Worship October 2019

Fall festivals into Advent

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October 2019


As we anticipate the festival of All Saints, we think of those who have gone before us. Worship might include reading the names of those who have died in the last year. Bells might be rung, candles lit or photographs displayed. Our faith has been planted and nurtured by people who have journeyed before us, some known dearly and others we have never met.

In early October, those on the ELCA Worship staff traveled to Atlanta for the service of installation for Kevin L. Strickland and the staff of the Southeastern Synod. Bishop Strickland most recently served as executive for Worship and assistant to the presiding bishop. A number of people streamed from east and west, north and south. In festive procession, invigorating preaching, joyful song and inspiring prayer, those gathered, many of whom became church for that day, were celebrating not only an installation but also the resurrection of Jesus in our lives today.

When we remember saints who have gone before, may we also lift up our heads to notice the living saints, the children of God, who worship with us each and every week. Some services will be grand events; others will be simpler. Yet every time we gather in Word and Sacrament, we are reminded of that song of the saints that encompasses space as well as time. Note the suggestions below for worship resources as we move from this ordinary time into Advent, the season when we lift our heads and hearts in hope of the One who calls each of us saints, beloved of God.

Life eternal! heav’n rejoices: Jesus lives who once was dead.
Shout with joy, O deathless voices! Child of God, lift up your head!
Life eternal! Oh, what wonders crowd on faith; what joy unknown,
when, amid earth’s closing thunders, saints shall stand before the throne!
                                   — “Sing with All the Saints in Glory,” stanza 3

Deacon Jennifer Baker-Trinity
Program Director for Resource Development

Frequently asked questions

Have you ever wondered?

The basic Christian festival is Sunday. In addition to this weekly festival of the resurrection of Jesus, which is celebrated with Word and Sacrament, the church also observes other great festivals associated with the life of Jesus and the mystery of our redemption … and then there are also "lesser festivals."

Why worship on Sunday?

What is a lesser festival?
When and how do we celebrate them?

If you would like additional information or do not find the question you need answered, we invite you to contact the worship staff at worship@elca.org.

We enjoy hearing from you! It is a gift for those of us here at Worship to hear about the breadth and depth of worship practices around this church. If your particular context has a story, practice or resource to share with our staff, please send it to worship@elca.org. Although we cannot share everything we receive, we may contact you for further information.

Resources and Events

ALCM Webinar: How to Integrate Jazz in Worship (even if you're not a jazz musician!)
Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Deanna Witkowski will offer accessible jazz resources that you can immediately use with your congregation or choir. Register today!
Deanna Witkowski
“Augsburg Organ Library Series 2: Advent”

The Augsburg Organ Library collection reflects the 20th-century renewal of the organ and its music. This volume contains 45 pieces to enhance your Advent season.
Augsburg Organ Library
“Augsburg Organ Library Series 2: Christmas”

“Augsburg Organ Library: Christmas” contains 36 pieces for worship or recitals based on Christmas hymn tunes.
Augsburg Organ Library: Christmas
Worship Planning Calendar: Sundays and Seasons, Year A 2020

Worship Planning Calendar serves as an appointment calendar, a template for planning worship and a guide for daily prayer. This year a new 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" format is introduced.
Worship planning calendar
Families Celebrate Advent & Christmas 2019-2020

This colorful deck of cards is full of rituals, prayers and reflections that explore the entire season from Advent to Christmas through Epiphany.
Families Celebrate Advent & Christmas
Music That Makes Community Events

Music That Makes Community connects a worldwide network of practitioners and leaders who share a practice of paperless song leading. Learn how to teach the practice and create resources for making connections and building a repertoire of songs for leading paperless song.

See the website to find a conference or workshop in your area.
Leading Worship Matters
Lutheran Summer Music 2020
Valparaiso University
June 28-July 26, 2020

Is there a young musician at your church who is ready to challenge themselves in their music study, and explore the many ways they can serve the church with their skills?

Nominate a Student for Lutheran Summer Music 2020, and help them take the first step in realizing their immense potential! This immersive musical experience is for students currently in grades 8-12 and will take place June 28-July 26 at Valparaiso University.

Application fees will be waived for online applications completed by Nov. 1.
lsm 2020
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