The Lutheran worship service is designed for the maximum participation of the worshipers. The order of service each Sunday follows four important segments: 1. The Confession of Sins and Absolution. 2. The Praise and Prayer. 3. The Word. 4. The Offering of Gifts and Prayers. A fifth segment the first and third Sundays of the month includes the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Within each of these segments, however, there are variations.
Our worship services follow a church cycle each year that is divided into two halves.
The festival half from December through May focuses on Christ’s life. Here we follow Jesus’ life from birth through ascension, and concludes with the day of Pentecost.
The non-festival half from June through November focuses on our Christian lives as we put our faith into practice.
We have many visual reminders around us to help in our worship today:
- The altar is that table in the front of the worship area that ties us with God’s Old Testament people like Adam, Noah, Moses, David, Elijah, and others who for millenniums built altars and offered animal sacrifices on them as pictures of the Savior to come. When the pastor faces the altar, he is speaking with the people to God. When he faces the people, he is speaking from God to the people.
- The cross on the altar and the wall tie us with the New Testament Jesus who died on a cross as God’s own sacrifice for the sins of the world.
- The candles on the altar are lit to remind us that Jesus, who is the light of the world, is present with us and receives our worship and praise.
- The white gowns that the pastor and altar assistants wear are a picture that our sins have been covered in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus.
- The bell rung at the beginning of the service is a solemn reminder that we are engaging in something very important, worship, and that God’s clear Word will be heard today for everyone to believe and obey.
Special worship services are conducted each year for Advent (three midweek services), Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, Lent (six midweek services), Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Thanksgiving Eve. A joint Reformation service is held with the other WELS churches in the Atlanta area.