Liturgy: Late Latin liturgia; from Greek leitourgia public service, divine service, liturgy, from leit- (from les people) + -ourgia -urgy.
Worship: Old English weorthscipe worthiness, respect, from weorth worthy, worth + -scipe -ship.
Lutherans have long enjoyed the rootedness that traditional liturgy provides while at the same time adapting music, prayers and other forms to meet the needs of communities of particular times and places.
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The first of a constellation of new resources for the ELCA, Evangelical Lutheran Worship was released in late 2006 by Augsburg Fortress, Publishers. ELW is a worship book with services of communion, word and thanksgiving, healing, hymns and songs, liturgical music, psalms and more.
For a fuller look at the scriptural texts that ground Lutheran liturgy today, see the section titled Scripture and Worship. These pages outline the foundational biblical passages for the services of communion and baptism.
There are 10 musical settings for communion, representing a broad musical diversity. As well as organ and piano-based classical settings, there are an African American gospel setting, a collection of Hispanic music from Central and South America (with bilingual text), and a popular-style setting that can be led by an electronic keyboard, an entire praise band or simply a piano.
ELW includes many types of hymns. There are old hymns, whose four-part settings have been restored.
Hymns, old and new, are presented in a variety of languages. Often a stanza or more of a hymn’s original language is printed, along with the English translation. We now can sing songs in Korean, Swahili and Spanish from our core hymnal. These hymns are new to most Lutheran congregations since the 1978 publication of the Lutheran Book of Worship and reflect a widening global and ecumenical circle.
Original languages also are often included for German and Scandinavian hymns, many of which have been a part of Lutheran tradition.
© 2016 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers