Salem’s worship is Christ-focused and revolves around Word, the reading of scripture, and Sacrament, receiving Holy Communion. Salem’s worship is liturgical meaning “work of the people”, and thus worship is participatory. There is no one set form of service or one particular service, the liturgy is the whole body of texts and music used for the worship of God. Most of our services begin with a time of confession and then the announcement of God’s forgiveness of our sins. Good news indeed! We use the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) to choose our three scripture readings and the psalm. All of our worship services except for the mid-week services during Advent and Lent, the Thanksgiving Eve service and the Good Friday service celebrate Holy Communion. All who come to worship are invited and most welcome to experience the real presence of Christ in Holy Communion.
Our worship bulletin is visitor-friendly and everything is printed with the exception of the hymns. We use the Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnal for our Sunday services. Our weekly 5 p.m. Saturday service uses an array of contemporary music with accompaniment by piano. Our Moller pipe organ accompanies the singing on Sundays and our music is led by the Salem Church Musician and the Salem Choir at the 11 a.m. service. The St. David’s Children Choir sings monthly at our 8:15 a.m. service. The Salem Ringers, our bell choir, also provides music once a month at the 8:15 a.m. service. On the third Sunday of the month, we provide a time for laying on of hands and anointing with oil, for those who choose to participate, during the distribution of Holy Communion.
During the season of Advent, we worship on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and the same during Lent. We offer the imposition of ashes during our two Ash Wednesday services at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Our Lenten 7:30 p.m. service is preceded by a simple soup and bread supper which begins at 6:30 p.m. During Holy Week we observe the Three Days with Maundy Thursday services (2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), GoodFriday (7:30 p.m.) and Easter Vigil on early Saturday evening.
Through our worship, we seek to experience the God who is revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the people of Salem worship is their weekly opportunity to be edified and to practice not being God.
As Pastor Peter Marty writes, “If we stay away from worship too long, we start to make God into our own image. The privatization of our spiritual journey only transforms God to be virtually anything we want. Once back in the habit and flow of worship, however, surrounded by a mix of people who don’t mirror every facet of our life, something delightful happens. We discover God to be quietly remaking us into God’s own image. We encounter a rhythm stronger than our heartbeat. We find ourselves full of more joy than we can contain.” (The Lutheran, January, 2011)