Philosophy of Worship

 

The main event in every worship service is that God comes to his people. The Lord meets His people not because they get excited or emotional during worship but according to His promise, “for where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20, NIV). Worshippers respond to Him by confessing their unworthiness to be in His presence, praising His goodness, and receiving Him through His Word and Sacraments. God’s blessing moves worshippers out into the world to follow the righteous path and bring to fruition the gifts He has given them.

 

The Lord is the primary actor in worship, and the people, the main instrument of praise. The function of choir, praise band, brass, bells, and organ is to encourage and support congregational participation. The sanctuary acts as a sound chamber in blending the main instrument of praise¬the voices of those worshipping. Worship leaders are not actors in the center spotlight but prompters for the congregation. When concerning worship space, the designated space, fixtures, colors, light, furnishings, art and instruments should all give the sense that God is present in the worship place.

 

As Lutherans, we believe that the Spirit of God has been present in and has guided the Church through the ages. We are heirs of a rich tradition in liturgy, the order of which was formulated in the early centuries of the church. In the liturgy, God comes to us in two parts, Word and Sacrament; and we respond in five parts, Kyrie, Gloria In Excelsis, Creed, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. The "2 + 5" liturgical outline can be found in LSB Setting Five. Within this format, we also include hymns and prayers as Scripture encourages: "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:19, NIV).

 

The scripture read each week is specified by the three-year lectionary, adopted by the liturgical churches, and has its roots in antiquity. The Lectionary and church year cycle include Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. These seasons follow the life of Jesus on earth and expose the congregation to the whole counsel of God. We celebrate the sacraments of communion and Baptism regularly to receive the forgiveness and new life from God.

 

Music is prescribed in the psalms and is a means to convey the biblical message. In addition, music is also avenues of prayer, praise, and confession of God’s people. Hymns and texts should be orthodox and music should have quality and potential for longevity. All of worship, music and message, contemporary and historical, from baptism onward, shapes God’s people in godliness throughout life and gives peace in death. With this in mind the Pastor and elders serve to encourage, support and evaluate music and other aspects of worship.

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