Zion Lutheran Church
405 Hickory Street ; P.O. Box 68
Montpelier, Ohio 43543
Serving Christ in Northwestern Ohio since 1859
Sunday Morning Worship Services: Our Sunday morning worship follows a traditional Lutheran liturgy which is based on the Scriptures. We receive Communion on the first Sunday of the month during most months and on special feasts or holy days. All worship services include prayer, singing hymns, Scripture reading, and a sermon/homily based on the Scriptures. We typically follow the order of readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.
Christmas Eve: Our Christmas Eve worship service usually begins at 6:30 p.m. and is a joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus. Traditional Christmas hymns mingle with the telling of the Christmas story. The service includes prayer, Christmas hymns, a sermon/homily, Holy Communion, and a candlelight vigil.
SEASONS OF THE CHURCH YEAR / LITURGICAL CALENDAR
ADVENT: Potential dates span November 27/December 3 - December 24
Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical year. During the season of Advent, we redirect our focus from celebration of what God has done to the beginning of the story of Godís promises. We are reminded that God is faithful to his promises. One of the promises is that Jesus will come again. Advent is the time built into the liturgical calendar that we remember that a Messiah was promised and we waited until he came; Jesusí return was promised and we wait until he comes. It is a time of repentence and anticipation. The official start of Advent is the Sunday closest to St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30) and continues for four consecutive Sundays. The earliest possible date for Advent to begin is November 27 and the latest possible date for Advent to begin is December 3. The color for Advent is blue. At one time, the color was purple, for Christís royalty. To distinguish Advent from Lent, many churches have changed the color from purple to blue. Blue symbolizes the sky (the angels heralded the shepherds from the sky, the magi followed the star in the sky to find the newborn King, and now it is the direction we look to see the return of the King) and heaven.
CHRISTMAS: December 25 - January 5
Christmas is the time during which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ; the fulfillment of the promise of a Messiah. It is a time of celebration and rejoicing. The Christmas season begins the eve of December 25 (sundown December 24) and ends with the celebration of Epiphany (January 6), when the church remembers the coming of the magi (wise men) to Jesus. There really are 12 days of Christmas! The color for the Christmas season is white, the color of purity and innocense, symbolizing the innoncense and purity of Christ.
ORDINARY TIME (Time after Epiphany): January 6 - Transfiguration Sunday
The time after Epiphany is a time during which the church focuses on growth rather than a specific event in the history or timeline of the church. The focus on growth, spiritual and Kingdom, reminds us of who we are in Christ Jesus and the many ways in which Jesus is revealed to us in the Scriptures and in our daily lives. This time without a season begins with Epiphany and ends on Shrove Tuesday, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Shrove comes from the word that means absolution/forgiveness. The time after epiphany can end as early as February 3 or as late as March 9. However, since liturgical time is generally measured by Sundays (except for Christmas and Lent), Ordinary Time ends with Transfiguration Sunday, the day we remember Jesus' transfiguration on a mountain, witnessed by three of his disciples. The color for ordinary time is green, the color for life and growth.
LENT: Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday
Lent is a time during which the church focuses on sin, our need for a Savior, and repentence. It lasts 40 days (7 weeks not counting Sundays). It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Many special days occur during the season. Ash Wednesday is a special day and begins this season, when the church remembers that the penalty for sin is death and eternal separation from the Father. We receive ashes in the shape of the cross on our forehead to remind us of God's words, "From dust you came and to dust you will return." The last week of Lent is called Holy Week and begins with Palm Sunday, the day in which we remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the day on which the same people who yelled "Crucify him!" were proclaiming, "Hosanna!" (an exclamation of joy and adoration). Maundy Thursday follows with a rememberance of Jesus' last supper with his disciples, the institution of Holy Communion, and the betrayal of Jesus in the Garden. Good Friday marks the day of Jesus's death by crucifixion. The eariest date for Lent to begin is February 1 and the latest date for Lent to begin is March 10. The color for Lent is purple, the color of repentence and royalty, symbolizing Christ as our King.
EASTER: Easter Sunday to Pentecost
Easter is the highest celebratrion of the Church. It is the most important day of the year and in the history of the Church. On Easter, we celebrate Jesus defeating death by God resurrecting him from the grave. Because of Jesus' resurrection, we have forgiveness of sin and the opportunity for eternal life. The consequences of our sin is paid and we are free to live for God rather than bound to death through a life marked by sin. The date for Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon falling on or after the vernal equinox. Therefore, the earliest date Easter can occur is March 22 and the last day Easter can occur is April 25. The season of Easter lasts 50 days. 40 days after Easter, we remember Jesus ascension into Heaven. For 40 days Jesus appeared to his disciples and continued his ministry on earth before ascending into the heavens before the disciples' eyes. The color for Easter and the season is white, the color of purity and innocense, symbolizing the holiness of Christ.
PENTECOST: May 10/June 13
50 days after Easter is the celebration of Pentecost. Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the church. On Pentecost, the promised Holy Spirit descended on the disciples. Thousands believed the testimony of the disciples and made the decision to follow Jesus Christ, because they witnessed this very special event. The earliest day for Pentecost to occur is May 10 and the latest date for Pentecost to occur is June 13. The color for Pentecost is red, the color of fire and passion, symbolizing the Holy Spirit.
ORDINARY TIME (Time after Pentecost): Trinity Sunday to Christ the King
The time after Pentecost is a time during which the church focuses on growth rather than a specific event in the history or timeline of the church. The focus on growth, spiritual and Kingdom, reminds us of who we are in Christ Jesus and how to live our lives in faith. This period of ordinary time begins with the rememberance of a doctrine (church teaching), our understanding of God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - one God, three persons. The period ends with the celebration of Christ the King on the Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent. The color for ordinary time is green, the color for life and growth.