This liturgy will provide you with a straightforward way to hold a Service of the Word in your own home. As you worship, remember that simply following the instructions on this page will NOT create worship. Worship is an encounter with God in which we receive His gifts of forgiveness and respond with prayer and praise. The “active ingredient” of worship is faith. As you follow these instructions, your worship begins with believing that God is present and expecting that God will have something to say to you during this time.
Read the words in bold aloud. If you are fortunate to be worshiping with others, you may designate one individual the leader, and read the liturgy responsively as indicated by L: (leader) and R: (response). Some elements of this service are links to videos which will play when you click on them. Feel free to include as much or as little of the suggested music as you prefer, or to substitute live music in your home for the videos included here.
Each worshiper will need a pencil and paper during the confession.
How Will This Work?
L: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
L: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
R: If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)
At this time, each person silently confesses his or her sin to God. Individual sins may be written (children may wish to draw) on a piece of paper. After an appropriate length of time, continue:
All: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me… Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:1-3)
Scratch out the sins that have been confessed on paper, drawing a cross over the whole page. Then speak out loud the sure and certain word of God that follows:
L: The Lord has heard our confession and He responds through the words of St. Paul in 2 Corinthians chapter 5. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold the new has come.” Indeed, we are in Christ and through His death and resurrection we are His new creation, and all of our sins of old have been forgiven.
R: Thanks be to God.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Statement of Faith
The Second Article of the Creed with Luther’s Explanation
All: I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
L: What does this mean?
All: I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.
L: This is most certainly true.
Sermon & Reflection
- What makes it difficult to not be anxious about anything right now? To rejoice in the Lord, always?
- How does knowing Jesus, who died and conquered death for you, help you to overcome those anxieties and find reasons to rejoice?
Never forget: Knowing Jesus creates joy and peace that the world cannot give, both in this life and the next!
In addition to these petitions, bring your own requests to God at this time.
L: Lord Jesus, though many of us are joining in prayer today from our homes, we thank You for the opportunities that come with this. We especially thank You for the chance to spend more time with You, and we ask You now to give our hearts that desire to pursue You even more, for You alone are the ultimate source of joy and peace in any and all circumstances. Lord, in Your mercy.
R: Hear our prayer.
L: Gracious God, You know how our present world is suffering immensely. You recognize the sorrow and pain, physical, emotional, and, especially, spiritual, which many are feeling, and we ask You to grant them healing according to Your will, especially any of our members who are suffering. Continue to provide for them, care for them, and bring them Your peace, that they may find solace in You. Lord, in Your mercy.
R: Hear our prayer.
L: Ever-present Lord, our refuge and strength, look with care upon all of those self-quarantining in the wake of the Coronavirus, especially those most vulnerable, alone, isolated, or even affected. Remind them of Your abiding presence in their lives, and turn our hearts towards their needs so we can be of service to them. Lord, in Your mercy.
R: Hear our prayer.
L: Lord, remember us in Your Kingdom and teach us to pray…
ALL: Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen
L: May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
R: Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
If you are a member of another congregation, we are delighted that we were able to provide you with the opportunity to worship in your home today. Please honor God by continuing to support your home congregation during these uncertain times.
The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me– just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.