Lutheran Worship

What is Lutheran worship?

In Lutheran worship, we follow the church year calendar and Bible readings assigned for every Sunday and festival.  People actively participate in Lutheran worship, and are not passive spectators. The entire congregation joins in readings, prayers, statements of faith, responses, hymns, and liturgical songs. Liturgy in Greek means “people work”. That’s what we do: work together at praising God, praying to Him, having Him speak to us, and partaking of His Holy Supper.

What is the church year?

The church year calendar is centuries old and has existed in its basic format since the Middle Ages. The first half of the church year follows the events in the Life of Christ.

  • Advent (4 Weeks Before Christmas)
    We prepare for the coming of Christ long ago in Bethlehem, as He comes to us now, and when He will come again.
  • Christmas (December 25 – January 5, 12 days)
    We celebrate the birth of Jesus, the promised Messiah.
  • Epiphany (January 7 and continuing for 6 to 8 weeks)
    We worship Christ with the wise men, see His baptism, and study His early ministry and miracles. The Epiphany season ends with the Transfiguration of our Lord.
  • Lent (Ash Wednesday to Easter, about 6 1/2 weeks)
    We hear Jesus’ teaching as He prepares to “go up to Jerusalem”, and we begin to meditate on His suffering and death for the sins of the world.
  • Holy Week (the last week before Easter)
    The events of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection happened here.
  • Easter Day
    The most important day for all Christians, the day Christ rose from the dead.
  • Easter Season (50 days)
    We continue to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.
  • Pentecost
    The coming of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Christian Church. The second half of the year focuses on Jesus’ teachings and how we can live our lives for Him who first loved us. These Sundays are numbered from the Day of Pentecost and continue until the next Advent season begins.

Why do we use traditional liturgy?

Our traditional liturgy is centuries old, some of it going back to the early Christian Church. Martin Luther retained the Mass form, modifying it and eliminating non-Biblical elements. The Lutheran communion service closely resembles that of the Roman Catholics and Episcopalians. This Mass form carries with it many beautiful traditions and unites us with Christians of many centuries.

Why do we celebrate Holy Communion?

In Holy Communion, Christ gives us His Body and Blood in the bread and wine. Here Christ offers forgiveness of sins, strengthening of faith, life and salvation. In the Lutheran view of worship there is a balance of Word and Sacrament in God’s means of grace to us. The Lord’s Supper is therefore celebrated each Sunday, alternating between the 8:30 A.M. service and the 11:00 A.M. service. We come forward to receive the body and blood of Christ by His invitation and His command, “Do this in remembrance of Me”.

Why do we use a variety of music?

People who join Pilgrim come from many backgrounds. We therefore aim for a variety of music from many sources, styles, and centuries. The variety of styles in the vocal and instrumental music also helps to meet the needs and touch the hearts of all of our people.