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Choir members singing in red robes

Reformation Sunday

  • Date: Sunday, October 29, 2023
  • Time: 10:30am11:30am
  • Location: Sanctuary

Order of Worship

October 29, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

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Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (“A Mighty Fortress is Our God”), Johann Pachelbel

Ein feste Burg, ist unser Gott is one of the most famous hymns of all Christendom. Martin Luther penned this hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” sometime around 1529. The text is a paraphrase of some elements found in Psalm 46, and in its earliest printing was labeled, “Ein Trost Psalm,” meaning a psalm of comfort. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

*Call to Worship

(The congregation responds aloud with the bold text)

God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.

So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come,
and the mountains crumble into the sea.

Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

The Lord Almighty is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Come, let us worship God!

*Hymn #624: ““I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art””

1. I greet thee, who my sure Redeemer art,
my only trust and Savior of my heart,
who pain didst undergo for my poor sake;
I pray thee from our hearts all cares to take.

2. Thou art the King of mercy and of grace,
reigning omnipotent in every place:
so come, O King, and our whole being sway;
shine on us with the light of thy pure day.

3. Thou art the life, by which alone we live,
and all our substance and our strength receive;
sustain us by thy faith and by thy power,
and give us strength in every trying hour.

4. Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness;
no harshness hast thou and no bitterness.
O grant to us the grace we find in thee,
that we may dwell in perfect unity.

5. Our hope is in no other save in thee;
our faith is built upon thy promise free;
Lord, give us peace, and make us calm and sure,
that in thy strength we evermore endure.

Prayer of Adoration

Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

O God of mercy,

we lament that even good actions of reform and renewal
had often unintended negative consequences.

Kyrie eleison.
Lord have mercy.

We bring before you
the burdens of the guilt of the past
when our forbears did not follow your will;
when they were not one in the truth of the gospel.

Christe eleison.
Christ have mercy.

We confess our own ways of thinking and active
that perpetuate the divisons of the past.

As communities and as individuals,
we build many walls around us:
mental, spiritual, physical, political walls
that result in discrimination and violence.

Forgive us, Lord.

Kyrie eleison.
Lord have mercy.

Silent prayer of confession

Assurance of pardon

Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.

He is our peace,
who breaks down the walls that divide,
who gives us, through the Holy Spirit,
ever-new beginnings.

In Christ, we receive forgiveness and reconciliation,
and we are strengthened
for a faithful and common witness in our time.

Thanks be to God!

*Response of Praise: Hymn #582, “Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me”

1. Glory to God, whose goodness shines on me,
and to the Son, whose grace has pardoned me,
and to the Spirit, whose love has set me free.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.

2. World without end, without end. Amen.
World without end, without end. Amen.
World without end, without end. Amen.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.

*Passing of the Peace

Life in Community

Thank you for joining us for worship! Explore the calendar of events and recent announcements to take another step into our life together this week. If you’re joining us for the first time or would like to learn more about Catonsville Presbyterian, you’re welcome to share your email with us. We’ll send some information that will help you get connected.

Moment for Stewardship

Greg Mayes

Children’s Message

Prayer for Illumination

Guide us, O God, by your Word and Spirit, that in your light we may see light, in your truth find wisdom, and in your will discover your peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 98

O sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gotten him victory.
The Lord has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar and all that fills it,
the world and those who live in it.
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with equity.

Hymn #371: “New Songs of Celebration Render”

1. New songs of celebration render
to God who has great wonders done;
love sits enthroned in ageless splendor;
come and adore the mighty One.
God has made known the great salvation
which all the saints with joy confess.
God has revealed to every nation
truth and unending righteousness.

2. Joyfully, heartily resounding,
let every instrument and voice
peal out the praise of grace abounding,
calling the whole world to rejoice.
Trumpets and organs, set in motion
such sounds as make the heavens ring;
all things that live in earth and ocean,
sound forth the song; your praises bring.

3. Rivers and seas and torrents roaring,
honor the Lord with wild acclaim;
mountains and stones, look up adoring,
and find a voice to praise God’s name.
Righteous, commanding, ever glorious,
praises be sung that never cease:
just is our God, whose truth victorious
establishes the world in peace.

Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-10

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, doing the will of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else, but God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we may walk in them.

Sermon: “The Poetics of Protest”

Ken Kovacs

Call to Offering

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Call to Offering

Offertory: Psalm 97: Sing To the Lord a New Song, David Hurd

Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.
Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord, all the whole earth.

Sing to the Lord and bless God’s Name; proclaim the good news of God’s salvation from day to day.
Declare God’s glory among the nations, and God’s wonders among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; God is more to be feared than all gods.
As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; but it is the Lord who made the heavens.

Oh, the majesty and magnificence of God’s presence! Oh, the power and the splendor of God’s sanctuary!
Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples; ascribe to the Lord honor and power.

*Doxology #607, “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Christ, all people here below;
Praise Holy Spirit evermore;
Praise Triune God, whom we adore. Amen.

*Prayer of Dedication

Giver of all good gifts, how can we thank you for your never-ending love? Even our very lives are not enough. Accept these offerings as tokens of our gratitude and signs of our hope in the realm you have promised: the kingdom that is both here and on the way. And so, we wait in hope, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory, forever. Amen.

*Hymn #275: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”

1. A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing.
Our helper he, amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

2. Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he.
Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

3. And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure.
One little word shall fell him.

4. That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth.
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also.
The body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever.



Sing Praise to Him, Neil Harmon

This lively setting of the hymn tune MIT FREUDEN ZART by organist and composer Neil Harmon is in mixed meter, alternating between 6/8 and 4/4. The piece is in ritornello form, meaning that one will hear an interlude which returns after each hearing of the melody. The melody will be heard in the soprano first, and second in the pedal, after which the ritornello returns once more and concludes with a triumphal flourish.


  • Dorothy Boulton
    Associate Pastor
  • Keith and Kathy Glennan
    A/V Production
  • Wendy Johnston,
    Organist and Assistant Director of Music
  • Greg Knauf,
    Director of Music
  • Norman Lazarus
  • Ken Kovacs,
  • Vickie Lord,
    Social media support


  • Image: Reformed “Paradise” Temple or Church, Lyon, France (16th century).
  • Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon from Common Prayer: From Conflict to Communion, Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017. Written by the Liturgical Task Force of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity.
  • Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013).
  • Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-734388; CCLI Copyright License B 20481088 + Streaming License B 481071
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