Q: Why is the worship service called the “Divine Service?”
A: This phrase describes the rhythm of worship-first and foremost God serving us with His gifts: His Word, Baptism, Holy Communion, in which we receive forgiveness, salvation and eternal life, and then our response to Almighty God in thanksgiving and praise for all He’s done. Since we are in the Almighty Triune God’s presence and worship Him alone, our service is characterized by dignity, reverence and sacredness.
Q: Why does the pastor often face the cross when praying?
A: It is simply a sign of reverence as well as a visible reminder that God is present with us in our worship as we together offer our praises and supplications.
Q: The church I come from doesn’t have a pastor turning to the cross in prayer. Is that wrong?
A: No. It is something neither commanded nor forbidden. We do it in Christian freedom, but we do it to edify our worship, to witness visibly and to teach our young.
Q: Why do we confess our sins to the pastor and each other and say we are sinners? Isn’t the wrong I’ve done just between me and God?
A: When the pastor speaks the absolution (word of forgiveness), he does so “in the stead of Christ.” Jesus instituted the Office of the Ministry so His people could have forgiveness spoken to them and the Sacraments given. Even though pastor is a man; the words of forgiveness he speaks are as if they came from God Himself and to be received that way by the church.
Q: It seems a bit strange pastor does the Gospel reading in the middle of the congregation. Why is that?
A: The Old Testament and Epistle readings point us to Jesus. In the Gospel reading, which is normally last, we have recorded the very life and words of Jesus. Jesus comes to us in the Gospel, as He also came to earth for us. Reading the Gospel in the people’s midst is a visual reminder that Immanuel “God with us” walked & lived among the people.
Q: Why does this church say a creed? Isn’t believing in the Bible good enough?
A: The creed neatly summarizes what we believe about God, that He is one God in three persons. We believe our ancient creeds correctly summarize correct Biblical teaching about God. We also believe they teach what the apostles taught, the very men who learned from & lived with Jesus Christ Himself!
Q: This “close communion” announcement before service sounds odd. Shouldn’t any good Christian just go to the Lord’s Supper?
A: We welcome you to commune with us; yet announce our belief in communion out of love. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that those not believing that the Lord is truly present in His body and blood in the Sacrament, yet receive communion, receive a judgement. This is not to say the person doesn’t have saving faith in Christ. Our pastor would love to discuss it with you for we certainly would like you to be clear on why we have close communion.
Q: How often does this church have communion?
A: We have the Lord’s Supper two times a month, generally on the 1st & 3rd Sundays and special services. We cherish regular communion because of the great gifts Jesus gives in it, namely eternal life, salvation, and the forgiveness of sins.
Q: I like contemporary worship; does Trinity have a praise band: if so, when do they play?
A: We do have a band, (Amazing Grace) and they normally play monthly on the 2nd Sunday and at special services.
Q: Why does the pastor wear a robe and scarf-like garment around his neck?
A: The pastor wears a robe not to draw attention to himself, but in order to cover himself giving a visual reminder that we are clothed in Christ’s white robe of righteousness. The scarf-like garment is called a stole. It signifies that the pastor carries the burden of preaching the Gospel of Christ crucified and he is to care for the souls which God has entrusted to him.
Q: What is the significance of the color of the pastor’s stole and the colors on the altar and pulpit?
A: Our church follows the historic “church year.” Just as the secular year has seasons, so does the church year. The church year’s seasons are distinguished by different colors that all have a deeper meaning behind them.
Q: How is the Holy Spirit active in this congregation?
A: Whenever God’s Word is read, the sermon preached, or when there is a Baptism or the Lord’s Supper is celebrated, the Holy Spirit is actively working. He works by directing us to Jesus, who on the cross bore the guilt of the sins of the entire world. In short, whenever Christ’s redemptive work is proclaimed, we can be assured the Holy Spirit is working.