Frequently Asked Questions

A woman with question marks in each hand and the letters "FAQs"Church­es (includ­ing ours) some­times use vocab­u­lary or spe­cial terms that are not in com­mon enough usage to be imme­di­ate­ly under­stood by every­one. Even peo­ple who have been part of the church and our con­gre­ga­tion for a long time may not know cer­tain terms, phras­es or acronyms.

Please help add to this list of words. If you ask a ques­tion (in com­ments, for exam­ple) that can be answered here, it will be as soon as pos­si­ble.

Click on a ques­tion below for an answer and addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion regard­ing those words and how they are used.

Advent. Peo­ple use “advent” talk­ing about a sea­son of the year. What does advent mean? What sea­son is advent?

What is Advent?

Ash­es. At the wor­ship ser­vice on Ash Wednes­day, our pas­tor marks the cross on our fore­head with ash­es. Why does the pas­tor place ash­es on our fore­heads on Ash Wednes­day?

Why Ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Cat­e­chu­men. Cat­e­chu­mens seem to be peo­ple in our church. When peo­ple men­tion cat­e­chu­mens I won­der who they are talk­ing about.

What does Catechumen mean?

Con­fir­ma­tion. Con­fir­ma­tion is often men­tioned for young peo­ple but not for adults. What is con­fir­ma­tion? Con­fir­mand? Con­fir­ma­tion Sun­day?

What is Confirmation?

Narthex. Some­one often says that some­thing can be found in the Narthex. I hear peo­ple refer­ring to the narthex like a place.

What is the Narthex?

Palm branch­es. On the Sun­day before East­er palm branch­es were passed out to every­one and many waved them while the pas­tor entered the Sanc­tu­ary. Why call it “Palm Sun­day” and wave palm branch­es in church?

Why palm branches on Palm Sunday?

Sanc­tu­ary. The Sanc­tu­ary is part of the church it seems. What place is the Sanc­tu­ary and why is it called that?

What is the Sanctuary?

Tene­brae. On Good Fri­day Mt. Olive has a tra­di­tion of cel­e­brat­ing a can­dle­light ser­vice that ends in dark­ness and it is called Tene­brae. What does Tene­brae mean and how is it relat­ed to wor­ship?

What is Tenebrae?

More ques­tions and answers on many top­ics are avail­able from the (LCMS) Luther­an Church Mis­souri Syn­od:

Frequently Asked Questions — LCMS Views


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