Because a large part of our congregation's identity centers around worship, we offer multiple opportunities for worship in Word and Sacrament. The Sunday 9:00 am liturgy is considered "low-key," meaning that even though the worship service follows the liturgy set forth in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the ritual and formality is not as pronounced. A typical 9:00 am liturgy is narrated below.
The congregation gathers as the presiding minister welcomes everyone to worship. Led by piano and guitar, the congregation joins in singing the Gathering Song. The presiding minister greets the congregation with the biblical Apostolic Greeting, and the congregation returns the greeting with "And also with you." The musicians lead the congregation in the Kyrie and/or the Canticle of Praise, where the congregation sings in prayer and praise to the Triune God. The Gathering part of worship concludes with the Prayer of the Day, which centers the congregation on the day's themes.
The congregation is seated as everyone focuses on the Reading for the day, usually from the Old Testament. The congregation again stands to welcome the reading of the Gospel with the Gospel Acclamation, singing out "Alleluia...You have the words of eternal life" (except during Lent). After the preacher reads the Gospel, the congregation is seated for the sermon, where the preacher connects the words of Jesus with our present-day lives. After some silence for reflection, the congregation sings the Hymn of the Day. The assisting minister leads the congregation in the Prayers of Intercession, where everyone is invited to offer their own petitions to God. After the Prayers the presiding minister offers a greeting of Peace to the congregation, and the congregation returns the greeting. The children are then invited forward for the Children's Time, where the preacher connects the gospel message to the lives of the children. After they have been fed with the gospel, the children are dismissed to Sunday School, where they continue worshipping and learning more about the Triune God.
The ushers collect our offering as the assisting minister prepares the altar-table for Holy Communion. The presiding minister leads the congregation in the Great Thanksgiving, where the congregation gives thanks to God for coming to us as Christ present in, with, and under the bread and wine, not on any part of our own but because it is God's precious gift and treasure. The congregation joins together in praying the words Jesus gave in the gospels. All are invited forward to receive this gift, but those who do not feel ready to receive may receive a blessing.
The congregation is sent out with God's blessing as everyone joins in singing the Sending Song. The assisting minister dismisses the congregation, and the congregation responds "Thanks be to God!"
If you would like more information about the worship life of St. Mark's, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.