The Divine Service
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).
The Divine Service lies at the heart of our mission at St. John’s. In the Divine Service, Christ comes to us with His gifts, offering forgiveness, reassurance, strength, and guidance through His Word and Sacraments—Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Confession and Absolution.
The services at St. John’s are traditional in both form and content, in keeping with the practices of the “one holy catholic and apostolic church.”
- We use the historic liturgy, a form of worship that’s been around for centuries. Every Sunday the historic liturgy reliably guides worshipers through the waters of their Baptism to Confession & Absolution, God’s Word, prayers, and the Lord’s Supper.
- We follow the historic one-year lectionary, which identifies readings (and sermon topics) for every Sunday of the year. Christians have used this lectionary in nearly its exact present-day form for nearly 1,300 years.
- Our preaching consistently emphasizes two core messages: the Law (God’s commands, which show us our sin) and the Gospel (God’s promises in Christ, which show us our Savior). Without the Law, there’s no need for a Savior. Without the Gospel, there’s no hope for salvation. (Check out our recent sermons here).
- The Sacrament of the Altar is celebrated at both services every Sunday and on major feasts that fall during the week. (See our communion statement for more information about the Lord’s Supper.)
- We sing traditional hymns that reinforce our beliefs and unite us—with each other and with the universal Church.
- Our worship is ceremonial, a sign of reverence for Christ. Typical sights and sounds include pastors in colorful vestments, chanted lines from the liturgy, and processions involving pastors, acolytes, crucifers, torchbearers, and Gospel bearers.
You might have noticed that the list above addresses what “we do,” but that’s not the focus of the Divine Service. The Divine Service is first and foremost about what Christ has done for us.
That’s the intended takeaway message each and every Sunday, delivered to us in Christ’s Word and Sacraments.