An Explanation of the Divine Service

Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL, has in its pew racks a laminated explanation of the liturgy.  The Brothers of John the Steadfast has arranged with Bethany to make this resource more widely available.  It’s posted here, and my understanding is that anyone can download and print it freely.

I’ve reproduced it after the jump.  Those of you interested in or curious about Lutheran worship–there have been questions at this blog about what the “divine service” entails–can get a good sense of what it is and why it is. [Read more...]

What the offering and the prayer mean

Next in our ongoing series from The Narrative Commentary on the Divine Service by John Pless:

OFFERING

Having received from the generosity of the Father who is the Author and Giver of every good and perfect gift, we now return of the gifts that we have been given. The offering is accompanied with an offertory from Psalm 51 which teaches us that the highest offering is simply to receive, in faith, the gifts God gives for body and soul.

THE PRAYER OF THE CHURCH

God’s Word is always primary in worship. We speak only as we are spoken to. Gathered in Jesus’ Name, we bring the petitions and thanksgivings before Him that grow out of His Word. This prayer is called the Prayer of the Church for in this prayer, the Royal Priesthood of All Believers does its priestly work of making “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings” for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.

via Grace Lutheran Church – Pastor’s Letter – March 2010.

Again, it’s called the “Divine Service”–the translation of the German Gottesdienst–because in it God serves US!