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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Worship Notes from First Trinity

Rev. Dr. Douglas Spittel, pastor of First Trinity in Pittsburgh and recipient of this year’s sabre, tells me that he prints out the entire Divine Service every week due to the large number of visitors the congregation enjoys. He also prints the following explanation of the lay ceremonies on occasion. I found it interesting and edifying and thought our readers might as well. The original has little pictures of people standing, kneeling, and sitting.

A Guide to the Symbols found in the Service Notes

As we worship with heart, mind, and body, we make use of all of our senses and

faculties as we are able. With the ears we hear God’s Word; with the mouth we

sing His praise; with the eyes we behold His gifts; with the nose we smell the

sweet incense of prayer rising before his throne; and with the hands we lovingly

touch and help one another. As with all of our worship, these Service Notes

give cues on how and when one may worship in a decent and orderly fashion

with the whole Body of Christ. For the sake of the visually impaired, the

celebrant will call out some instructions (like when to sit or stand), but the

prayers do not always allow this without undue interruption. These cues are,

therefore, printed throughout the Service Notes to assist you in worship.

Stand. This is the default posture for Christian prayer and worship.

(Revelation 7:9)

Kneel. This is the posture of penitence and profound reverence. Kneeling

benches or hassocks are available at every pew in the church and chapel.

(Daniel 6:10, Acts 21:9)

Be seated. This is a posture introduced after the Reformation for the sake of

attentiveness to the sermon. Women in their maternity, the infirmed, and

the elderly are welcome to sit as often as needed throughout the Service.

+ You may make the sign of the Holy Cross with the thumb and fore fingers

upon the forehead, breast, right shoulder, and left shoulder. (Small

Catechism on Daily Prayer)

^ You may bow your head in reverence and worship through the end of the

phrase or sentence. This posture is an abbreviated form of kneeling

(Philippians 2:10)

David Petersen1 Comment