Compared with many other churches today, St. Martin's liturgy would be considered very traditional. Traditional, however, does not mean "stuffy." St. Martin's is a traditional parish with a big heart for God and others, and that carries over into its worship. Worship engages all the senses; therefore, traditional vestments and appointments, chanting, Scripture readings and Sermon, organ music, and, from time to time, even incense are all part of the normal worship life of the parish.
The following order is typical for a celebration of the Eucharist at St. Martin's:
The weekday Eucharist is similar, but often without music, it is a spoken liturgy.
The organ provides a majority of the music for the liturgy, although others have shared, and are encouraged to share, their musical gifts and talents with brass, flute, and piano. Hymns and muscial settings for the liturgy generally come from the Lutheran Book of Worship (Augsburg Publishing House and Board of Publication, Lutheran Church in America, 1978) and With One Voice: A Lutheran Resource for Worship (Augsburg Fortress, 1995). "Contemporary songs" may be included, but are not typical.
Most people attend worship today in attire that is known as "business casual." Men in suits/coats and ties and women in dresses can still be found, but they are not as prevalent as they once were.
It is important to remember a few things. The worshiper's heart and mind matter more than the worshiper's attire. We will welcome you as you are. That having been said, one should always remember that, when coming to worship, one is entering the House of the Lord and into His very Presence. This calls forth a higher amount of decorum and decency than going to any other place on earth! One should not, therefore, enter the Lord's House either "dressed to impress" (we should care more about what Our Lord thinks of us than we do about what others think) or "dressed to offend" (we do not want to take the attention and focus off of Our Lord). As someone once said, we offer the Lord our best because He offered us His best, Jesus Christ. Whatever, therefore, you consider some of your "best," that is appropriate.
Children are welcome in worship at St. Martin's, from beginning to end! We take very seriously the Word of God which tells us, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22.6 RSV). There is no better way for a child to learn the importance of worship, as well as the how's and why's of worship, than by regularly attending worship with his or her parent(s). Parents with fidgety or noisy little ones are expected to attend to their children's needs so as to minimize the disturbance to the worship of others around them, even if this means taking them out of church for a few moments until they are settled down. However, we also expect that, because these are children, there will be interruptions from time to time. Rest assured, you do not need to be embarrassed if something happens with your child. Pastor has been known to read, preach, and pray through some loud interruptions and "shouts of praise" from these little saints of God!
We believe that Holy Communion is the very Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ given and shed for repentant Christians to eat and drink for the forgiveness of sins. You may receive the Sacrament, therefore, if you have been baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,* repent of your sins, and acknowledge the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament (that is, that the bread and wine ARE the very Body and Blood of Christ, as He Himself has said.)
* Baptisms that have been done under any other name than that of the Name of theTriune God, "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/Spirit" are not considered valid baptisms. This includes any formulas that substitute modes or "names" for the Holy Trinity, e.g., "Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier," "Father/Mother, Child, and Spirit," etc., or those which only use Jesus' Name (Jesus Only sects).
The best way to get connected is to attend and experience for yourself whether or not St. Martin's is the parish for you. We, of course, would hope that it would be, but we also realize that is not always the case. Most first time visitors to St. Martin's have commented on the genuine warmth and welcome afforded to them by the members of St. Martin's, and it is true! We will not welcome you in Jesus' Name because we want you on our membership rolls, or because we want your money. We will welcome you in Jesus' Name. Period. Where our relationship goes from there is in His hands and yours.
If you should find that St. Martin's is the community of faith for you, there are many ways to be involved in the life of the parish and the life of the community. Continue to look around this website for ideas, and/or feel free to give the Pastor a call at the Church Office. He would be happy to speak with you regarding these questions, or any others that you may have!