How We Worship

The Liturgy at St. Jacob’s

St. Jacob’s is a liturgical church. “Liturgy” issue marks means “the work of the people” and is a celebration by all who gather here at St. Jacob’s. Together with the pastor who presides, the entire congregation is involved in following a prescribed order of worship which Christians have called the Eucharist, Holy Communion, Service of the Word or simply the. The Liturgy reminds us that we are a part, not only of those who worship in the many generations preceding hours, but also of the “church on earth and the hosts of heaven” praising God’s holy name.

Worship at St. Jacob’s follows one of the 10 musical settings of the red Evangelical Lutheran worship look, found in the pew racks. These settings are found in the front of the worship book. Hymns are also in the worship book and are identified by larger, bold numbers on the top of corner of the page. By using your worship folder, you can follow along with our worship. It may take a bit of work the first few times; but don’t hesitate to ask for help if you get confused. We observe the traditional seasons of the Christian church year; Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Within these seasons, we celebrate a number of festivals and Saints’ days. The colors of the vestments worn by the clergy remind us of the changing emphasis of these seasons. Blue is the color of hope and anticipation in Advent, purple for the penitential time of Lent, green for growth and life during the Pentecost season, red for festivals of the Holy Spirit, and white or gold, the colors for joy and perfection, or used for the major festivals of the Church such as Christmas and Easter.

As we enter the sanctuary, we turn our attention to the reason we gather together; to worship God and to celebrate the life He has given us. During the Prelude, worshipers may listen, offer personal prayers in silence or perhaps read the lessons, psalm or hymns for the day.

We prepare for worship using a form of Confession and Forgiveness. With the sign of the cross, we remember our baptism and together confessed their sins and ask God for forgiveness. As the pastor says the words of pardon, we joyfully hear God’s grace and mercy proclaimed.

Our worship follows an ancient order sometimes called the Ordo: Gathering, Word, Meal, and Sending.


The choir, assisting ministers, and pastors follow the Processional Cross, as we sing a Gathering Song. This is followed by the Apostolic Greeting: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all”, to which we respond, “And also with you.”

In a series of petitions in the Kyrie, we pray for peace for ourselves and the world. The Kyrie is followed by a Hymn of Praise – “Glory to God in the Highest” (from the Christmas story) or “This is the feast” in which the host is Jesus Christ himself who has promised to be present whenever we gather. This is followed by the Prayer of the Day.


The Scripture Readings, Psalm and Gospel are read and sung. These set the theme for the day and follow a three-year cycle. The first lesson is normally from the Old Testament. It is followed by the Psalm which is sung by the cantor and the assembled congregation. The second lesson is usually part of one of the New Testament epistles or letters to the churches. The Holy Gospel, a section of the books recording the words and deeds of Jesus, completes the readings.
The sermon based on the readings for the day, is a proclamation relating to the living Word of God to modern life. The preacher is God’s spokesman to us, explaining the for Word and applying it to our own time and conditions.

The Hymn of the Day is selected from the church’s rich treasury of music and poetry to reflect the sermon and the theme of the day.

In the Creed, we together with all the church on earth, confess our faith. We respond with the Prayers of the Church in which we pray for one another, for peace, for guidance, and for the needs of our society in the world. We then share God’s peace with one another – a sign that all who participate open themselves to the healing and reconciling power of God’s love and offer themselves to be representatives of that love to the world.


During the gatherings of our gifts and Offerings, when we do communion, the table was prepared for the celebration of the Lord’s of supper. The offerings, together with the bread and wine, are brought to the altar.

The preface to the Great Thanksgiving, with its dialogue between the pastor in the congregation, is one of the oldest and least changed parts of the liturgy. In it we are asked to lift our hearts to God and to give thanks. The preface concludes with the glorious words: “with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join there on him being hymn, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy'”, the most ancient and most universal of Christian hymns. The Great Thanksgiving continues with the Eucharistic prayer in which the history of God’s salvation is recounted in Jesus’ words of institution of the sacrament are remembered. The Agnus Dei — Lamb of God is sung as a sign that God takes away our sin and gives us peace.

All is now ready. At St. Jacob’s, all baptized Christians are invited to share faithfully in the Meal also called the Eucharist or Holy Communion. In this sacrament, we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ for our forgiveness and salvation as we celebrate our unity with Christ and all the saints.

As the Lord’s table is cleared we sing a Post-communion Canticle. As God has fed us with His holy body and blood, we do rejoice that we have received the Christ. The liturgy of the Eucharist concludes with a brief prayer or benediction.


Our worship ends with simplicity, we receive the Blessing of God. At St. Jacob’s, there is a sending song and the dismissal with the words “Go in peace, Serve the Lord” to which we respond: “Thanks be to God”.

Briefly, this is how we worship at St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church. If you have any questions about how things are done, please speak to a greeter, an Usher or the pastor. Our worship is always Gospel-centered and points us to the saving work and resurrection promise of Jesus Christ. The people of God rejoice in the presence of God. While our “worship” has ended, our “service” just begins-service to each other, to the needs of our society and to the world. Please join with us as we respond and give thanks and praise.