Trinity Lutheran remembers its past in traditional service

Saturday, January 24, 2004

The calendar says it's 2004, but if you attend worship services Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau, you might believe it was really 1854.

Trinity will step back in time for its worship services to recall the days when the church would have adhered to its German roots and traditions. All the men will sit on the right side of the church and the women and children on the left.

All this change is part of the church's 150th anniversary celebrations. Trinity was founded in 1854 and has been observing its sesquicentennial since July.

Sunday's worship service "is an attempt to have a service that may be similar to what was held 150 years ago," said the Rev. Doug Breite.

The service won't be spoken in German so that aspect remains contemporary.

But without making drastic changes, church members will get a feel of how their ancestors worshipped, he said.

People are being asked to dress more casually, as parishioners would have during the 1850s. Women are being encouraged to wear head-coverings as well.

Having the men sit on one side of the church and women on the other will really challenge the orientation of the congregation, Breite said. And it will be odd for him too, since he's used to seeing people sitting in their favorite spots in the pews.

All the hymns chosen for the service have been selected by members of the congregation throughout the past year as part of the anniversary celebration preparations.

The hymns selected have been around for 150 years so none of the contemporary songs will be sung during worship.

A catered German dinner will be served after the service and that is "another way to celebrate our German heritage," Breite said. A German band also will play during the meal.

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