Sunday 27 October, 2019 – Reformation Sunday

This Sunday, we commemorate the Reformation. Here are the resources you need for this Sunday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs.

This year also marks the 20th Anniversary of the Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification. Your congregation may like to include some of the elements from the service order prepared to mark this occasion here.
Notes on the Joint Declaration

It is also the second Sunday of the Season of Prayer, a LCANZ focus on prayer for Church planting and renewal. The Season of Prayer will run for six weeks, from 20 October to 24 November 2019. Liturgy Helps for the season are available here. A selection from these resources has been incorporated into the worship resources below. Feel free to substitute other choices from the material provided to best suit your congregation’s needs.

Altar colour: Red

Bible readings

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:27-34 The Lord’s new covenant
Psalm:  Psalm 46
Responsive Psalm 46 PPT standard / widescreen
*For musical settings of this Psalm, please see the song suggestions below*
Second Reading: Romans 3:19-28 Justification by faith
The Gospel:  John 8:31-36 “In my word, you will know the truth”

Printable, Formatted Readings
Notes on Readings


Lay-readers please note: the following sermons have all been edited for lay-reading.
Sermon on the Second Reading: Sermon_Romans 3:19-28_Pr Joshua PfeifferSermon_Romans 3:19-28_Pr Roger Atze
Sermons on the Gospel: sermon – john 8v31-36 – year a – reformation ; sermon -reformation – october 2015 ; sermon-john-8-31-36-years-abc-reformation ; Sermon_John 8:31-36_Pr Joshua Pfeiffer
Sermon on the Luther Rose: Sermon_Reformation_Vince Gerhardy

Orders of service

You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

Reformation Sunday Word & Prayer ( pdf / doc / ppt standard  / ppt widescreen)

Reformation Sunday Service with communion – Hymnic   Word   PPT
Reformation Sunday Service with communion – Traditional (p6)           Word   PPT
Reformation Sunday Service with communion – Contemporary     Word   PPT
Reformation Sunday Spoken (suitable for lay reading)   Word   PPT

After Pentecost Sunday Word & Prayer ( pdf / Word / ppt standard /ppt widescreen )
Service of the Word (pdf / Word / ppt standard /ppt widescreen )
Morning Praise (pdf / Word / ppt standard /ppt widescreen )
Service without communion (pdf / Word /ppt standard /ppt widescreen )
Service orders with holy communion
Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / Word / ppt)
Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)
Service with Five Songs of Faith (pdf / Word / ppt)

Ready to Go Resources

Please note that the resources below have been prepared for congregations with limited administrative support and represent only one combination of the available service orders, readings, etc. This week’s service has been prepared using the Reformation Sunday Word and Prayer. Every effort will be made to vary the liturgy each week.

Service Order     Word / PPT (standard) /PPT (widescreen)


Opening Sentences

I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jer 31:33 NRSV)

For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;
they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Rom 3:22b-24 NRSV)

Jesus said: ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ (John 8:31,32 NRSV)

Season of Prayer
We gather in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God.
Whose love drives us out for the sake of the world he loves.

Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification – Thanksgiving for Baptism and Greetings

Invitation to Confession

The following words may be used to introduce the confession of sins:
Friends in Christ:
The Apostle Paul says that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.
Therefore let us confess our sins to God our Father,
since we have been justified by his grace as a gift,
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Prayer of the Day (Collect)

Choose one of the following:

Almighty and eternal God,
you mercifully give the light of the gospel
to your church.
Keep us in sound teaching
that we may steadfastly believe
and worthily follow
your saving word,
and finally by its holy comfort
depart in peace and joy;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, modernised traditional
Almighty and eternal God,
in mercy you give the light of your gospel
to your church.
Keep us in sound teaching,
so that we may firmly believe
and faithfully follow
your saving word,
and finally, with its holy comfort,
die in peace and joy.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

OR, alternative
Lord God,
you have given all holy Scriptures for our learning.
Lead us to hear them,
read, note, learn, and inwardly digest them.
Encourage and support us by your holy word,
so that we may always hold onto
the joyful hope of eternal life,
which you have given us
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
For he lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Children’s Address, Reformation Sunday: Reformation

Prayer after the gospel

This is the gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the gift of your word.
Keep us faithful to your word,
so that we may know the truth,
and the freedom it brings.

