Need help from Lutheran bees, NWR

posted 3 years ago in Christian
Post # 3
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I am confused so maybe some clarification would help. If you are not required to attend services why does it matter? (not being rude just trying to understand).  First things – in Lutheran churches it is not called mass.  Also there are 2 different types of Lutheran. Which is it? One is ‘stricter’ than the other. More info might help. I would say if you are used to Catholic Mass a Lutheran Service will be less formal for lack of a better word.

Post # 4
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Ive done a bit more thinking trying to remember Catholic masses I have been to.

-Lutherans don’t kneel for prayer, but do usually kneel to recieve communion

-communion is wine AND bread.

-Offering of peace to those around you. Usually a hand shake and a ‘peace be with you’

-Lutheran services are usually shorter than Catholic Mass

and I saved the best for last:

-there is a program/bulletin handed out as you enter church that TELLS you what the order of service is (so no suprises for you!)

 

Am I totally off the track of what you were wondering?

Post # 6
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I don’t know if it would be considered rude or not. When I go to catholic mass I do not receive communion because I’ve wondered the same thing. One of the Lutheran churches allows women ministers and I *think* is more supportive of the gay community than the other. If you know anything about the united church the Lutheran church is pretty similar. And as I’m sure you know-the lutheran church is very musical.

Post # 7
Member
5541 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

I *think*many Luthern churches practice open communion, so you dont  have to be a baptized Luthern to take it, just a Christian. Generally speaking, services would be a song or prayer (or both) to open, a welcome, some more songs, preaching then perhaps a song at the end. But I do think there should be a service program to help you. Or just ask a fellow choir member! Usually the preacher or worship will instruct the congregation on when to stand and sit so that shouldnt be too confusing. I dont believe they do all the “soit, kneel, stand, kneel sit, stand, cross yourself, kneel” kind of stuff that can make the non-Catholics in mass confused! 

Post # 8
Member
295 posts
Helper bee

I was born and raised Lutheran Missouri Synod so I know the ends and out of the church. One it is samiler to Catholic mass but a bit shorter. Usually there is a program that you follow from start to finish of the service. As for communion unless you are a member of that synod you cannot recieve communion. Example if I would attend a Wisconsin synodLutheran church I can’t receive communion there. Same goes for if I attend a Methodist or a Catholic service I would be unable to receive communion there. Just because you are baptized you can’t receive communion.

Post # 9
Member
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

There are two synods (Missouri and Wisconsin) and Evangelical.  Now, don’t let the state names confuse you, they can be anywhere.  For example I grew up in Wisconsin and all the churches (we moved a lot) were Missouri synod.  I live in Missouri now and the Lutheran churches I see are Wisconsin or Evangelical.  Go figure :).

They have a very set service (usually right around an hour).  There’s actually books, they look like prayer books but tell you what should happen each Sunday of the year… the topic, which hymns, etc.  These aren’t books you are expected to have as a member, but the church uses them.  They use several hymns each sermon, and prayer.

In my experience they are very down to earth.  Sermons are more a lesson from the bible in today’s terms.  Not just “Ye shall do THIS!”.  There’s a lot of stand up/sit down.  I went to my Catholic friend’s church some in middle school and it did seem similar on the surface, but different at the heart.  But I’ve never been to a Lutheran church that kneeled for communion, nor one that wouldn’t let anyone take communion.  Some churches require you to speak with the pastor before taking communion, and I wouldn’t doubt extreme churches require you to be a member, or of their synod tough… most will just accept that you’re Christian and want to commune with Christ and leave it between you and God.

While the service is very structured, the denomination is very accepting on personal time with God, and your spirituality.  You don’t scream and have visions.  You get together to celebrate God, your community and your family and most of all to learn and recognize your sins so that you can be a better person.  You don’t confess, you don’t condemn.  You support.

 

Obviously this is my experience and my opnions and the churches I’ve attended.  I’m definitely no expert.  But I hope it helps.

Most of all, don’t try to be a religion or dominiation you don’t want to be.  If you feel it and want it, or are curious by all means learn more about it and see if it fits you and speaks to you. 

This page looks straight out of the 1990s so it looks hinky, but it’s got the links to the three main Luthern synods.  I tested them myself. http://www.lutheran.org/   Find out what synod the church is, and research from there.  These days it’s likely the church has a web page and somewhere on it will tell you what synod it is if you’re afraid to ask.  You could always just call the church number and ask too!

ETA I know I said 2 synods at the top and 3 in the last paragraph, I’m not sure if Evangelical is a synod?  It apparently was started in 1988.  I think I’ve heard of it before but didn’t really think of it … so I don’t know if it’s considered a synod or it’s own offshoot.  *shrug*  Sorry for any confusion.

Post # 11
Member
230 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

 

I grew up Missouri synod and what others have said about communion is correct. You cannot receive it unless you are a member. However, at my congregation you can still go up and receive a blessing from the minister, they just won’t give you any of the wine or bread.

Post # 12
Member
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@HonoraryNerd:   Since it’s a lke job, is there anyone you can ask if there’s anything special you should know or anything special you should/shouldn’t do?

I imagine you’ll be fine as long as you don’t run around cursing, talking through the service or something like that :).

Post # 13
Member
9528 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

If you give me the name and location of the church I’m sure I can figure out which denomination it is. Because there is a world of difference between Wisconsin/Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). I was raised ELCA and know a good bit about it, but I don’t know much about the Synod denominations except that they are much more socially concervative. ELCA is a a fairly liberal church with female pastors for decades and recently gay pastors as well. We have open communion. One general thing to know is that we refer to the leaders of the church as “Pastor such-and-such” instead of “Father such-and-such”. Service is structured much like a Catholic service. There should be a bulletin that explains what happens.

Post # 14
Member
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

It is ELCA where at my church we kneel for communion.

Post # 15
Member
6644 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@Honey-Bee:  Actually way more than 2 types of Lutherans, just an FYI. 

WELS (Wisconsin synod) most conservative
LCMS (Missouri synod) moderate
ELCA (Evangel. Luth.church in Amer.) Very liberal

 

Post # 16
Member
2209 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I grew up ELCA, and yes, our sect is more liberal.  We just got our first female bishop!

I’m sure it varies from church to church, but we only kneel to receive communion during Lent.  Otherwise, we receive it while standing through intinction (dip the wafer into the wine).  We don’t kneel other than that.

Also, my church allows anyone who believes in Christ to take communion.  I think this is pretty typical in the ELCA.

I went to a wedding and baptism at a WELS church and it was…interesting…to say the least.  Lots of talk about Hell and about women being inferior to men.  :

@HonoraryNerd: That all being said, I’m not sure there’s anything you could do to offend the entire congregation.  Just make sure your phone is on silent, and listen for cues when it comes to communion.  🙂  Wait – did you already go to church?  If so, how’d it go?

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