Liturgy by TLW



Liturgy of God's Word
for Reformation Sunday

by The Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


P = Presiding Minister  A = Assisting Minister  C = Congregation


Reformation is a wonderful time to emphasize the importance of God's Word and our commitment to it. That also makes it a good time for pledges to be received in fall pledge drives, although I am aware that many churches do this later in the season. Below, I offer a "Liturgy of God's Word" which includes the reception of Pledge Cards, and commend it to your use. It, of course, can be used without the prayer for the reception of pledges at the end of the Exhortation and Litany.





Brief Order of Confession and Forgiveness (Optional)

Entrance Hymn   "Built on a Rock"


Reformation Dialog:

A. Blessed be God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

C. And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever.


A. There is one Body and one Spirit;

C. There is one hope in God's call to us;


A. One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism;

C. One God and Father of all.


A. Blessed be God who sustains and protects his Holy Church.

C. And blessed be God who guides and confirms us in our Faith. Amen. Alleluia!


Hymn of Praise: "This Is the Feast"

Prayer of the Day



First Lesson

Second Lesson

Alleluia Verse (or Choir)



Hymn of the Day  "A Mighty Fortress"



P. The Lord God in his goodness has seen fit to call us together as the Church of Jesus Christ in this place. In our history of being God's people of ______________ Lutheran Church, God has given us his word of creation, redemption and blessing. He has given us his word of forgiveness and grace. He has given us his word of guidance and mission, and sent his Holy Spirit to empower us for that mission. And when we have strayed from his word, God has called us to return to him that we might continue to be blessed by his grace and favor. We are nothing without our God and his word of hope and promise.

    Therefore, people of God, on this day I invite you to commit yourselves and your whole lives to God's holy word and to his loving purpose for you and for us as ___________ Lutheran Church, so that our lives may be enriched and the work of our hands blessed and prospered.


Litany of Commitment to God's Word:

A. Let us pray. Almighty God, by your holy word, all that we know has come into existence: our universe, our world, our lives, our loved ones, and all that we have and hold so dear. By your holy word, you sent forth your Son to bring us salvation through the cross of death and resurrection. By your holy word, you have called us together to be a Church of love and service in the world. By your holy word, we know that we live in grace and hope. Keep us ever close to your word, that it might be written upon our hearts.

C. We commit our lives to your word, O God.


A. Help us to grow in faith and love toward you, so that we might always live in trust and hope.

C. We commit our lives to your word, O God.


A. Center us in routines that keep us close to you, O Lord. Center us in weekly worship.

C. We commit our lives to your word, O God.


A. Center us in daily prayer.

C. We commit our lives to your word, O God.


A. Center us in knowledge of holy scripture.

C. We commit our lives to your word, O God.


A. Center us in the mission of the church.

C. We commit our lives to your word, O God.


A. Center us in lives of thankful giving and loving for all the blessings which you have bestowed upon us.

C. We commit our lives to your word, O God.


P. By your word, O Lord, guide our lives, forgive our sins, inspire our thoughts, shape our attitudes, lighten our darkness, give us eternal hope, and fill our hearts with joy, assuring us of your constant presence, until you bring us at last into the glories of your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. Amen


Dedication of Pledges & Commitments:

P. Accept, O God, the tokens of our love and signs of pledge and commitment which we bring forward today. By your word of blessing and grace, may they blossom forth as leaves on a tree, as flowers in our hearts, as blessings in your kingdom, as joy in Jesus Christ.

C. Amen

At this time, people may bring their Pledge Cards forward and place them in the alms basin before the altar.


The Peace of the Lord




Offertory Hymn

Offertory Prayer

Great Thanksgiving

Eucharistic Prayer VII (ELW)  or I (LBW)

Our Father


     Lamb of God

     Hymn  "Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us"


Post-Communion Prayer





Closing Hymn  "The Church's One Foundation," stanzas 1-2




In addition, you may wish to include a brief statement in the notes of the bulletin about the significance of the day, such as:


          On this date in 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 Theses (propositions) on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church as an invitation to debate the sale of indulgences for forgiveness. That event sparked a reform movement that eventually led to a Lutheran church and separate denominations. While there is much sorrow in the disunity which the Reformation caused, Luther did establish the idea that the Church is always in need of reform in the light of the gospel. Luther's primary principal that Christians are justified by God's grace through faith in Christ has also found universal acceptance among denominations. Today we pray for church unity, for the purity of God's word, and for a church that is always open to reform and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.