Offering Prayer

Heavenly Father,
there is nothing that we could offer to you
as a sacrifice for our sin.
Yet in your great love,
you have offered up your own Son,
so that through him we may be put right with you.
Accept the gifts we offer here today,
as mere tokens of our gratitude
for the great gift of salvation
which you have given to us.

Prayer of the Church (General Prayer): Prayer of the Church- Reformation

Additional Prayer Points

  • Season of Prayer – Lord Jesus, as the head of your Church you give gifts to enable the proclamation of your word: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Please grant that your gospel is proclaimed with power in the Holy Spirit for the salvation of many. For those serving as Church planters, in particular, we ask that you would give them the full measure of your Holy Spirit they need. Give them wisdom, discernment, patience and endurance as they plough, sow and reap. In Jesus name, Amen.
  • Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification – you may wish to use some or all of this Intercessory Prayer .
  • Visit the LCA International Mission website to access their prayer points, which you may like to include in the Prayer of the Church, or in your bulletin.

Resources for services with Holy Communion


It is indeed right and good,
Lord God, holy Father,
that we should at all times and in all places
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(On this day)*
he overcame death by his resurrection
and opened up for us
the way to eternal life with you.
And so, with angels and archangels,
and with all the company of heaven,
we adore and praise your glorious name:
* The words ‘on this day’ are used only on Sundays. 

Communion Invitation

Jesus says: ‘I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

Jesus says: ‘My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me, and I in them.’
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

This cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks
is a communion in the blood of Christ.
This bread that we break
is a communion in the body of Christ.
(Thanks be to God.)
Come, everything is ready.

Prayer after Communion

The following prayer may be used:
Lord God,
you constantly renew your church
through the pure preaching of your word
and the right administration of your sacraments.
Renew our hearts,
so that we may be strong in faith towards you
and eager in good works towards all people.
We ask this through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.


Go in peace. The Lord will keep you safe.


Go in peace. Fight the good fight, run the race and keep the faith.
Thanks be to God. 

OR  In the name of Christ. Amen.


Season of Prayer

Let us pray
Dearest Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We know you only as you show yourself in Jesus, and in him crucified.
In and through him, you come to us.
With him, you unite us to yourself.
Because of you, we are members one of another, and all together members of Christ.
Our life, hidden with Christ in God, is yet to be fully revealed.
Lead us ever more into the faith, hope and love of Christ,
That we may live to your glory the blessing of the world. Amen.



God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us!
Bless all creation, O God, and make your ways be known upon earth, your saving power among all peoples.
God, Father, (+) Son and Holy Spirit, bless us and all creation. God keep us in his way together in hope.



The colour for the day is red, the colour of fire and the Spirit. A very striking effect can be gained if the church is decorated in red on this day. Here are some suggestions:

  • Use red flowers in the sanctuary (or red and white, white depicting the pure word of God)
  • Decorate the church with red streamers
  • Display a red drape with the words SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH, each word on a separate card and displayed appropriately on the drape. A large special Bible and red (or red and white) flowers could be added.
  • Display a pair of doors made of wood or thick cardboard, in an appropriate size to fit the display area, with a scroll representing the 95 theses pinned (or nailed) on. This could be finished with a red drape and red (or red and white) flowers, and a card reading ‘We hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. (Romans 3:28)’.
  • Display a red drape, a card with ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith (Romans 1:16)’, a Bible, red (or red and white) flowers, a candelabra with red candles.
  • Candles in the church are usually white. This is said to be because they symbolise Christ. However, on this occasion the candles on the altar and in the sanctuary could be red, to symbolise the fire of the Spirit.


In the past, Lutherans have often placed a large Bible in the centre of the altar. In many ways this was appropriate, as the sacrament of holy communion was rarely celebrated. However, if the sacrament is celebrated, the vessels for the eucharist should be placed in the centre of the altar. In fact, the proper place for the Bible is on the lectern, where it is to be used. However, for services of the word, and perhaps for days of special focus on the Bible, such as Reformation Day, the Bible may be placed open on the altar to show the special emphasis of the service.


Suitable symbols for the day are:

  • Luther’s coat of arms (Luther’s rose)
  • Symbols of the word, eg the symbol for St Paul of the open Bible over a sword pointing downwards, the symbol of the open Bible and the lamp of knowledge burning on it, or the ark or ship of the church

Sermon and Reading Art Ideas with Sources

UPDATED WEEKLY! Images related to the readings and sermons for use in PowerPoints and other projections. The images are provided with permission. Please include the acknowledgements for any images you use.

