What happens on Sunday

Bells summon the faithful. Sometimes the officiant and assistants process into the church behind the cross during an opening hymn reflecting the theme and the season.

The first words spoken are ”In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, and the officiant and congregation greet each other in the name of the Lord.

The officiant introduces the theme and leads the congregation in a general confession, after which she or he proclaims the forgiveness of sins. The congregation responds by saying or singing "Amen".

Three readings follow, the first from the Old Testament, the second from the New Testament. The Gospel, read by a priest and often forming the basis of the sermon, follows the hymn of the day, which connects with the Gospel's theme.

Following the sermon, the congregation recites the creed. As the intercessions are offered, the people pray for the church and for the world, for the recently baptized and departed, and for those recently married or preparing for marriage.

The Ministry of the Sacrament begins with the offertory hymn, during which there is a collection. The bread and wine are blessed in the eucharistic prayer, and the Sanctus and Agnus Dei (ancient hymns of the church) are sung. The officiant greets the congregation with the Peace.

All confirmed members of the church may receive Holy Communion. Children may receive if the importance of Holy Communion has been explained to them and if accompanied by an adult; or they may receive a blessing. Prayers and hymns of thanksgiving follow the administration.

The service ends with a blessing, after which a closing hymn may be sung. The congregation may be sent into the world with words such as "Go in peace and serve the Lord with gladness." The service is often followed by a time of informal fellowship.