Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Holy Communion on Reformation Sunday, October 30, 2022: 10:30 a.m.

 The livestream may be found here!

October 30, 2022,  10:30 a.m.

Reformation Sunday


‘The chief article and foundation of the gospel is that before you take Christ as an example, you recognize him as a gift, as a present that God has given you and that is your own.’ – Martin Luther 




The color red, used for the paraments and vestments for Reformation Day, is reminiscent of the Holy Spirit descending as tongues of fire upon the apostles at Pentecost.


FIRST READING: For Jeremiah, the scope of Israel’s apostasy from the covenant at Sinai is so great that it is irredeemably broken; nothing less than a new covenant is necessary. However, God is able and willing to make a new covenant by forgiving the sin of Israel. He himself will accomplish what they could not – he himself will make them holy. In Martin Luther’s Small Catechism we read, ‘I believe that by my own reason or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him. But instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy, and kept me in true faith…the Holy Spirit forgives sins, mine and those of all believers.’


SECOND READING: Paul explains that all of humanity is under God’s judgment, and that the more we know of God’s law the more we know that we cannot keep it by our own efforts. Having diagnosed our ailment, Paul discloses the remedy: Christ has acted to justify us before God, and we possess that justification by putting our trust in what he has done for us. This means that there is no ground for boasting about ourselves, for our confidence is not in ourselves but in what God has done in Christ.


GOSPEL: Jesus uses a metaphor from the life of an ancient noble household to describe his work. As the Son, he holds a position of authority, and he uses it to free people from bondage to sin – by forgiving sin in this world, by cleansing us from sin through life, and by removing it completely in the next. The only way people can remain enslaved by sin is to deny that they are enslaved. Again, the Catechism: ‘He (Christ) has purchased and freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil; not with silver or gold but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death.’ 




A Mighty Fortress Is Our God- J.S. Bach

Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation-  Harald Rohlig



The sign of the cross may be made by all in remembrance of their Baptism.


In the name of the Father, and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



What is the significance of a baptism with water?

  It signifies that daily the old person in us with all our sins and evil

  desires is to be drowned through sorrow for sin and repentance, 

  and that daily a new person is to come forth and rise up to live

  before God in righteousness and purity forever.


What is confession?

  Confession consists of two parts: One is that we confess our sins.

  The other is that we receive the absolution, that is, forgiveness,

  from the pastor as from God himself and by no means doubt

  but firmly believe that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in



Small Catechism of Martin Luther

Silence for reflection and self-examination.


Most merciful God,

  we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.

  We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed,

  by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

  We have not loved you with our whole heart;

  we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

  For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

  Forgive us, renew us, and lead us,

  so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways,

  to the glory of your holy name. Amen


Almighty God, in his mercy, has given his Son to die for us and, for his

sake, forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the

Church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the

entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the

XSon, and of the Holy Spirit.








Green LBW 367               Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation   

 1      Christ is made the sure foundation,

        Christ, our head and cornerstone,

        chosen of the Lord and precious,

        binding all the church in one;

        holy Zion’s help forever

        and our confidence alone.


2      To this temple, where we call you,

        come, O Lord of hosts, and stay;

        come, with all your lovingkindness,

        hear your people as they pray;

        and your fullest benediction

        shed within these walls today.


3      Grant, we pray, to all your faithful

        all the gifts they ask to gain;

        what they gain from you forever

        with the blessed to retain;

        and hereafter in your glory

        evermore with you to reign.


4     Praise and honor to the Father,

        praise and honor to the Son,

        praise and honor to the Spirit,

        ever three and ever one:

        one in might and one in glory

        while unending ages run!


Text: Latin hymn, c. 7th cent.; tr. John M. Neale, 1818-1866, alt.



The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

  And also with you.

2 Corinthians 13:13



WKYRIE ELEISON        Kyrie, God Father                        Green LBW 168



                All Glory Be to God on High                                                 Green LBW 166




Almighty God, gracious Lord,

pour out your Holy Spirit upon your faithful people.

Keep them steadfast in your Word,

protect and comfort them against all temptations,

defend them against all enemies,

and bestow on the Church your saving peace;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, 

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 

one God, now and forever.




Remember the Sabbath Day, and keep it holy.

  We are to fear and love God, so that we do not despise God’s

   Word or preaching, but instead keep that word holy and gladly

   hear and learn it.                                            

 Small Catechism of Martin Luther


FIRST READING                                                                     Jeremiah 31:31-34


31The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: 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. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.


The Word of the Lord.                                                                                                  

  Thanks be to God.




PSALM HYMN                                                A Mighty Fortress is Our God

St.2 / Choir in canon; St. 3 / Setting by J.S. Bach

1      A mighty fortress is our God,

        a sword and shield victorious;

        he breaks the cruel oppressor’s rod

        and wins salvation glorious.

