How Lutherans Worship -13: The Hymns & The Sermon


Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Hymns and The Hymn of the Day

God’s people have been encouraged to sing their prayers, praise, and thanksgiving to God. Why do we sing? Psalm 98 gives us the reason.

Psalm 98:1
Oh sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.

The Word of God not only creates faith but teaches us, His children, His gracious will toward us. God has freely given us His own righteousness. In our hymns we respond to this Good News with singing, reciting back to Him the great acts of our salvation in thanksgiving and praise.

University Lutheran Chapel, University of Minnesota

Taking cues from Scripture’s own songbook, the Psalms, the Church’s hymns give us a variety of ways to thank, praise, and proclaim the God who has done all good things for us. In the Divine Service, our singing is related to the readings from Scripture. Hymns enable everyone to join together in proclaiming the scriptural truths read at the lecturn, preached from the pulpit, and spoken before the altar.

Within the Divine Service, congregational hymnody relates to the Scripture appointed for each Sunday. The Hymn of the Day is the principle hymn of the Divine Sercice and relates to, and reflects on the theme of the day, most often set by the Holy Gospel.

The Sermon

Our Lord sent His apostles into the world to preach that forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are found through Him. In the preaching of the Sermon, that apostolic Word is proclaimed among us today.

sermon: The pastor’s proclamation, usually based on the Scripture readings for the day.

Scriptural and Christ-centered

The Sermon is dependent on all that has gone before it in the Divine Service—the liturgy, the hymns, and the readings. Therefore the message of the Sermon is the fullest expression of the theme of the day. The Sermon is the pinnacle of the Service of the Word. It is the Word studied, explained, and expounded through the pastor, the one called by the congregation to preach.

In the Sermon the pastor speaks God’s words of judgment and grace to the current situation. In this way, the Sermon also prepares the hearer for the celebration of the Service of the Sacrament. Like the Absolution, the Sermon delivers the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ on the cross. The Divine Service, then, becomes for us grace upon grace (John 1:16).

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is . . . the power of God.

Lutherans believe and confess that preaching from the Word of God is a means of grace. That is, that the power of God to forgive sins is available and received through the Word of God proclaimed by the preacher. The sermon is placed in the service of the cross, and as in the Absolution and the Sacraments, the hearer is engaged in a person encounter with the living God who is strong to save.

means of grace: The means by which God gives us the forgiveness life, and salvation won by the death and resurrection of Christ: God’s Word, Absolution, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.

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Next: Response to the Word–The Creed and The Prayer of the Church

Singing the Faith Now Online


Singing the Faith banner“Singing the Faith is a DVD-based study of the history of Lutheran congregational song. It “invites viewers and listeners to discover God’s Word proclaimed in a rich heritage of music that faithfully confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
“It is a study of the history of Lutheran congregational song – an accessible educational tool for teachers and students, pastors and congregations, parents and their children. “

www.singingthefaith.org

Alleluia! Let Praises Ring



Alleluia! Let praises ring!
To God the Father let us bring
Our songs of adoration.
To Him through everlasting days
Be worship, honor, pow’r, and praise,
Whose hand sustains creation.
Singing, ringing:
Holy, holy,
God is holy;
Spread the story
Of our God, the Lord of glory.

Alleluia! Let praises ring!
Unto the Lamb of God we sing,
In whom we are elected.
He bought His Church with His own blood,
He cleansed her in that blessèd flood,
And as His bride selected.
Holy, holy
Is our union
And communion.
His befriending
Gives us joy and peace unending.

Alleluia! Let praises ring!
Unto the Holy Ghost we sing
For our regeneration.
The saving faith in us He wrought
And us unto the Bridegroom brought,
Made us His chosen nation.
Glory! Glory!
Joy eternal,
Bliss supernal;
There is manna
And an endless, glad hosanna.

Alleluia! Let praises ring!
Unto our triune God we sing;
Blest be His name forever!
With angel hosts let us adore
And sing His praises evermore
For all His grace and favor!
Singing, ringing:
Holy, holy,
God is holy;
Spread the story
Of our God, the Lord of glory!

You Are God; We Praise You


You are God; we praise You.
You are the Lord; we acclaim You.
You are the eternal Father; all creation worships You.
To You all angels, all the pow’rs of heaven,
cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of pow’r and might,
heaven and earth are full of Your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise You.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise You.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise You.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims You:
Father, of majesty unbounded;
Your true and only Son, worthy of all worship;
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father.
When You became man to set us free,
You did not spurn the virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that You will come and be our judge.
Come, then, Lord, and help Your people,
bought with the price of Your own blood,
and bring us with Your saints to glory everlasting.

O God, Our Lord, Your Holy Word


O God, our Lord, Your holy Word
Was long a hidden treasure
Till to its place It is by grace
Restored n fullest measure.
For this today Our thanks we say
And gladly glorify you.
Your mercy show And grace bestow
On all who still deny you.

