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The Divine Service – The Prayer of the Church

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In the last article, we considered two ways in which we respond to God's gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation as heard and given through the Scripture lessons, the Creed, and the Sermon: the Offertory (a prayer confessing both our sins and our trust in God's salvation) and the Offering. ... Continue

The Divine Service – The Offertory and Offering

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 Coming on the heals of the delivery of the sermon, there is often a doxology (a short expression of praise) to the Triune God and a blessing of peace given by the pastor to those in attendance. After these have been given, the congregation then joins together to sing a ... Continue

The Divine Service – The Alleluia and Gospel Lesson

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 The “Alleluia” is a very short three-fold expression of joy sung in anticipation of the Gospel Lesson that we are about to hear in the Divine Service. The word “alleluia” comes from the Hebrew, meaning “praise Yah[weh].” It is used often in the Psalms, and increasingly so as one gets ... Continue

The Divine Service – The New Testament Lesson

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In the last article, we spoke about the Gradual, a selection of psalm verses used as a response to the Old Testament Lesson and in anticipation of the New Testament Lesson (sometimes called the Epistle Lesson [“epistle” is the Greek word for “letter”] since most of the New Testament Lessons ... Continue

The Divine Service – The Gradual

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In our last article, we talked about the Old Testament (OT) Lesson. This is the first Scripture reading of the Service of the Word. Like Mary (Martha's sister), we sat down and listened to God speak to us (Luke 10:38-42). Before we go on to the next reading, the New ... Continue

The Divine Service – The Old Testament Lesson

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If you imagine the Christian liturgy as a trek up a mountain, we have come to the first of the two great summits: the Service of the Word. While we have been hearing and responding to the Word throughout the liturgy, now we take time to just sit and reflect ... Continue

The Divine Service – The Collect of the Day

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 In the peace and comfort of the Lord's presence as given and expressed in the Salutation, we now come before our God and speak to Him as He encourages us to do, “through Jesus Christ, His Son, our Lord” and Savior from sin. This prayer is called the Collect (of ... Continue

The Divine Service – The Salutation

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 In our last consideration of the Christian liturgy, we spoke about the Gloria in Excelsis Deo. It is an expression of our joy, praise, and confidence that God has, does, and will answer our petition (request) for His divine mercy upon us prayed in the Kyrie Eleison. Today, we will consider ... Continue

The Divine Service – The Gloria in Excelsis Deo

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As we are now in preparation for Christmas, which is the remembrance of the human birth of the Son of God, we turn to the next canticle (biblical song) of the Divine Service – The Gloria in Excelsis Deo (meaning, “Glory to God on high”). This canticle was recorded by ... Continue

The Divine Service – The Kyrie Eleison

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 It is immediately evident that Kyrie Eleison (pronounced kee-ree-ay ay-lay-ee-sohn) is not English. It is actually Greek, meaning “Lord, have mercy.” While we do not often sing the original Greek words to this song, we do retain the Greek name. It helps us to remember that the Church is much ... Continue