        The old evil foe,

        sworn to work us woe,

        with dread craft and might

        he arms himself to fight.

        On earth he has no equal.


2      No strength of ours can match his might!

        We would be lost, rejected.

        But now a champion comes to fight,

        whom God himself elected.

        Ask who this may be:

        Lord of hosts is he!

        Jesus Christ, our Lord,

        God’s only Son, adored.

        He holds the field victorious.


3      Though hordes of devils fill the land

        all threat’ning to devour us,

        we tremble not, unmoved we stand;

        they cannot overpow’r us.

        This world’s prince may rage,

        in fierce war engage.

        He is doomed to fail;

        God’s judgment must prevail!

        One little word subdues him.


4     God’s Word forever shall abide,

        no thanks to foes, who fear it;

        for God himself fights by our side

        with weapons of the Spirit.

        If they take our house,

        goods, fame, child, or spouse,

        wrench our life away,

        they cannot win the day.

        The kingdom’s ours forever!


SECOND READING                                                             Romans 3:19-28


19Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
  21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.
  27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.


The Word of the Lord.                                                  

  Thanks be to God.





John 8:31-32                                                        Setting by Richard Hillert

Sung by the Choir                           

Alleluia. If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples,

 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.



GOSPEL                                                                                                John 8:31-36

The Holy Gospel according to St. John.

31Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”

  34Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”


The Gospel of the Lord.                                


Excerpts from

    A Brief Instruction on What to Look for and Expect in the Gospels (1522)                                        

   by Dr. Martin Luther, trans. Wanda Deifelt              




WHYMN OF THE DAY                                 

Green LBW 230               Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word              

1      Lord, keep us steadfast in your word;

        curb those who by deceit or sword

        would wrest the kingdom from your Son

        and bring to naught all he has done.


2      Lord Jesus Christ, your pow'r make known,

        for you are Lord of lords alone;

        defend your holy church, that we

        may sing your praise eternally.


3      O Comforter of priceless worth,

        send peace and unity on earth;

        support us in our final strife

        and lead us out of death to life.


Text: Martin Luther, 1483-1546; tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827-1878, alt.



I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him;

  But instead the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel,

  enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy, and kept me in true

  faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens and makes holy the

  whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in

  the one common, true faith.

Small Catechism of Martin Luther


The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Apostles’ Creed.


I believe in God, the Father almighty,

                creator of heaven and earth.


I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

                He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

                                and born of the virgin Mary.

                He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

                                was crucified, died, and was buried.

                He descended into hell.

                On the third day he rose again.

                He ascended into heaven,

                                and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

                He will come again to judge the living and the dead.


I believe in the Holy Spirit,

                the holy catholic Church,

                the communion of saints,

                the forgiveness of sins,

                the resurrection of the body,

                and the life everlasting. Amen




Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


A brief silence is kept.


Almighty and merciful God, by his cross and passion your Son has set us free from the bondage to sin and the curse of the Law. Grant that your Church may hold fast to this good news throughout all generations.

Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Grant that all pastors may preach your Law and Gospel, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, holding before your people the cross of Christ by which your righteousness is revealed. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Give your people the Spirit of discipleship, that we may receive Christ as both gift and example, clinging to you in times of trouble and proclaiming your love in word and deed. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Grant that the President, the Congress, the Courts, and all who serve in public office may themselves be led in the ways of righteousness and truth, that our nation may live in peace, security, and justice; and that all of us in our various callings may be strengthened to do your will, ordering our lives that we may contribute to the common good. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Grant peace to the world; justice to those who are oppressed; food to those who hunger; relief to those who are in any need, healing to those who are sick. Bless those for whom we have been called to pray.


The pastor reads those names which have been submitted for prayer.

The people are invited to offer petitions and thanksgivings.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.




We give you thanks, almighty Father, for the reformers of the sixteenth century, and for all the saints triumphant who have loved your Word and have striven to do your holy will. Grant that we also may put our trust in the word of the cross and with them receive its fruits of everlasting life. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your steadfast love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.




The peace of the Lord be with you always.

  And also with you.


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.




Romans 12:1-2                                                       Setting by Richard Hillert

Sung by the Choir

I appeal to you by the mercies, the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.


What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

  It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the

  bread and wine, instituted by Jesus Christ himself for us Christians

  to eat and drink.


What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?

  The words ‘given for you,’ and ‘shed for you…for the forgiveness of

  sin, show us that forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given in

  the sacrament through these words, because where there is

  forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

Small Catechism of Martin Luther



It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, through your Son, Jesus Christ:

  He is your eternal Son, living and reigning with you forever,

your Truth, your Righteousness, the New Covenant. You put him forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, to set us free from our slavery to sin.

