In Advent and Lent - Wednesday Vespers or Evening Prayer at 7:00 PM
At Gloria Christi we follow the body of historic liturgy
of the Lutheran Church. We believe this is the most consistent with our confession of the faith. Our services follow traditional
Lutheran liturgy in the hymns, order of service, and ceremonies. Our services come from Lutheran Service Book, the latest hymnal produced by the Commission on Worship of The Lutheran Church
- Missouri Synod.
only those who are currently confirmed members of our Lutheran church body partake in the Lord's Supper. Our church
is not currently in fellowship with the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). We ask that visitors who wish to commune to speak
with the pastor prior to the service. It is helpful if you can come early to do this.
is not sufficient time before hand please wait until you can speak with the pastor. Instruction is available regularly and
upon request for those who wish to become communicants in our congregation and fellowship. Our goal is that those who commune
do so in unity, with instruction, and preparation.
In this life
we endure the sadness of differences between Christians in their beliefs, but we anticipate the day when, with all the saints
united, will will be together at the eternal banquet of Christ in heaven. At that time it will no longer be necessary
to divide out false teachings by bearing witness to the Lord's doctrine, for then we will be united in understanding and confession
of the faith, perfectly sanctified.
time is not yet, such witness is still to be given today so that the Lord's people may be protected from any new (false) and
manmade teachings that contradict the properly understood Scriptures (1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 4:1). This is why
Gloria Christi follows the historic and biblical pracstice of closed communion, where all who commune at this altar of the
Lord bear witness to their oneness in confessing the same apostolic doctrine and faith prior to communing together (Acts 2:42).
Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 bids us to "teach all things" from the Lord and so unity in the whole counsel of God cannot
be side-stepped by us, no matter how much we desire to welcome new friends to our fellowship in Christ's Word and Sacraments.
While some Lutherans may diverge from this practice of close communion (or "practice it differently") this is a historical
Christian, Lutheran, and Missouri Synod practice as well that is implied in a right understanding of Scripture.
As pastors and congregation declare in the words of the Large Catechism of Martin Luther, everyone admitted to the Sacrament
will have been baptized and will have learned and affirmed (in current status) the content of the Catechism.
A Lutheran Divine Service in Hamburg, 17th Century
FREQUENT CELEBRATIONS OF THE HOLY SUPPER
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the
door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20
As one can see from the schedule of when the Lord's Supper is offered, it can be received
each Lord's Day for those faithful who wish to do so for the nurturing of faith. The weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper
is consistent with the practice of the Apostles (see Acts 2:42; 20:7), the early and medieval church, as well as the intention of the Lutheran Confessions (Augsburg Confession,
and Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV). While the Lord's Supper is offered every Sunday, we make no laws about
how often one should receive the Lord's Supper. This is the way of our Lutheran Confessions and the way of the gospel. The
gospel is always available but forced on no one.
At the outset we [the Lutherans] must again make the preliminary statement that we 1] do not
abolish the Mass, but religiously maintain and defend it. For among us masses are celebrated every Lord's Day and on the other
festivals, in which the Sacrament is offered to those who wish to use it, after they have been examined and absolved. And
the usual public ceremonies are observed, the series of lessons, of prayers, vestments, and other like things.
of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV,1
WHAT IS THE SERVICE LIKE
AT GLORIA CHRISTI?
Our way of worship is received. Christians live from what they receive in Christ through His
designated means of the Word and the Holy Sacraments. The way of worship that we follow and adhere to is all about getting
ready for these divine gifts, giving thanks for them and responding to them.
The historic liturgical forms or orders of service inherited from the generations and centuries
of Christians who have gone before us in the faith stand as a testimony to the continuity of the church through the ages and
the faithfulness of the Lord who shepherds His Church. For this reason we seek to avoid forms of worship or songs that
contradict or downplay that clear confession of the Lord's Word or that would undermine our heritage.
The services at Gloria Christi follow the historic patterns of worship known by Lutherans and commended
by our forefathers in the Lutheran Confessions. To be truly relevant, one must proclaim things which are eternal, confessing
the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). Come and hear the good news and learn to worship Christ in reverence, joy, and awe, bowing
down before the throne of the Lamb who was slain and yet lives.
WHAT TO EXPECT When you
come to services at Gloria Christi you can expect the historically-received liturgy of the Lutheran Church carried out with
reverence and joy in the presence of the Triune God, with the confession of justification by grace through faith ringing clearly.
We offer the time-tested and perpetually relevant alternative to blended or "contemporary worship" as it is commonly called.
Gloria Christi we regularly use the hymnal of our church for both liturgy and hymns. We are a biblical, creedal, liturgical,
and sacramental church. We follow the Church Year, the liturgical calendar of historic Christianity. We sing time-tested as
well as newer traditional hymns that are biblical and Christ-centered. Expect a service that is inspiring, reverent, and Christ-centered.
Some who visit Gloria Christi might think that some things like chanting the liturgy, or making
the sign of the cross are "kind of catholic." Well, perhaps they are in the original sense of the word. Even many life-long
Lutheran have never been exposed to the old type of traditional Lutheran worship. Our worship life reflects what
we confess as Christians who see the church continuing through the centuries as a living and breathing body gathered around
the Word and Sacraments of Christ. And so we see the continuity of the church throughout the world and throughout time, in
heaven and on earth, expressed in the way of worship. At the same time we treasure our evangelical heritage from the Reformation,
proclaiming boldly that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, without the works of the law. As we say this we
teach that a full Christian confession is both evangelical (gospel centered) and catholic (universal, whole, timeless). Therefore
what we believe forms our way of worship - doctrine is not disconnected from practice. While it may take some practice and learning if you are not used to a liturgical service, we assure you it is
worthwhile, as are many things in life which take practice and instruction. Our pastor or other members would be glad to explain
the format of the hymnal and other practices to you. Instruction for youth and adults is available for those who would like
to learn more or become baptized, communicant members of our parish.
Practically speaking, the service is followed
mainly from our hymnal (which contains both liturgy and hymns) and from an insert in the service bulletin - which provides
the Scripture readings for the day and other changing items in the regular liturgy.