You can access excellent examples of church art relevant to each season of the Church year on the Visual Arts website. . The image used on the Traditional and General Use slides below was taken with permission from the Visual Arts site, and was created by Chris Longmire.

Reformation PPT Slides (Widescreen): Set 1 / Set 2 / Set 3 / Set 4 / Set 5
Reformation PPT Slides (Standard): Set 1 / Set 2 / Set 3 / Set 4 / Set 5

Simply download your preferred slides and copy the liturgy and songs into each slide.

Other Visual Art resources
There are some great sites which have good quality ppt slides and images which you may find helpful:



If a procession is held at the beginning of the service, the reader for the day may carry in a large Bible at the head of the procession behind the processional cross. The one who carries it should use both hands to hold it vertically at shoulder height. When the procession reaches the sanctuary, the Bible may be placed open on the lectern, or – if holy communion is not celebrated – open on the altar. See the discussion above under ‘Altar Bibles’.

Play scripts and scores for a range of skits may be downloaded at a small cost from Our Saviour Lutheran Church Aberfoyle Park. There are a number of websites where you can source good quality short films for use in worship service, including: The Skit Guys


In addition to the Children’s Address included in the Liturgy above, you can find excellent resources for children’s ministry at Grow Ministries, the Child, Youth and Family Ministry of the LCA.


The Come and See Jesus curriculum published by Openbook Publishers has a wealth of material and ideas that may be adapted for use in worship. Please note that a new edition of this material is currently available for the Revised Common Lectionary.

A Reformation Day story, ‘Martin Luther’, may be found in Original Edition, Reformation, year C OR Revised RCL Edition, Proper 26, year A.


This Week’s Top 5

There are many great songs and hymns to choose from each week. This list has been compiled by Mark Simpfendorfer from the Commission on Worship’s Music and Song team. Please make sure you check the copyright on any songs you use.

A mighty fortress is our God LHS 195
Your strong Word  LHS 823
God has spoken by his prophets TIS 158
He set me free  AT 232  (orange)
Amazing Grace My chains are gone / Tomlin

Top 4 Public Domain

If you enjoy traditional hymn singing or your congregation does not have a copyright license, Mark Simpfendorfer from the Commission on Worship’s Music and Song team recommends the following: (If a hymn is hyperlinked, modernised lyrics are available).

God of mercy God of grace LHS 462
Before the throne of God above LHS 173
By grace I’m saved grace free LHS 329
A mighty fortress is our God LHS 195

Backing tracks for these recommendations are available from ACR (the 647 hymns from the black hymnal, played on organ 25 favourite hymns with choir and organ  40 organ accompaniment hymns  – list on website  40 more accompaniments for congregational singing

Song/Hymn suggestions

* Modernised version available. Click on the hyperlinks to see the modernised lyrics. (Please click here to browse the Modernised Hymns page.)
G3, G4 . . . = Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS = Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH

First reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34

462    God of mercy, God of grace G6 (see TIS 452)
184    Love is the law (Spring follows winter)
102    Praise to the living God
428    Help us, O Lord, to learn
452    God of mercy, God of grace

Second reading: Romans 3:19-28

83    Beneath the cross of Jesus
173    Before the throne of God above
270    The law of God is good and wise G3
312    In Thee alone, O Christ, my Lord
322    Dear Christians, one and all rejoice* G3 (see TIS 196)
323    Blessed are the sons of God* G4
324    Salvation unto us has come* G5 (see TIS 195)
325    Approach, my soul, the mercy-seat
327    Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness* G3
330    Rock of ages G6
331    My hope is built on nothing less*
332    Thy works, not mine, O Christ*
411   If God be my defender* G3
851    Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
852    God loved the world so that he gave G5
871    My heart is filled with faith and wonder
130    I am covered over
131    Amazing grace
329    This kingdom
345    Nothing but the blood of Jesus
129    Amazing grace
195    Salvation now to us has come
196    Dear Christians, one and all rejoice
213    Father, whose everlasting love
222    Rock of ages

Gospel: John 8:31-36

4        Once He came in blessing* G4 (see TIS 197)
197    Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word* G5 (see TIS 436)
379    Lord of creation, to Thee be all praise G6 (see TIS 626)
883    There’s a gladness in my heart
32    Thou wilt rest him in perfect peace
50    I will sing
67    Let your word fill my days
156    He sets us free
217    Shine, Jesus, shine
232    He set me free (There’s a gladness in my heart)
332    We are sorry
197    God’s Son came to bless us
261    Lord, you are the light of life to me
436    Lord, keep us steadfast in your word
626    Lord of creation, to you be all praise
675    Lord, the light of your love shining