  And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


The pastor leads the people in praying the Eucharistic canon:


Holy God, mighty Lord, gracious Father:

Endless is your mercy and eternal your reign.

You have filled all creation with light and life;

                heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Through Abraham you promised to bless all nations.

                You rescued Israel, your chosen people.

Through the prophets you renewed your promise;

                and, at this end of all the ages, you sent your Son,

                who in words and deeds proclaimed your kingdom

                and was obedient to your will, even to giving his life.


The pastor chants the words of institution in a setting based on Luther’s German Mass of 1526:


In the night in which he was betrayed,

                our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

                broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

                Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

                and gave it for all to drink, saying:

                This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup

                we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

  Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


Therefore, gracious Father, with this bread and cup

                we remember the life our Lord offered for us.

And, believing the witness of his resurrection,

we await his coming in power

                to share with us the great and promised feast.

  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


Send now, we pray, your Holy Spirit,

the spirit of our Lord and of his resurrection,

                that we who receive the Lord's body and blood

                may live to the praise of your glory

                and receive our inheritance with all your saints in light.

  Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.


Join our prayers with those of your servants

of every time and every place,

and unite them with the ceaseless petitions

of our great high priest until he comes as victorious Lord of all.




In the presence of Christ, we pray to his Father using the words he gave us.


Christ is in our midst.

                By the power of the Spirit,

                we pray to his Father, saying:



Our Father, who art in heaven,

                hallowed be thy name,

                thy kingdom come,

                thy will be done,

                                on earth as it is in heaven.

                Give us this day our daily bread;

                and forgive us our trespasses,

                                as we forgive those who trespass against us;

                and lead us not into temptation,

                                but deliver us from evil.

                For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,

                                forever and ever. Amen                               (Matthew 6:9-15)


Who receives the Sacrament of Holy Communion worthily?

  Fasting and bodily preparation are in fact a fine external

  discipline, but a person who has faith in these words,

  ‘given for you,’ and ‘shed for you for the forgiveness of sin,’

  is really worthy and well prepared.                                                                                           


  Small Catechism of Martin Luther



Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.




Listen, God Is Calling - Music and Text/ Tanzanian traditional


Please follow text at Blue WOV 712 as the choir sings.




When all have received, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.

The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.    





Almighty Father, you gave your Son

both as a sacrifice for sin and a model of the godly life.

  Enable us to receive him always with thanksgiving,

  and to conform our lives to his;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.


What is the meaning of ‘Amen?’

  That I should be certain that such petitions are acceptable to and

  heard by our Father in heaven, for he himself commanded us to pray

  like this. ‘Amen, amen’ means, ‘Yes, yes, it is going to come about

  just like this.’

Small Catechism of Martin Luther



The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord look upon you with favor and X give you peace.

  Amen                                                                                                  (Numbers 6:24-26)



Green LBW 369              The Church’s One Foundation

 1      The church's one foundation

        is Jesus Christ, her Lord;

        she is his new creation

        by water and the word.

        From heav'n he came and sought her

        to be his holy bride;

        with his own blood he bought her,

        and for her life he died.


2      Elect from ev'ry nation,

        yet one o'er all the earth,

        her charter of salvation

        one Lord, one faith, one birth:

        one holy name she blesses,

        partakes one holy food,

        and to one hope she presses,

        with ev'ry grace endued.


3      Though with a scornful wonder

        this world sees her oppressed,

        by schisms rent asunder,

        by heresies distressed,

        yet saints their watch are keeping;

        their cry goes up: "How long?"

        And soon the night of weeping

        shall be the morn of song.


4     Through toil and tribulation

        and tumult of her war,

        she waits the consummation

        of peace forevermore;

        till with the vision glorious

        her longing eyes are blest,

        and the great church victorious

        shall be the church at rest.


5      Yet she on earth has union

        with God, the Three in One,

        and mystic sweet communion

        with those whose rest is won.

        Oh, blessed heav'nly chorus!

        Lord, save us by your grace,

        that we, like saints before us,

        may see you face to face.


Text: Samuel J. Stone, 1839-1900


Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                          

  Thanks be to God!



From Sundays and Copyright 2022 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Excerpts from Martin Luther’s Small Catechism: Kolb and Wengert, ed. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.

Cover Art: Crucifixion, by Lucas Cranach the Elder - 1. Cranach Digital Archive 2./3. Indianapolis Museum of Art, Public Domain,

Agnus Day appears with the permission of



St Stephen Lutheran Church

55 Forsythe Road

Pittsburgh PA 15220

(412) 279-5868


Saturday Evening Worship – 6:30 pm

Sunday Morning Worship – 10:30 am