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To newcomers, worship in a Lutheran church can feel strange. That’s ok. We admit it: it’s a bit odd. But it’s the Church’s historic pattern of worship. It’s not bound to any particular culture, time, or place. It’s not determined by anyone’s tastes or preferences. It’s the way the Church has worshiped for millennia. It takes some getting used to.

Like everything else, worship doesn’t begin with us. It begins with God. He gathers us. He comes to meet us with His gifts. We respond with prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, to be sure. But the most important things in the worship service is the Lord and His gifts.

This pattern of worship is called the Liturgy. One perk of this rhythm of worship is that it’s highly participatory. There’s not a category of “worship leaders” who are trained to teach the rest of us how to worship. The pastor is merely God’s servant to deliver God’s gifts to us.

God’s people participate together in confessing our sins, singing psalms and hymns, in hearing the Word, in confessing our faith, in supporting our congregation and community with our gifts, in receiving forgiveness of sins, and more.

If the Liturgy is new to you, the booklet Welcome to the Divine Service can help you follow along.