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

We believe that worship is what we do together and is the vibrant center of our faith community.

And Augustana aspires to “do” worship well. In this way, we honor God, the one who created and redeemed us while infusing us with awareness of all that is holy. Worship done well inspires worshippers to orient our daily lives to reflect the mighty acts of God in life and the world.

With this in mind, at Augustana, we combine an excellent choir with strong congregational singing. We accentuate key moments in the service and the special days of the year by ringing bells, using incense, sprinkling water over the congregation, and anointing people with oil. Augustanans expect to hear God’s word proclaimed with preaching that links scripture to life as we live it. Individuals are free to cross themselves during the service, mark themselves with baptismal water or make other gestures to honor God’s presence in their lives.

We use the historic liturgy, which means that our worship is meant to be the work of the people who gather. Not spectators, people at Augustana expect to actively participate in the speaking, singing, standing, sitting and kneeling of their worship. Our historic liturgies are organized in a twelve-month liturgical calendar of days and seasons, which begins around December 1 with Advent and continues with Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. The seasons begin and conclude with special days that commemorate saints like Santa Lucia or special events like The Baptism of Our Lord, Ash Wednesday or All Saints Day.

Typical order of service

Our weekly liturgies typically begin with us presenting ourselves before God with a confessional prayer that concludes with the pastor declaring that all who believe receive God’s forgiveness. As God’s forgiven people, we observe the cross processing to the front of the church while going into the song of thanksgiving and the Service of the Word.

Following the three-year cycle of readings found in the Revised Common Lectionary, our weekly readings of God’s inspired Word come from the Old Testament, the Psalms, New Testament letters or epistles, and conclude with a reading from one of the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Following the reading of the Gospel, the pastor relates the readings to Christian life as we experience and live it. The congregation responds by singing a hymn and declaring what we believe in the words of a historic belief statement or 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.

After the prayers of the people, we begin the Liturgy of the Eucharist. 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 liturgy that invokes Christ’s real presence in the bread and wine. 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. Once everyone who wishes has received communion, the service concludes with a brief prayer and a final blessing.

View our Worship Bulletins & Weekly Prayer Guides here.

Music at Augustana

Augustana's choirWorship at Augustana is blessed and inspired by wonderful music.

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 done to 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 practices are held on Thursday evenings at the church.

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