We are a “liturgical
church.” What does that mean?
Many Christians in healthy and positive church worship enter
the sanctuary, sit down and - aside from singing a song or two - never
“physically act” as part of worship.
There is nothing at all wrong with that.
But Lutherans do things differently; we stand, sit, stand
again, kneel, bow, cross ourselves, etc. during worship. Why? Because we see worship as a model for how we live life in the world as God’s
The historic roots of the word liturgy can be defined as
“the work of the people.” Lutheran worship is
work - the work of “breathing in “
and “breathing out.”
In worship we “breath
in” God’s gifts (His Word, His forgiveness, His blessing, etc.). Then – in response to these things
taken in – we “breath out” (we praise in song, we pray in gratitude,
we give our offerings, etc).
This taking in and then responding to God’s blessings is a
model for how we are called to live our lives.
Christians “breath in” daily blessings (Luther says, “God richly
and daily provides me with all that I need to daily support this body and
life”) and then we respond to these blessings by “breathing out;“ that is by caring for and serving the people of the
world in how we act toward others and live out our vocations.
Worship is more than just an experience for Sunday morning –
its training for the rest of the week.
The Gospels say that Jesus
took “the cup” after supper. If scripture
shows the disciples drinking from a common cup why do we have a chalice and individual cups…
reference to a common cup is stated in three of the Gospels (and Paul’s letter
to the Corinthians). But we always need to look at
scripture and decide if we are seeing something PRESCRIBED (must do) or
DESCRIBED (its what they did.)
Scripture does not explicitly command the use of a common cup.
in the late 1800’s people became increasingly aware that germs caused disease.
They worried that the common cup could transmit them. In response to this some
American churches began using individual cups.
this really an unwarranted concern; The common chalice has some health
benefits. The silver has antimicrobial properties (silver is often used in
medical equipment) and the alcohol in the wine helps eliminate bacteria.
Additionally the chalice is turned and wiped after each use.
use of individual cups is a perfectly acceptable practice and like many Lutheran
congregations, Faith offers both options.
of the various Communion practices—our participation together connects us to
the fellowship of other believers in the church and through the blood of
Christ, we have forgiveness, life, and salvation.
Why is the sanctuary referred to as the “nave?”
The area that a
congregation meets in is formally called the nave from the Latin navis, which
means ship. From early in church history the ark has been used to symbolize how
we (like Noah’s family) are saved on a journey with God. Over the years churches have been designed
with wood beams representing an upside-down ship. Can you see this history in our building?
The wise architects of Faith
gifted us with a tieback to these early roots – and a connection to a reminder
of our place in God’s story. Every
time we step through the door we are reminded that our place is in His ark, in
His care and to His destination.