Friday, July 4, 2014

Dialogue Service Coming

Friday after Pentecost 4
Independence Day (United States of America)

The Lord be with you

What is a “Dialogue Service”? It is a basic liturgical worship service interspersed with commentary (the dialogue) about the various parts of the service. So, for example, prior to the confession of sins someone says:

Scripture teaches that we are born sinful and continue to sin even after we become Christians (Psalm 51:5; 1 John 1:8). Scripture also teaches that our Holy God is too pure to look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). So we are urged to confess our sins to God and receive forgiveness (1 John 1:8), which is exactly what we do in this preparatory part of the service. Kneeling is historically a position of humility and submission, reflecting our position before God as repentant sinners. While the Pastor leads us in this confession, he also confesses his own sin and thus kneels facing the altar with the congregation.

Then the service proceeds with the confession of sins. Then a commentator reads the dialogue concerning the absolution which is followed by the actual absolution.

There is a tremendous amount of thought and theology encased in a traditional worship service. That includes, not only what is said, but when various portions of a traditional worship service happens. A dialogue worship unpacks much (but by no means all) of this thinking. It thus makes for a for informed and (hopefully) richer worship experience.

One knock on such services is that they break the flow of the service. This is a true critique. However, those who do this sort of thing are hoping for long-term benefits. That is to say, it is hoped that the worshiper remembers some of the thinking and theology in the following weeks, months and even years.

We will have a Dialogue Worship Service at Lamb of God on Sunday, July 27. We will be using the Divine Service, Fourth Setting, from the Lutheran Service Book. To accommodate the longer time we will need for the liturgy the sermon will be no more than five minutes. To put this another way, most of the message for the day will be carried in the commentary on the worship service.

We hope this service will be a blessing to all, both long-time Lutherans and visitors.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Rickert

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