Lent 2017

So, we are using Lent as an opportunity to focus on the Small Catechism as a part of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. To that end we are using “With Awe and Love: A Midweek Service Based on Luther’s Small Catechism” from Sundays and Seasons for our Lenten midweek services. I will be handing out to my parish the Lenten Devotional “Free Indeed” from Augsburg Fortress which is also on the Small Catechism. And lastly, our communion liturgy takes it’s cue from Luther’s German Mass using setting three of This Far By Faith.

Given that Lent is traditionally a time of catechesis, I would encourage you to consider using a Thanksgiving for Baptism in your worship during Lent. Perhaps design something using Luther’s explanation regarding the Sacrament of Holy Baptism and his 1526 Baptismal Rite. I have written one such below:

The assembly stands and makes the sign of the holy cross saying:
God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit watch over us. Amen.

The Word of God, which is in and with the water of baptism,
brings about forgiveness of sins, redeems us from death and the devil,
and gives eternal salvation to all who believe in the words and promises of God.
Let us, therefore, give thanks to God for this grace-filled water of life.

Water may be poured into the font as the presiding minister gives thanks.

We give you thanks, O God, for the roaring seas and the mighty waters;
the rivers clap their hands, and the hills ring out with joy before you.
We give you thanks for oceans and lakes, rivers and streams;
for cloud and rain, for dew and snow, for aquifers and watersheds.
We give you thanks for all the waters, above and below, that sustain creation;
but most of all we give you thanks for the waters of resurrection.
In the waters of baptism the sinner in us is drowned,
along with all sorrows and evil desires.
In those same waters, through the work of the Holy Spirit,
we are brought forth to new life with you, O God,
an eternal life of righteousness and purity.
If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:
everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
We pray that through your groundless mercy you would claim us as your children,

and bless us with true faith in the Spirit,
that we may serve you at all times, fervent in spirit, and joyful in hope.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, to whom we have been joined forever. Amen.

Look, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.
I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent,
that my love may go out to my neighbor.

I do not have a strong and firm faith.
At times I doubt and am unable to trust you completely.
O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you.

I have insured all my treasure in your name.
I am poor; you are rich and you did come to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner; you are upright.
With me there is an abundance of sin; with you a fullness of righteousness.
Therefore I will remain with you, from whom I can receive but to whom I may not give. Amen.

 

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