Reformation Sunday

Make plans for Reformation Sunday using some helpful guidelines from the Institute for Worship and Outreach.

Opening Hymn

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (200/201)

Specific suggestion:
Stanza three features the devil crawling around creation seeking to undo God’s good and gracious will! Consider having the organ play stanza 3 as a solo. Hymn Festivity by Reuss has a magnificient stanza 3 for this purpose. Worship planners should put a notice in the bulletin to this effect: “Please take the opportunity to meditate upon the words of stanza 3 while the organ plays a musical commentary upon them.” Have the congregation stand for stanza 4.


Festival Gloria by John Behnke

Strongly consider using this festival setting of the classic hymn “All Glory Be to God on High” (CW 263). John Behnke’s setting for choir and instruments (Brass, light percussion, and organ) should be within reach of many parish choirs.


Psalm 46

The choir sings the verses. The congregation joins in the refrains and “Glory Be.” The page in the CW Organ Accompaniment volume makes for a good four-part arrangement of this psalm.


Verse of the Day for End Time I by Carl Schalk

This is located in a Verse of the Day publication from NPH.…
Purchase the set of verses and you can make as many copies as needed. The verses for the four Sunday of End Time have a common melody. Consider having a soloist or choir sing the verse each Sunday of End Time.


Is My Word by Pepper Choplin

A recording of this selection, based upon Isaiah 55:1-11, was done at the 2008 National Worship Conference. The CD’s In Liturgy and Song are available from the WELS worship office. The sheet music can be found at Your choir will love this piece – a must sing.

Hymn of the Day

If God Had Not Been on Our Side(202)

This hymn by Luther is perhaps one of the most under-sung in the hymnal. The melody is extremely singable. Consider having a choir or soloist sing the first stanza.

Sermon Hymn:

Te Deum (CW p. 48-9 or hymn #277/278).

If communion is served, consider hymn 390 “Salvation Unto Us Is Come” as a distribution hymn.

Closing Hymn

“In Christ Alone” (CWS 752)

Piano is preferred for accompaniment.

Rev. Aaron Christie

Aaron Christie serves pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Waukesha, WI. He also serves the synod as a member of the WELS Commission on Worship and a frequent presenter and consultant for the WELS School of Worship Enrichment.

Full biography »