What to Expect at Worship
Markham Lutheran uses a liturgy based on ancient patterns and rituals: a feast for mind, body and soul. It is ecumenical yet distinctively Lutheran.
Our services are multisensory. We experience God’s presence through the bodily senses and all that it means to be human. We delight in God’s beauty through seeing symbols such as cross and candles and the colors in the windows above the altar, banners, paraments and flowers; tasting bread and wine; smelling incense; hearing scripture, music and silence; touching one another as we share the peace; and using our bodies to cross ourselves, kneel, stand, sit, bow and process.
Our liturgies are also contemplative. In the midst of busy urban life and near-constant connection to cell phones and computers, we treasure some time away to gather in sacred space for silence and reflection.
Our worship is user-friendly. Our service most resembles a Roman Catholic mass or an Episcopal liturgy. Whatever your background, our bulletin provides guidance so you can participate at whatever level you are comfortable.
Sermons are relevant to contemporary lives, issues and struggles. They make ancient texts fresh for today.
Our services use organ, piano and, occasionally, guitar and rhythm instruments. Most often we sing traditional hymns--supplemented with other styles, particularly when they reflect the scriptures and themes for a given Sunday.
Each Sunday, worship in Word and Sacrament is at 10:15 am (9:00 am from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend). Wednesday evening services are offered at 7:00 pm during Advent, Lent and other special times in the Church Year. Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday and at other worship services.
We’re formal and informal. A few folks dress up a little, especially at Christmas and Easter, but most of us dress casually, some in jeans, and that's okay. Got tattoos and piercings? A few of us do, too; yet our liturgy involves robes and processions. There is a sense of tradition blended with warmth and openness to contemporary life. So come as you are; you'll fit right in!
As mentioned above, Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday. Lutherans believe in the Real Presence- i.e., that the bread and wine are also the Body and Blood of Christ. Most folks drink from a common cup (chalice), which illustrates our oneness as the Body of Christ; others prefer individual cups. All are welcome at the Lord’s Table without exception, including children. A blessing is provided for infants and children who have not already celebrated their first Communion or for anyone, child or adult, who has not yet been baptized or who prefers that option.