Everyone has a favorite part of the liturgy (and it’s ok to have a favorite part, I promise). A lot of people will name corporate singing as their favorite part. Others lift up Holy Communion and some brave folks will dare to say the final blessing or even the dismissal – it’s ok, I promise I’m not offended if that’s your favorite. And the rare liturgy-nerd-types will name a particular movement of the four-part ordo (the weekly pattern of worship) as their favorite piece.

What’s your favorite part of the weekly liturgy? What are the moments that give you life and fill you with joy? Those moments that fill you with a recognition of God or a moment of connection, however brief and fleeting it might be. What are those glimpses of the Kingdom of God that you encounter in our weekly worship?

If you have trouble thinking of something, consider why you come to worship. Why are you in the pew, instead of at brunch with friends or sleeping in? Why do you join us on Facebook, instead of just scrolling past or attending to the dozens of other things vying for your attention?

For me, the most meaningful part of corporate worship is the chance to spend time in community with other folks. I love the hymns and I love the liturgy but if I’m alone, or feel disconnected from the worshipping community, there’s a notable absence for me.


The Lutheran tradition of liturgy and word centers our weekly worship life around two things: the word of God and our response to it. At its core, this is a two-fold expression of our life as people of God. Holy Scripture is read out loud in the congregation and we live in response to the power of the Gospel.

We sing hymns, pray, and confess as a means of expressing our induvial and corporate responses to the living Word of God. And we gather at the table, a chance to come together and witness the presence of God; a Holy Mystery, an expression of God’s love, made real through the sacrament.

The names of this central component of the liturgy are numerous: Holy Communion, the Meal, Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Table – the list goes on. Luther devoted a great majority of his writing to the importance of the Sacrament of the Altar. In Luther’s Large Catechism, he answers the question of “What is the Sacrament of the Altar?” like this:

It is the time body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in and under the bread and wine which we Christians are commanded by the Word of Christ to eat and to drink. And as we have said of baptism that it is not simply water, so here also we say the sacrament is bread and wine, but not mere bread and wine as are ordinarily served at table, but bread and wine comprehended in and connected with the Word of God.

What’s important to remember here is that the sacrament is connected to the Word of God – it must exist in conversation with the Living Word. Each week, when we celebrate together at the table, we continue in this tradition, recognizing the power of the Word of God and giving thanks for the presence of Christ in ordinary gifts of abundance, like bread and wine and juice.


If you attended worship on Ash Wednesday or the first Sunday in Lent, you probably noticed that how we receive communion has changed. This is a change just for the season of Lent; a season in the church year that invites us into places of contemplation and reflection. By joining together at the rail to receive communion, we remind our minds and our bodies that this is a practice of connection and collaboration – something that connects us to our neighbor in the pew, our neighbor on our street, and our neighbor across the world.

In this season of Lent, this practice is an invitation to consider what the sacrament means to you and why this sacrament sits at the center of our shared identity as members of the body of Christ. It is our sacred honor and privilege to join together at the table and the font to celebrate the sacraments instituted by our Lord. And it is only ever possible because of the grace and love offered abundantly through the death and resurrection of our Messiah and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thanks be to God!