Lutheran churches and lent


I was driving to Mass today and I drove by a Lutheran church and its sign said to come in (of course) and something about the Lenten season. Do Lutherans celebrate Lent??? If so, why?


Yes, they do celebrate Lent, but it’s not much like we celebrate Lent. My dad is Lutheran, and every Wednesday they have a “Lenten Service.” It’s like mass without Communion.


Lutherans are very much like Catholics. They have communion, vestments and such. Very similar to what you are used to.


Lutherans celebrate lent for the same reason Catholics do. Its a time to commit yourself further to a life of faith. They sometimes give up something for lent as a way of strenghthening their resistance to sin. Lenten services often do include communion.


one of the best Lenten “missions” I ever attended was by a Lutheran pastor. I accompanied my Lutheran neighbor because she could not drive at the time. The pastor, dressed as St. Peter, did a one-man monologue on Peter’s witness of the events from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection. It was excellent, on 6 weeknights, about 20 minutes of the “testimony”, preceded by the gospel account, and ending with some prayers. What struck me even back then was how “Catholic” the meditations were, even to reflection on Peter’s awesome responsibility as head of the apostles.


A lot of mainline Protestant churches observe lent. As a Lutheran, some of my earliest childhood memories are of attending midweek services and being confused as to why we were there at night. My parents let me take my little pillow, though :slight_smile: We have some pretty kick-*** lenten hymns. Is anybody here familiar with “My Song is Love Unknown”? A great lent hymn, and one of my favorites of all time.

We have communion every Wednesday night on my campus, and that continues into Lent, as well. And I know a lot of people give up stuff for the season. Our vestments and paraments change during Lent to purple. Our crucifix in the front of the chapel is covered with a veil. All this stuff is pretty standard in the Lutheran church, I believe. A lot of people look forward to the penitential season.


Echoing here, yes many Protestant churches observe Lent. I’ve attended Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ and Congregational Churches that observed Lent.


I was raised Lutheran (Evangelical) before converting to Catholicism.

If you think about it in very broad terms, Lutheranism was the first of the Protestant religions to break from the Catholic church and then subsequent protestant denominations broke away from Lutheranism, go ever farther away from Catholicism. So it makes sense that, though very important differences exist, there are many similarities and Lutheranism is “closer” to Catholicism than most other protestant denominations. Probably not an entirely accurate quote, but it’s a loose point I’m trying to convey.

Growing up with my father’s family being Lutheran, and my step-mother’s being Catholic, I found services in the two churches to be very simliar in terms of ceremony, content, and actual prayers used. The biggest differences I saw (as an 8 year old) were the lack of Hail Marys, the lack of statues with candles before them, and the Lutheran church did not celebrate Eucharist at every service. It wasn’t until much later as I put further study into the beliefs and traditions that i was able to see the greater differences.


There is a Lutheran parish in my neighbourhood that definitely observes Lent. They had an Ash Wednesday Service. They will be having Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Services. They also have services during the week on Wednesdays in Lent.


I’m just taken aback that it seems strange to some that Lutherans and other protestants would observe Lent…it’s something I’ve grown up with my whole life.

We start with Ash Wednesday (and actually get ashes), and have midweek services the entire season. We have Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter services. The whole deal, basically.


Lutheranism represents the extreme right wing of the Protestant Reformation. I don’t mean to say that they are all conservative but when they moved out of Rome they took more of the furniture with them than any of the other Protestant Churches (with the possible exception of the English Church). In many cases, they continue to use an episcopal form of government and call their ministers “father”.

The LCMS recently published a new service book which contains a calendar of the Church year with optional saints day observances. This has always been a part of Lutheran worship but the new LSB brings it back closer to the front; it had been slipping in the Lutheran consciousness for a while. In Lutheranism these are memorials and not opportunities for intercession but still, they recognize the heroic sanctity and example of those who have gone before. The saints so recognized are not all Lutheran either, many are from before the Reformation (Boniface, Bernard, Olav, etc.).

In the Lutheran Liturgy there are clear areas of divergence, but of all the western liturgical rites, their service most closely resembles the Latin rite and this makes sense since their usages all descend from Luther’s German Mass which is nothing but a modified vernacular version of the pre-tridentine Latin mass.

I would suggest that in liturgical practice they are closer even than the Anglicans whose liturgy has been through the hands of both puritans and traditionalists and shows the marks of this handling.

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