Join us for a joyful celebration and remembrance of the moment that changed the world: when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, sparking the Reformation Movement that returned the Christian Church to the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Epiphany Lutheran Church of Castle Rock will mark the momentous 500th anniversary of the Reformation movement with three special worship services:
Saturday, October 28th, 2017, 5:00 PM
Sunday, October 29th, 2017, 8 AM & 11 AM
Our children’s Sunday school and youth ministry will have a joint celebration during the 9:30 AM education hour on Sunday.
For more information about Martin Luther and the Lutheran Reformation, please visit http://www.lutheranreformation.org
EXPLANATION OF TODAY’S WORSHIP SERVICE
In recognition of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Lutheran Reformation on October 31st, 2017, today’s worship service is based on Divine Service, Setting Five, from Lutheran Service Book, pp. 213-18, which in turn is based on Luther’s earlier Deutschemesse, or “German Mass.” Prior to Martin Luther and the Reformation, medieval Catholic worship had devolved from the example of the Early Church and was very different from what we experience today. Roman Catholic liturgy was read and chanted in Latin, a dead language. Sermons were mostly hagiography, extolling the virtues and examples of the pious saints, instead of expositions of Scripture. Choirs of monks or priests sang the liturgy and hymns. During distribution of Holy Communion, the laity only received the bread and not the cup. The congregation was little more than spectators of the Sacraments. As a result of the Lutheran Reformation, however, each congregation worships in its “heart language.” Congregational hymn singing is a mainstay of our service. The laity now receive Communion in both kinds (Jesus’ Body and Blood). And the highpoint of the Lutheran Divine Service (Gottesdienst) is the preaching on God’s Word. A mark of Luther’s early, revolutionary worship service was the fact that nearly all the liturgy and canticles (songs based on Scripture verses) were sung by the congregation—even the Apostles’ Creed, which is set to music in Luther’s magisterial “We All Believe in One True God” (LSB #954). Today we sing or hear several of Luther’s hymns, including “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (LSB 656 & 657), “Isaiah, Mighty Seer in Days of Old” (LSB #960), “O Lord, We Praise Thee” (LSB #617), and “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” (LSB #655). Several of our other hymns and canticles come from the first decades of Lutheranism, including LSB #942, 947, 434, and 555. Two more modern hymns, “Built on the Rock” (LSB #645) and “Thy Strong Word” (LSB #578), remind us that the Word of God and the Church that believes it can never be destroyed by the devil or our earthly enemies. For more information, see volume 53 of Luther’s Works: Liturgy and Hymns (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963). Happy Reformation Day!