Worship

Worship

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Sunday Schedule
In English: Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
La misa en español: los domingos en 5:00 de la tarde
In Swedish (Svenska Kyrkan i Washington, D.C.): Generally on the first Sunday of the month at 8:30 a.m., but confirm the schedule.
Full Sunday Schedule
9:15 a.m. – Adult forum meets in the library. All are welcome to attend!
9:30 a.m. – Choir warm up in the choir room
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – child care provided in nursery
10:30 a.m. – Celebration of the Eucharist
Sunday School Classes During the school year, Sunday School for elementary school children meets in the Chapel. Children are dismissed from worship after the Gospel and return before Communion.
4 – 7 p.m. – Nursery available for Spanish Misa
5:00 p.m. – Spanish Misa (La Comunidad de Santa Maria)
6:30 p.m. – La Comida

Augustana revels in the gift of the historic liturgy we have received from the church, and celebrates bringing it to life in our current context. Our liturgy combines excellent music with strong biblical preaching and prayerful concern for one another and the world in which we live. We mark the start of worship by ringing chimes that tell people to stand and face the baptismal font at the entrance to the church  for brief public confession. Each Sunday, we process to the center of the sanctuary, lifting the Gospel book high as a sign of our belief that the Christ is truly present as the Living Word, and we gather, in all our diversity, around a common table where we receive that Word in bread and wine. With a love for the rhythm of the church year and its traditions, we celebrate the cycle of liturgical seasons and mark festival days with incense, special music, and traditional prayers. Ours is a living liturgy, meant to form a faithful and vibrant people who will go into the world bearing Christ’s name.

Typical order of service

Gathering

In the Lutheran tradition, Sunday worship usually begins with a brief order for confession and forgiveness, as an entrance into the Eucharistic liturgy. We turn to the baptismal font and remember that we have been washed into new life in Christ, where we are given the assurance of forgiveness. As God’s forgiven people, we follow the cross as it moves to the front of the church, singing a processional hymn. The Gathering part of the worship service may continue with a musical setting of the Kyrie (Lord, have mercy) and Gloria, or may proceed directly to the Prayer of the Day.

Word

The next portion of the service focuses on the Word of God. Following the three-year cycle of readings found in the Revised Common Lectionary, our weekly readings of God’s inspired Word come from the Hebrew Scriptures, the Psalms, New Testament letters or epistles, and from one of the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Following the reading of the Gospel, the pastor preaches a sermon. The congregation responds by singing a hymn and declaring what we believe in the words of a historic creed of the church. A respected member of the church (usually a lay person) serves as the deacon who offers the prayers of the people, which combine expressions of concern and thanks as well as asking God to attend to the needs of friends and loved ones.

Meal

After the prayers of the people we move into the Meal, or Eucharist portion of the worship service. Eucharist comes from the Biblical Greek word for thanksgiving. With thanksgiving to God, we share God’s peace with one another; we present our offerings of food for the poor, money for the mission and work of the church, and bread and wine for our Holy Communion meal. Prayerfully remembering Jesus’ words and commands, the pastor leads us in the Eucharistic liturgy, believing that Christ comes to us in his holy meal. Following the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples, all who are baptized and believe that Christ is truly present are welcome to come forward to receive bread and wine. Those who are not baptized or do not share this belief are welcome to receive a blessing when coming forward. Special music and hymn singing usually accompany the meal.

Sending

In the ancient church, the gathered people were sent out from worship with the fruits of the service: bread, wine, and the offering for the good of the community. Our worship service concludes with prayers after communion, perhaps a special announcement for the life of the parish, and a benediction (blessing) and recessional hymn. At the end, we declare “Go in peace, serve the Lord” in recognition that we are being sent out as the body of Christ in the world.

View a selection of Worship Bulletins here.

Music at Augustana

Augustana's choirMartin Luther declared “next to the Word of God, music deserves highest praise.” The Lutheran Church is a singing church! Augustana has long enjoyed a strong musical tradition. Dr. J. Thomas Mitts serves as organist and choir director. Since 1994, Dr. Mitts has nurtured and sustained both an excellent choir and a vibrant spirit of congregational singing, intoning of Psalms and responsiveness to the liturgy. At Augustana, many of the portions of the liturgy sung by the choir or the congregation as a whole are settings composed by Dr. Mitts. Teaching at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music or accompanying choral ensembles throughout the region, Dr. Mitts is a highly respected member of the D.C. music community.

Drawing on a deep repertoire ranging from Bach to African American spirituals, the volunteer choir sings each Sunday, September through mid-June, and enriches Holy Week and other special seasons and services. The singing and chanting of the choir guides the congregation through the liturgy, and many portions are well-sung by all without instrumental accompaniment. The choir’s anthems regularly inspire the congregation. From time to time the Augustana choir offers special concerts. Weekly rehearsals, led by assistant director Betsy Fulford, are held on Thursday evenings at the church.

Resources for practicing your faith

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Daily Bible Reading (ELCA)

Daily Grace App (Women of the ELCA)

The Revised Common Lectionary (Vanderbilt Divinity School)

Working Preacher (Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN)

Praying the Daily Office

Ecumenical Prayer Cycle

Oremus Bible Browser

Bible Gateway