Every Sunday at 10.30
In Danish, the word for (church) service is gudstjeneste. Gud means God, tjeneste means service, and gudstjeneste refers to two things, namely that we are serving God and He is serving us.
The Sunday service has a special name: højmesse. The service reflects the relationship between God, the individual and the congregation.
You do not have to be a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church or any other church to attend church services.
The church bells are rung before every service as an invitation to participate. At church services, hymns are sung and prayers are said. The congregation listens to passages that are read aloud from the Bible and to a sermon, which is the pastor's interpretation of a biblical text. At most services, the Holy Communion also takes place. This is a meal that signifies the fellowship of Christians, and reminds us that Jesus gave his life to redeem humanity. On Sundays, the church service may also include baptisms.
Prior to the service the church bells are rung three times. At the end of the third time, three times three strokes of the bell are heard, calling to prayer.
Order of Worship
- Organ Prelude - when there is a baptism the congregation stands as the pastor leads in the family.
- Apostolic Greeting, followed a welcome and a presentation of todays theme.
- Introductory Collect
- Reading - all stand as the pastor reads from the Old Testament or the epistles from the New Testament.
- Introduction to the Gospel Reading - all stand.
- All: Gud være lovet for sit glædelige budskab. (God be praised for his glad and joyful message.)
- Gospel Reading - by member of the congregation
- The Apostles´ Creed - said in unison, all stand. Omitted if there is baptism.
- Introduction to childrens activities - in adjoining rooms - all children are welcome to join.
- Prayer of the Church
- Prelude to the next hymn - time for reflection and contemplation.
- Hymn - shown on the screen, one or more verses are sung standing.
- Holy Communion - after the Words of Institution communicants go up to the altar and kneel at the rail. After recieving bread and wine, please stand and make room for the next communicant. The rail is used all the way around the altar.
- Closing Collect
- Final Reading - from the New Testament´s letters (Epistles), read by member of the congregation - all stand.
- All: Amen, Amen, Amen - all stand.
- Announcements - read by the sacristan.
- Organ Postlude - all remain seated during the postlude. When there is a baptism please stand as the pastor and the baptism family leaves the church, followed by the congregation.
The Holy Communion
The night before Jesus was crucified he celebrated the Passover, a Jewish festival, with his 12 disciples. During the meal, he told them about his death and resurrection. He said to them that after his resurrection from the dead they were to gather again and share bread and wine the same way they did now, in his name, and he would be present in the bread and the wine. At his last supper, Jesus gave the disciples bread, saying "this is my body", and wine, saying "this is my blood".
When we as followers of Jesus eat the bread and drink the wine during the Eucharist Jesus is not only present among us but also in us. The Eucharist is a rite where we hear, see and taste that we belong to Jesus and that we have fellowship with others because we all belong to him.
The Holy Communion consists of four elements: Eucharistic Prayer, The Lord's Prayer, Preparation and Communion. After the communion the pastor gives thanks and blesses the congregation. When the communicants have received the bread and the wine, they are told that they have received forgiveness for their sins by the body and the blood of Jesus who gave his life for all and conquered death by his resurrection.
The pastor makes the sign of the cross as a symbol of the victory of life over death and sends the communicants back to their everyday life with the words "May He strengthen and preserve you...Peace be with you".
What happens in baptism?
In baptism, we receive a blessing and we hear the promise of God to all His children: He will always be with us through His love, His Spirit and His blessing.
We become part of a worldwide fellowship that is embodied by the congregation present at the baptism.
Baptism at all ages Most people in the Evangelical Lutheran Church are baptised when they are infants but there is no age limit for baptism. Some people are baptised as adults. Others choose to be baptised as teenagers, shortly before their confirmation.
When a child is baptised, its parents and godparents gather round the baptismal font. The one who carries the child answers on the child's behalf when the pastor asks if it renounces the devil and believes in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The parents promise to bring up the child in the Christian faith. The godparents' task is to take the parents' place, if they should die, in bringing up the child in the Christian faith. When an adult is baptised, witnesses and not godparents take on this spiritual responsibility.
Baptism as part of the Sunday service Baptism follows the same order in all churches and usually takes place on Sundays. However, some churches hold a separate baptismal service, which leaves more time for the pastor to explain what baptism is and to tell the godparents about their task.
If you want to hold a baptism in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, you need to contact the pastor of your local parish church. When an adult wishes to be baptised, the pastor usually suggests a time of preparation that includes conversations, readings and reflection regarding the Christian faith.