In worship, Our Lord Jesus Christ is present to teach us in His Word and feed us His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins.
Our Lord speaks and we listen. In thanksgiving, we praise and thank Him by confessing what He has said to us.
The Lutheran Reformers were not doing anything new. They were proclaiming what makes us new: Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. Just like Lutheran teaching, worship is rooted in the heritage of the catholic church instituted by Christ and His Apostles.
Lutheran worship consists of the Divine Service (also called Holy Mass, Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion) and Daily Prayer (or the Divine Office).
The Divine Service is the chief service of Word and Sacrament every Sunday and Feast.
Daily Prayer is the church’s prayer and meditation on Scripture each day in Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer), including Psalms, hymns, prayers, and readings.
The Liturgical Year—A Christian Calendar
Divine Service: Sundays at 10:30am, and Feast Days as announced:
Circumcision of Our Lord (January 1)
Epiphany of Our Lord (January 6)
Baptism of Our Lord (January 13)
Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord (February 2)
Annunciation of Our Lord (March 25)
Great Vigil of Easter
Nativity of St. John the Baptizer (June 24)
St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (June 29)
Visitation (July 2)
Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15)
Martyrdom of St. John the Baptizer (August 29)
St. Michael, Archangel (September 29)
Reformation Day (October 31)
All Saints’ Day (November 1)
Martin Luther expressed that music is next to theology and deserves highest praise.
Luther and the Lutheran Reformers worked with musicians to teach and confess the Christian faith.
By the late medieval times, music in worship was largely confined to clergy and trained choirs. Lutherans sought to bring music to the people through the hymn, in German called the chorale.
Rooted and continuing in the use of plainsong (Gregorian chant) as its foundation, the Lutheran church became known as “the singing church,” as music based on historic chants and new chorales was composed for choirs, congregation, organ, and other instruments.
Unlike the Protestants, who forbade or limited the use of instruments, singing, and hymns, Lutherans in every time and place have devoted themselves to music as a way to teach and confess the Faith. While other denominations sing what they feel, Lutherans sing what they believe.
Music is not about subjective taste, but about objective truth of the Word of God. Music is about Our Lord’s work in His Son Jesus. Music is about delivering and confessing doctrine. Music is done in the context of Christ’s Life and Work as celebrated in the liturgical year.
Hymns of the Church
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century
Music of the Organ
The church organist is a liturgical organist, whose responsibility is to accompany hymns and liturgy and provide attendant music that is appropriate to the liturgical season, and not to perform or entertain.
In addition to accompanying the congregation and choir in hymns and liturgy, the organist’s solo responsibilities include music before and after the Divine Service (the Prelude and Postlude) and during the offering (the Voluntary, a musical offering).
8’ Flute Celeste II
2’ Super Octave
1 1/3’ Larigot
16’ Bourdon Doux
8’ Geigen Principal
8’ Gamba Celeste II
2 2/3’ Nazard
2’ Flute a Bec
1 1/3’ Tierce
Plain Jeu IV
Swell to Swell 16’ 4’
32’ Contre Bourdon
32’ Contre Basson
4’ Rohr Schalmei
Music of the Choir
The primary purpose of the choir is to lead the congregational singing. The choir introduces and leads the congregation in hymns. The choir is often responsible for singing of the musical propers of the Divine Service: Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertorium, and Post-Communio. The choir may sing antiphonally with the congregation, that is, in groups that respond back to each other, such as in the singing of psalm verses, hymn stanzas, or liturgical responsories. Finally, the choir may provide appropriate attendant liturgical music as the Voluntary (during the Offering), or during the distribution of Holy Communion. The choir does not perform anthems, as the choir is not for performance. Rather, everything the choir does fits into the structure of the Liturgy.