Liturgical Description

Here at Hope Lutheran, we use a traditional liturgy during our Sunday Service. What do each of these liturgical areas mean?

The Invocation 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 Confession of Sins 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].
The Absolution Christ said to his disciples, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven”*.  The Pastor says “I” because Jesus said “you.” The pastor, though sinful, speaks for God and announces God’s cleansing forgiveness to those who made confession. 
John 20:23.
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 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 Salutation In the Salutation, the pastor and the congregation greet each other in the Lord’s name. 
Ruth 2:4;  Luke 1:28;  II Thess. 3:16;  II Tim. 4:22.
The Collect of the Day The main thoughts of the day are collected, or summarized in this short prayer.  The collects for the season of the church year have come to us from the rich treasury of the church’s heritage.
The First Lesson The first reading is from the Old Testament, except during the Easter season when it is from the Book of Acts.  This reading usually relates to the Gospel of the day. 
I Tim. 4:13.
The Second Lesson The second reading is from one of the epistles (letters) in the New Testament.
The Verse A verse from the holy scriptures is usually sung in preparation for the reading of the Gospel.  There are general verses* as well as specific verses for the seasons of the church year. 
John 6:68Joel 2:13 (through Lent).
The Sermon The Pastor proclaims God’s Word and applies that word to modern life and problems.  He stresses both what God demands of us (the Law) and what God does for us through Jesus Christ (the Gospel).
The Prayers  This prayer in the service follows the directive of the Apostle Paul to young Timothy, a pastor: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for Kings and all those in authority, that we may live in peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness”*. 
I Tim. 2:1-2.
The Offering The gifts of God’s people are a response to God’s blessings “as God has prospered them” (1 Corinthians 16:2).  Our offerings are for the support of the church.  They enable the church to provide the written and spoken word of God, Christian education, and pastoral care, food, clothing, shelter, and a helping hand to those in need.
The Offertory As the offerings are brought to the Lord’s table, the worshipers sing the offertory* to express gratitude for all God’s blessings, dedicate themselves to God, and request His continued blessings. 
* “What shall I render to the Lord,” Ps. 116:121713-1419;  “Create in me a clean heart”, Ps. 51:10-12.
The Preface Preface means “introduction.”  The pastor and people get ready to celebrate the Holy Meal by greeting each other and with an exhortation as how to celebrate the meal. 
* Cf. “Salutation”;  Lam. 3:41;  Ps. 86.4.
The Proper Preface These words state why we should give thanks using words and ideas appropriate for the season of the church year. 
Pss. 69:30;  95:2100:4;  107:22116:17;  147:7.
The Sanctus Sanctus is a Latin word meaning “Holy.”  The Sanctus contains words from Isaiah’s vision of God (Isaiah 6:3) and the crowd’s response on Palm Sunday when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem (Matthew 21:9).  We join them in spirit by singing their words as we anticipate Christ’s coming in the sacrament. 
Is. 6:3;  Matt. 21:9 (Mk 11:9);  Ps. 118:25-26.
The Lord’s Prayer We pray to God as our Father using the prayer of the family of God* because the Lord’s Supper is our family meal. 
Matt. 6:9ff;  Luke 11:2ff.
The Words of  
The pastor speaks the words which Jesus spoke when He instituted the Supper with His disciples in the Upper Room.  With these words the bread and wine are consecrated, that is, set apart for God’s use in the special meal. 
1 Corinthians 11:23-26Matthew 26:26-28Mark 14:22-24Luke 22:19-20.
The Peace The greeting of peace which Jesus spoke on the first Easter is shared before we approach the altar to receive Him.  In the Lord’s Supper, the body and blood of Christ are truly present in, with, and under the bread and wine. 
John 14:27;  John 20:19-21.
The Agnus Dei Agnus Dei is a Latin phrase meaning “Lamb of God.”  John the Baptist spoke these words as he pointed to Jesus coming toward him (John 1:29).  As Christ comes to us in the Holy Supper, we recognize him as the Lamb of God sacrificed for us to free us from the bondage of sin and death. 
John 1:29Is. 53:7.