The following hymns and songs are generally suitable for this day:
185    Sun of righteousness divine* G3
188   Built on a rock, the Church doth stand* G4
191    The Church’s one foundation (see also TIS 457)
193    Jesus, with Thy church abide* G9 (alt tune 82, G5)
195   A mighty fortress is our God* G3 (see TIS 103)
196    Look down, O Lord, from heaven behold
198    Let us, O Father, never be confounded G6
199    Christ, Thou strong guardian* G9
200    Thou little flock, be not dismayed
258    O God our Lord, Thy holy Word G9 (alt tune 384, G9)
260    Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide* G3
266    God’s Word is our great heritage* G3
328    Now I have found for my salvation
329    By grace I’m saved, grace free and boundless
804    The church of Christ in every age G5
822    God has spoken by his prophets G6
823    Your strong word G5
824    Your word O Lord is gentle dew G7
39    My word is like the snow and rain
67    Let your word fill my days
207    As we gather here
246    Thy word is a lamp
337    The grass withers
103    A mighty fortress is our God
158    God has spoken by his prophets
427    Lord, your word abiding
431    Thanks to God whose word was spoken
457    The Church’s one foundation

TIS 28, God is our strength and refuge, is a paraphrase of the psalm. AT 526, God is our shelter and strength is also a paraphrase of Psalm 46.

The following songs and hymns have some basis in Psalm 46 – although none of them are actually paraphrases of the psalm itself.
195    A mighty fortress* (* modernised version available) G3
854    Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side
9    Be still and know that I am God
As the reader speaks the verses of Psalm 46, the congregation may respond after every few verses with the singing of the first verse of ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (LHS 885, ATN 9).
311    Be still and know that I am God  Most appropriate for an opening song.
339    In you, O Lord, I found refuge
458    God is our refuge and strength
103    A mighty fortress

The following paraphrase of Psalm 46, by David Schütz, may be sung to the tune of ‘A mighty fortress’ (LH 195, TIS 103). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

God is our refuge and our strength
a present help in trouble.
And so we will not be afraid,
though all the earth may tremble.
Though mountains may fall,
though seas roar and foam,
though all the earth quakes,
still we are not afraid.
The Lord of hosts is with us!

A flowing river brings great joy
throughout God’s holy city,
for God himself is always there,
and it will not be shaken.
God’s help comes at dawn,
the nations will roar,
the kingdoms will fall,
his voice will melt the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us!

O come and see the fearsome things
the Lord has made to happen.
He makes wars cease; he shatters shields;
he breaks the spears and arrows.
‘Now be still, and know
that I am your God.
Throughout all the earth,
I am exalted high!’
The Lord of hosts is with us!

OR, the following paraphrase by David Schütz may be sung to the tune of ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (LHS 885, ATN 9). If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

A mighty fortress is our God,
A mighty fortress is our God,
A mighty fortress is our God,

And so we will not be afraid;
and so we will not be afraid;
and so we will not be afraid.

The Lord of hosts is with us now,
The Lord of hosts is with us now,
The Lord of hosts is with us now.

He makes wars cease throughout the earth;
He makes wars cease throughout the earth;
He makes wars cease throughout the earth;’

‘Be still, and know that I am God!’
‘Be still, and know that I am God!’
‘Be still, and know that I am God!’

Music Resources Vol. 3– Psalm settings – Psalm 46 p79 , Psalm 46 p80 , Psalm 46 p81

Contemporary setting of Psalm 46 by Monique Costa.
The song ‘Everlasting God’ is based on Psalm 46 and was written particularly for congregations to sing.  It is useful as a general praise and/or proclamation of faith song and was used by some churches  to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The song echo’s the themes of Martin Luther’s ‘A mighty fortress is our God’ from our 21st century perspective and maintains the anthem feel of the original hymn.
Download free lead and choir scores and listen to the mp3 here.

While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
Together to Celebrate:lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
Singing from the Lectionary:has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
Hymns Without Words:: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
Metrical Psalms by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.
Keyboard Accompaniments for Together in Song – CDs are available for purchase through ACR. CD 1 & 2 ; CD 3 & 4.

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