Deo Lutheran Church

Worship 101

What's expected of me?

What about my kids?



What's a Lutheran?


During the worship service

Length of service

Worship services in the Lutheran church are typically about an hour long, give or take 10 minutes. On days when there are many announcements after the service, the service may go as long as 90 minutes, but this is quite rare.

Style of worship

Lutherans are free to worship God using any and all of the gifts of creativity that God has given us. We can play any instrument, sing songs from any era, and use any manner of art to give thanks to God. We are thankful for the people who offer their gifts to enhance our worship together, and if you have a gift to offer, we'd love to put it to use!

Although the specific words that we use and music to which these words are set may change from one Sunday to the next, the overall pattern of worship that is used in our congregation has been in continuous use in our church for centuries. If you have any experience with the Roman Catholic church or Anglican Church, you'll likely feel you have a head start.

If you're a total beginner, you may find that some of the parts of the worship service are quite mysterious. Be patient with yourself. Nobody expects you to understand it all right away. Soak up the experience. Reflect on the components of the service - did anything inspire you? Did anything rub you the wrong way? Please feel free to ask any/all questions. Maybe your perspective will help us see something we can't!

Songs and Hymns

Lately, most of the music that is used at Deo is accompanied either by piano or organ. Occasionally, people offer to play other instruments - we've seen people play guitar, flute, recorder, glockenspiel, violin, tambourine, hand drum and other percussion instruments. Some of the music that is used in our worship is ancient, some of it was written very recently. Although rock music is a prominent feature at our national youth gatherings, Deo does not currently have musical leaders who really know how to rock. If you would like to teach us how, contact pastor Erik.


Lutheran preaching seeks to put the texts of the Bible in conversation with the lives of the people gathered for worship. The goal of preaching is always to reflect the good news of what God has done and what God continues to do. At Deo, a variety of formats of preaching are used -- sermons with and without manuscripts, dramas, exercises in which the congregation is invited to participate, and about once a month we have a family-friendly service where the children participate heavily. A typical sermon is between 10-20 minutes long, depending on format.


The most ancient parts of our worship service, and also most precious to us, are the sacraments. Sacraments are ritual actions that we do in accordance with the Bible, through which we believe God acts. Lutherans observe two sacraments: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.

If you have been baptized at a different church, your baptism will almost always be recognized at a Lutheran church. With regard to Holy Communion, practices vary somewhat from one congregation to the next, but at Deo we recognize that God is the one who invites people to receive the gifts of bread and wine, and therefore are confident that everyone who wishes to receive communion has done so with God's blessing. For more in depth information about the sacraments - refer to the Sacraments section.


Prayer in the Lutheran church tends to be a rather orderly and natural process, without unusual body postures, gestures, or strange disturbances of speech. A worship leader generally leads the congregation in a series of petitions. There are often congregational responses spoken or sung after each petition. There is usually a time provided where members of the congregation can choose to pray silently or aloud for the concerns that they bring with them.