Salvation true By faith in you,
That is your Gospel’s preaching,
The heart and core Of Bible lore
In all its sacred teaching.
In Christ we must Put all our trust,
Not in our deeds or labor;
With conscience pure And heart secure
Love you, Lord, and our neighbor.

Lord, you alone This work have done
By your free grace and favor.
All who believe Will grace receive
Through Jesus Christ, our Savior.
And though the foe Would over throw
Your Word with grim endeavor,
What plan he tries, It always dies;
Your Word will stand forever.

You are my Lord, And by your Word
Death holds no dreadful terrors;
Your precious blood, My highest good,
Has blotted out my errors.
My thanks to you! Your Word is true,
You keep your promise ever.
While here I live, Your grace you give
And heaven’s bliss forever.

I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb



I am Jesus’ little lamb,
Ever glad at heart I am;
For my Shepherd gently guides me,
Knows my need and well provides me,
Loves me ev’ry day the same,
Even calls me by my name.

Day by day, at home, away,
Jesus is my staff and stay.
When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,
Into pleasant pastures leads me;
When I thirst, He bids me go
Where the quiet waters flow.

Who so happy as I am,
Even now the Shepherd’s lamb?
And when my short life is ended,
By His angel host attended,
He shall fold me to His breast,
There within His arms to rest.

Christ High-Ascended


Christ high-ascended, now in glory seated,
Throned and exalted, victory completed,
Death’s dread dominion finally defeated,
We are His witnesses.

Christ from the Father ev’ry pow’r possessing,
Who on His chosen lifted hands in blessing,
Sends forth His servants, still in faith confessing,
We are His witnesses.

Christ, who in dying won for us salvation,
Lives now the firstborn of the new creation;
To win disciples out of ev’ry nation,
We are His witnesses.

Christ in His splendor, all dominion gaining,
Christ with His people evermore remaining,
Christ to all ages gloriously reigning,
We are His witnesses.

As at His parting, joy shall banish grieving,
Faith in His presence strengthen our believing;
Filled with His Spirit, love and pow’r receiving,
We are His witnesses.

All Christians Who Have Been Baptized



All Christians who have been baptized,
Who know the God of heaven,
And in whose daily life is prized
The name of Christ once given:
Consider now what God has done,
The gifts He gives to ev’ryone
Baptized into Christ Jesus!

You were before your day of birth,
Indeed, from your conception,
Condemned and lost with all the earth,
None good, without exception.
For like your parents’ flesh and blood,
Turned inward from the highest good,
You constantly denied Him.

But all of that was washed away—
Immersed and drowned forever.
The water of your Baptism day
Restored again whatever
Old Adam and his sin destroyed
And all our sinful selves employed
According to our nature.

In Baptism we now put on Christ—
Our shame is fully covered
With all that He once sacrificed
And freely for us suffered.
For here the flood of His own blood
Now makes us holy, right, and good
Before our heav’nly Father.

O Christian, firmly hold this gift
And give God thanks forever!
It gives the power to uplift
In all that you endeavor.
When nothing else revives your soul,
Your Baptism stands and makes you whole
And then in death completes you.

So use it well! You are made new—
In Christ a new creation!
As faithful Christians, live and do
Within your own vocation,
Until that day when you possess
His glorious robe of righteousness
Bestowed on you forever!

God of the Prophets, Bless the Prophets’ Sons



God of the prophets, bless the prophets’ sons;
Elijah’s mantle o’er Elisha cast.
Each age its solemn task may claim but once;
Make each one nobler, stronger than the last.

Anoint them prophets, men who are intent
To be Your witnesses in word and deed,
Their hearts aflame, their lips made eloquent,
Their eyes awake to ev’ry human need.

Anoint them priests, strong intercessors they,
For pardon and for love and hope and peace,
That, through their pleading, guilty sinners may
Find Jesus’ mercy and from sin release.

Anoint them kings, yes, kingly kings, O Lord.
Anoint them with the Spirit of Your Son.
Theirs not a jeweled crown, a bloodstained sword;
Theirs, by sweet love, for Christ a kingdom won.

Make them apostles, heralds of Your cross;
Forth let them go to tell the world of grace.
Inspired by You, may they count all but loss
And stand at last with joy before Your face.

All Glory, Laud, and Honor


Refrain: All glory, laud, and honor
To You, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

You are the King of Israel
And David’s royal Son,
Now in the Lord’s name coming,
Our King and Blessèd One.
Refrain

The company of angels
Is praising You on high,
And we with all creation
In chorus make reply.
Refrain

The multitude of pilgrims
With palms before You went;
Our praise and prayer and anthems
Before You we present.
Refrain

To You before Your passion
They sang their hymns of praise;
To You, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.
Refrain

As You received their praises,
Accept the prayers we bring,
O Source of ev’ry blessing,
Our good and gracious King.
Refrain