The service of the congregation

The structure of the divine service

As much as services may vary, there will always be a recognisable structure. The individual components make up a sequence which has grown through history and is based on the experi¬ences of many generations. The divine service in the Lutheran church goes back in its main features to early Christendom. The reformers essentially took over this service order from the early church. So it connects us with other main-line denominations, and in many parts also with the people of God in the Old Testament. Six basic steps have developed:


 1. Before the Service

Set out and arrive

Greet other people – think about personal questions – quiet prayer – become aware of the service space – hear the bell ringing


2. Opening and Invocation

Begin together; consciously come before God,
invoke God’s Name with songs, psalms and prayers

Opening music – opening hymn – greeting & meditation – the psalm – call and complaint, praise and thanks – prayer


 3. Proclamation and Faith

Listen to the scriptures and to hear their exposition,
reflect on it and to confess the faith

Readings from the Bible – the creed – the sermon – reflexion with silence or music – response/answer through sharing (offering)


 4. Holy Communion

Receiving Jesus Christ in bread and wine
and celebrate the communion with him and all believers

The gifts – the glorification - remembering the actions of God – say grace – receive peace – receive bread and wine


 5. Sending and Blessing

Inform each other, pray for others, receive the blessing

We open our eyes for the community and the world – pray for those who need God's help – leave in the strength of the blessing


 6. After the Service

Staying together, move on and pass on what was received

Maintain companionship – continue the feast with coffee / tea – visit sick people or lonely (Empowered to pass on Grace)