Calvary Lutheran is a liturgical church; that is, we follow patterns of worship developed over centuries of Christian practice.
Liturgy is something like an organized conversation between God and his people. At times the pastor brings God’s Word and message to the people; at other times the people respond and pray to God, either through the pastor as their representative or together as a group. The liturgy uses spoken word, songs, prose, and poetry.
Calvary uses a variety of different liturgical services. Some parts of these services are very similar from week to week and service to service. These we consider to be essential to every worship service. Other parts change according to the time of day, the season of the year, a special holiday, or a theme of special focus.
We have two primary tools to help people follow along with and participate in worship. The first is our hymnal, a book of hymns and service settings. These can be found throughout the church building, especially in a little rack attached to the backs of our pews (seating benches). We actually have two hymnals: our main one and a supplement. Beside the hymnals in the pews are Bibles for reading the texts while they are read aloud or talked about in the sermon. The second tool is a pair of projection screens. The entire service is progressively displayed on the screens as we worship. Many people find it easier to read the screens than the fine print in the hymnals.
For those who have difficulty hearing we have a wireless hearing loop that works with most people’s hearing aids.
In many of our worship services we celebrate the Lord’s Supper – also called Holy Communion. This is a special sacrament that Jesus gave to strengthen our faith. It assures people one-on-one that their sins are truly forgiven as they receive the very body and blood of Christ together with the bread and wine. At the same time, it is a group activity in which people visibly affirm their agreement in faith and doctrine. If you are a member of a WELS church or a church in fellowship with us and wish to receive this special meal and want to express your full agreement with our teachings, you are welcome to join in. We just ask that those who are not already members of Calvary speak to the pastor first.
Liturgical worship is not the only way to worship, but we like it because it expresses our fellowship with other Christians in other WELS churches and with other Christians through history.