Lutheran worship is a very structured and orderly thing. There are moments to stand, kneel, or sit, all of which are specifically laid out in the worship bulletin. We have elements like the kyrie, the gloria in excelsis, and the nunc dimittis in our services, and while we might not know exactly how those words translate into English, we probably have the lyrics memorized, and can sing them with multiple harmonies. Vestments and paraments are color coded to match the liturgical calendar, and the readings for any given Sunday are determined years in advance. We can easily pick out visitors during the responsive readings, as they have yet to master the “Lutheran cadence” that can only be developed after years of attendance.
Now, I love the Lutheran liturgy. There is something very cool about using the same words in the same order along with other Christians around the world and through the centuries. The fact that the very structure of the service, and not just the homily, proclaims the Gospel is something that I have grown to appreciate more and more with each passing year.
That said, a little chaos now and then is good for the soul. Perhaps this is why I so enjoy the Sundays where we have a children’s sermon in the middle of the service. It’s five minutes of pure improv in the midst of a tightly wound, highly organized program.