Gathering, Word, Meal, Sending make up the four parts of our Sunday morning worship service. We begin with a prayer of confession or thanksgiving for our baptism, then sing the gathering song. Music and singing underscore the connections between the words we speak and hear and the actions we take during the service. Pastor, cantor, choir, and congregation sing ancient responses in a kind of dialogue with one another throughout the various parts of our worship.
Two readings from scripture follow and a psalm is sung. The pastor announces and reads the Gospel. Central to this second part of worship is the sermon which draws from the scripture lessons and proclaims Jesus’ saving grace in our lives. The Meal follows in the third part when we share bread and wine during Holy Communion. As we prepare to depart we sing a sending hymn and are dismissed to go out into the world to lead lives informed by the actions of Christ.We call all of this, the form and shape of worship, liturgy.