Worship in the Home: Reformation Day, October 31

Posted on October 20, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Reformation Day
October 31, 2020

Reformation Day is observed annually in gratitude for the history of the reformations of the church and as a call for continuing church reform. “Ecclesia semper reformanda est:” the church is always in need of reform. All Christians are called to work towards a church more faithful to baptismal promises and more courageous in its one mission to the world.

We offer this brief resource as an aid for prayer in the home on Reformation Day. As with our prayers in the gathered assembly for worship, you are encouraged to prepare or adapt them locally for your context.

Find a peaceful place to pray, perhaps a table. You may wish to light a candle near where you pray. One person may lead in this acclamation and then pray the Prayer of the Day.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

Let us pray.
A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Almighty God, gracious Lord, we thank you that your Holy Spirit renews the church in every age. Pour out your Holy Spirit on your faithful people. Keep them steadfast in your word, protect and comfort them in times of trial, defend them against all enemies of the gospel, and bestow on the church your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Then the readings for this day may be read, as follows:

First Reading:  Jeremiah 31:31-34

31The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was married to them, says the  LORD. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the  LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the  LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the  LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


The Psalm may be sung or read in response to the First Reading.

Psalm 46

1God is our ref- | uge and strength,
a very present | help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear, though the | earth be moved,
and though the mountains shake in the depths | of the sea;
3though its waters | rage and foam,
and though the mountains tremble | with its tumult.
4There is a river whose streams make glad the cit- | y of God,
the holy habitation of | the Most High.
5God is in the midst of the city; it shall | not be shaken;
God shall help it at the | break of day.
6The nations rage, and the | kingdoms shake;
God speaks, and the earth | melts away.
7The LORD of | hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob | is our stronghold.
8Come now, regard the works | of the LORD,
what desolations God has brought up- | on the earth;
9behold the one who makes war to cease in | all the world;
who breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, and burns the | shields with fire.
10“Be still, then, and know that | I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted | in the earth.”
11The LORD of | hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob | is our stronghold.


Second Reading: Romans 3:19-28

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20For “no human being will be justified in the sight of God” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

21But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by God’s grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in divine forbearance God had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that God is righteous and that God justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.

27Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


Gospel: John 8:31-36

The holy gospel according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

31Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”

34Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


The Lutheran World Federation offers additional resources and reflections for this day, including reflections from all seven LWF regions on what it means to be Lutheran in different countries and cultures.

In response to the readings, you may now sing or read “How Firm a Foundation” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 796); “Amazing Grace” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 779); “A Mighty Fortress” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 504).

How Firm a Foundation

Amazing Grace

A Mighty Fortress


Then pray these intercessions that have been offered by the Lutheran World Federation for use around the world on this day:

As we commemorate the Reformation this year, we do so in a time of pandemic. With the ecumenical and global family, we bring our prayers for healing. And we join with our siblings of other communions in joint service to the neighbor, in restraint and vigilance, and in shared witness. Let us now pray for the world, the church and all those in need.

A brief silence.

God of mercy, throughout history your goodness prevails, open the hearts of all people to discover the deep bond of community. Show us your goodness and mercy that endure forever.
Hear our prayer.

God of peace, bend that which is inflexible, the identity barriers that divide, the attachments that thwart reconciliation. Bring peace in this world, (especially in countries and places named here). Restore wholeness among us and show us your mercy!
Hear our prayer.

God, our healer, come to our aid as COVID-19 continues to spread, heal those who are sick, protect families and friends from being infected. Support those in public health and medical services. Strengthen our resolve to eradicate all diseases, malaria, dengue, HIV & AIDS, and many others. Show us your mercy!
Hear our prayer.

God of justice, hasten justice for those suffering under the power of evil and every form of oppression and greed. Give new life to all. Show us your mercy!
Hear our prayer.

God, rock and fortress, protect refugees, those without homes or security, all the abandoned children. Help us always to defend human rights and dignity. Show us your mercy!
Hear our prayer.

God creator, all creation groans in expectation, convert us from exploitation. Teach us to live in harmony with your creation. Show us your mercy!
Hear our prayer.

God of mercy, strengthen and protect those who are persecuted for faith in you and those of other faiths who suffer persecution. Give us the courage to profess our faith. Your mercy endures forever.
Hear our prayer.

God of life, heal painful memories, transform complacency and indifference, inspire and sustain our ecumenical journey from conflict to communion, all of us branches on the one vine, Jesus Christ. Show us your mercy!
Hear our prayer.

God our sustenance, bring us together at your eucharistic table. Turn us to you and one another. Nurture within and among us a communion rooted in your love. Your mercy endures forever!
Hear our prayer.

A brief silence.

Into your hands, gracious God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Savior.


In thanksgiving for the word, you may now sing or read “God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship 509).

God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage


Then conclude with the Lord’s Prayer:

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.


Then speak the Blessing:

God, creator of all things, speaking reformation into being;
Jesus Christ, savior of the world, raising the dead;
Holy Spirit, living voice, calling and enlightening the church:
Almighty God, Father, ☩ Son, and Holy Spirit,
bless you now and forever.


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress: “The Truth Will Make You Free;” “God Alone Be Praised: Ad Lucem;” “Psalm 46.”

Daily Prayer Resources are available, including simple forms of Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer; Responsive Prayer; and prayers for mealtimes and other occasions.

Due to copyright restrictions, we are only able to provide downloadable hymns that are in the public domain. Other suggestions provided above may be found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. To purchase a copy of Evangelical Lutheran Worship for the home, visit the Augsburg Fortress website or call 1-800-328-4648.

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship and sundaysandseasons.com, © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress.

Readings from Readings for the Assembly © 1995, 1996, 1997 Augsburg Fortress. Citations from the Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts. Scripture quotations from NRSV Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, adapted and edited with permission by Gordon Lathrop and Gail Ramshaw.

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