What Happens at a Lutheran Church Service?

We are standing up to sing, pray, listen to the Gospel and participate in the great thanksgiving at the table. We kneel to confess and during Lent and Holy Week to represent humility and penance. After the conclusion of the Eucharist, the worship service concludes with the blessing, a blessing from the congregation by the pastor and a sending hymn. Wouldn't it be amazing if God's faithful remembered that every time they heard the words of the Invocation, perhaps following the sign of the cross as a visible reminder? Above all, confession and absolution keep us honest with ourselves and honest before God.

The act of confession is not a work that we present before the Father's throne; rather, it is simply recognizing that the Word of God is true and correct and that, when compared to its requirements, we fall short. When our Lord says those words to us on the Last Day, confession and absolution as we know them will cease, because then we will enjoy the eternal absolution of the Lamb. In more recent times, the Lutheran Church of North America has made a significant contribution to the church's liturgy through the alternative hymn of worship, “This is the Feast.” This confession of the Triune God is not exclusive to any individual, but belongs to all of us in the church, including all those in heaven. There are many saints and martyrs who risked their lives defending the truths we confess in the creeds.

Heaven continues to burst into our world when Jesus, our humble king, comes riding among us in the name of the Lord. This confession in the Sanctus of Jesus' real presence is so significant that Luther proposed placing it after the Words of Institution to emphasize how real these words are. In more progressive denominations such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, terms like Holy Communion or Eucharist are used much more frequently. The term Divine Service is popularly used among the most conservative Lutheran churches and organizations in both Canada and America.

Other Lutheran rites are also used, such as those used in Byzantine Lutheran churches like the Lutheran Church in Ukraine and Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession in Slovenia. The Lutheran liturgy currently used in America dates back to Beale M.'s work between 1876 and 1883. During this time several Lutheran synods expressed their interest in creating a common worship service. The predominant rite used by Lutheran churches is a Western rite based on formula missae (form of mass), although other Lutheran liturgies are also used. The final draft was approved by various synods in 1888 and is known as The Common Service.

It served as basis for all major Lutheran hymnals and worship books until end of 20th century.