(by Pr. Tim Rossow) This is installment #1 of a new BJS series on Authentic Lutheran Worship. We will be posting videos from parishes around the LCMS in order to illustrate authentic Lutheran worship and hopefully to inspire you and your parish to enrich your worship.
This is an example of the service of light with procession (Evening Prayer, Lutheran Service Book, p. 243) from Bethany Lutheran Church, Naperville, Illinois (Pastor Timothy A. Rossow, Cantor Phillip A. Magness). We use it at all of our midweek services.
The Christ candle is processed much like a processional cross with the congregation facing the candle and turning to follow it as it passes them. Notice how well the congregation sings the responses. Also notice how the acolytes genuflect after the candles are lit. They are taught that lit candles symbolize the presence of Christ so they bow before the candles are lit and after they are extinguished but genuflect after they are lit and before they are extinguished.
It never ceases to amaze me that the world and countless LCMS churches chase after all sorts of pop music to enliven the church service when the liturgy is already so rich with movement, candles, variety in music, various postures, and the like. The procession of light is one of our members' favorite parts of the liturgy.
Be sure to tell us what you think we are doing right in the procession of light, how we may improve it and for sure, share your knowledge of the history of this rite and what you do in your parish with this procession.
If you would like to share a video of a rite or some educational liturgical tip please go to the "contact us" tab at the bottom of the page and e-mail Pastor Rossow.
Remember that we have a description of the parts of the liturgy at http://steadfastlutherans.org/liturgy, also linked under our Regular Columns under the Liturgy section.