HS Winter Retreat

Family Worship

What does family worship look like?

I thought I would share what my family does.  But before I do, I want to stress that what you are about to read is something that we grew into.   We did NOT start out this way.   It has grown over the course of several years.  So, what I hope is to give you an example of something that you can grow into using in your own family.  For those of you who are not members of OSLC-Joliet, we have kids ranging from 4-9, so it does work with the younger set.

Every evening just before bed we sit down all together.  And we follow this order of service.

  • Say Invocation – “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” making the sign of the cross
  • Sing from Sing the Faith – Luther’s Small Catechism set to music- we usually sing about 3 songs one is the newest the other two are review songs.  We have a schedule drawn up.
  • Read the account for the day from The Story Bible
  • Ask the kids the questions that accompany each account.
  • Say the prayer that accompanies the account.
  • Say the “Learn by Heart Verse” from Congregation at Prayer and Repeat twice.
  • Review older “Learn by Heart Verses”  we also have a schedule set up for reviewing the verses.
  • Say the Catechism for the week from Congregation at Prayer
  • Sing a hymn from My First Hymnal – we do try to go by the church year.
  • Prayer time – Everybody has a chance to offer different petitions and depending on if the petition is a request or thanksgiving the rest of us will respond “Lord, hear our prayer” or “We thank you, Lord.”  As a note, if you are just starting you may need to prompt your kids by asking if there is something that they are thankful for or that worries them.  And it is OK to be thankful for something we adults may think as inconsequential.  All good things should be received in thankfulness.
  • Lord’s Prayer
  • Luther’s Evening Prayer – Luther’s Small Catechism under Daily Prayers
  • Benedicamus – L: We bless the Lord F: Thanks be to God

Depending on the length of songs and how distracted the kids are a particular evening it takes about 15-20 minutes to do the whole service.  I tell you though it is worth the time and effort.  And if you are thinking “That’s great but you’re a pastor,”  it doesn’t take a pastor to do.  What it requires is patience and a willingness to grow.  I also want to note we do plan at some point to switch from using The Story Bible to using a regular Bible translation once our youngest is a little older and can follow along better.

A good way to start is this

  • Invocation while making the sign of the cross
  • Scripture reading – possibilities are the daily Bible Reading from Congregation at Prayer or a reading from The Story Bible
  • Lord’s Prayer

From here you can grow.  And at the same time, you don’t have to follow what we do.  I am sharing what we do as an example.  You can also follow the Order of Meditation on the Congregation at Prayer.  You can use the order of Family Prayer found in the Lutheran Service Book or Treasury of Daily Prayer.  I will attest that what we are doing works.  Our kids are picking up the hymns, verses and catechism rather quickly this way and their familiarity with the Bible is becoming rather astounding for kids so young.

Links to the resources I mentioned in the post

My First Hymnal

The Story Bible

Sing the Faith and CD

Treasury of Daily Prayer

Congregation at Prayer