness, sins still clings to us in this life and we repeatedly break God’s law. Therefore, we are in continual need of His forgiveness, so we confess our sins, and He is “faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

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      The Absolution or
      Declaration of Grace


      Christ said to his disciples, "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven"*. The pastor speaks for God and announces God's cleansing forgiveness to those who made confession.
      * John 20:23.

      Upon every penitent (repentant) confession, there must be a proper Absolution (word of forgiveness). The Scriptural basis for the Absolution is found in several places. First it is spoken of in John 20:23 by our Lord Himself. Second, it is found in 1 John 1:9. Thus, where there is a penitent confession and the called and ordained servant of God announces the Absolution, it is as if God Himself is giving this forgiveness to His people.

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      The Service of the Word

      From the time of the apostles down through today, an important part of the service has been the reading of the Scriptures, including the Old Testament Lesson, the Epistle Lesson from the New Testament, and the Gospel Lesson. The reason for including these readings is the scriptural principal that God's Word is the only rule and guide for Christian faith and living. The Service of the Word concludes with the sermon (wich is the preached word), the church's confession of faith in response to God's Word, and the prayers of God's people.

      The Introit

      Introit is a Latin word meaning "he enters into." The Introit is a part of a psalm or a hymn that announces the theme of the day and begins the Service of the Word. Many years ago the faithful would meet outside and then proceed into the church. The pastor and the people would chant psalms as they entered the sanctuary. The Introit traditionally consists of an Antiphon, or refrain, a Psalm or a series of Psalm verses, the Gloria Patri*, and the Antiphon repeated.
      * Rom. 16:27; Eph. 3:21; Phil. 4:20; Rev. 1:6, 8.

      The Introit often introduces the main theme of the day or the season. It sets the stage for what will later be prayed in the Collect of the Day, as well as the Readings, and also often in the Sermon. The words of the Introit are usually drawn from the Psalms. At the end of the Introit, we sing what is called the “Gloria Patri” (“Glory be to the Father…”), which is a statement of praise to the Holy Trinity.

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      The Kyrie

      Kyrie is a Greek word meaning "O Lord." It is a cry to the Lord for help and strength*. In ancient times, the crowds would shout "Lord, have mercy" as the King entered their town. The church has taken over his prayer to greet its King Jesus Christ in the church service. As the people so long ago expected help from their King, so we Christians expect help from our Savior.
      * Matt. 9:27; Matt. 15:22; Matt. 20:30-31; Luke 17:13.

      The Kyrie (Greek for “Lord”) is not another confession of sins, but a plea to God for His assistance, for the help that He alone can provide. It is a plea for the removal of misery and suffering borne as a consequence of sins now forgiven. Scripture uses these terms in various places: Psalm 123:1-4, Psalm 51, Mark 10:47.

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      The Gloria in Excelsis

      We lift our voices to God in thanksgiving for sending His Son to be our Savior.

      The Gloria in Excelsis (“Glory be to God on high…”) is known to us from Luke 2:13-14, where the angels announced Christ’s birth. It is a response to the Kyrie as it voices the joy of believers because they recognize the merciful goodness of God in sending His Son to be the Savior of the world. The Gloria not only focuses upon the birth of Christ, but also upon why He was born into the world: to be the Lamb of God that takest away the sin of the world.

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      The Salutation

      In the Salutation, the pastor and the congregation great each other in the Lord's name.
      * Ruth 2:4; Luke 1:28; II Thess. 3:16; II Tim. 4:22.

      The Pastor prays that the Holy Spirit may bless the congregation as they offer their petitions to God and give attention to His Word: “The Lord be with you.” The congregation answers by invoking upon the Pastor the same Holy Spirit, that he might give voice to the heartfelt petitions of the people and preach God’s Word with power: “And with thy spirit.” (“And also with you, Pastor.”)

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