Lutheranism has always emphasized variety in worship, but Lutherans do not encourage variety for variety's sake. Instead, Lutheran worship leaders tend to strive for a sense of balance in worship--particularly a balanced presentation of Law and Gospel for those who are both saints and sinners. The challenge is to create a balance of the past and future for the sake of the present, a balance of old and new that will provide continuity with the past and hope for the future. In all settings, worship is conducted to receive God's gifts through the means of grace and to give Him glory. Worship also allows the gathered guests to respond to God in praise, prayer, and adoration (512).
God’s gathered guests come together because God calls us by His Gospel. We are gathered in His name to receive His Word and Meal. We respond in praise and prayers and works of service. This gathering time provides us with the power for living and believing. The worship service ends, but our service continues throughout the week as we live out our faith in Christ in our daily lives.—from the Introduction
This second edition of Gathered Guests explores the elements that compose the broad category of Lutheran worship, including
Special features include
- The historic nature of and current structure of the Divine Service, prayer offices (including Matins and Vespers), and festival and occasional services used in the Lutheran Church.
- An overview of music, the arts, architecture, and their relationship to worship.
- The role of liturgy, rite, and ceremony in the Divine Service.
- Glossary and topical and Scripture indexes.
- Targeted information for lectors and worship planners.
- Family and small-group devotional outlines.
- Addresses the service orders included in the Lutheran Service Book. (publisher's website)
Timothy Maschke is the Harry R. and June J. Rouse Professor of Pre-Seminary Studies and Recruitment at Concordia University Wisconsin. A graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Maschke also has earned doctorates from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Marquette University. He previously served parishes in Illinois (back cover).