Do you ever get lost in the church service? There are many elements to the service. There are the ordinary things we sing and say every Sunday, like "Lord have mercy . . .," "Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men . . ." and "I believe in One God, the Father Almighty . . . ." There are also the things that are proper for that specific day of the church year. The church year begins with the first Sunday in Advent, known as Ad te levavi, which is Latin for "To you I lift up my soul," the beginning of the Introit for that Sunday. Every Sunday has a different Introit, which is the "Entrance Song," usually taken from a Psalm or another part of Scripture. Advent leads up to Christmas. Then comes Epiphany season. Then comes pre-Lent. Then comes Lent. Then there is Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, and finally Trinity Sunday. The church year continues after Trinity all the way to the last Sunday of the church year, usually sometime in November. In each of these Sundays of the church year we have a different Introit, which sets the theme for the Sunday. We also have a different prayer, or Collect, which collects the whole service into one theme. We have the Old Testament Lesson, the Epistle Lesson, and the Gospel Lesson. We also have the Gradual, a little verse, usually taken from a Psalm or another part of Scripture, which is sung between the Old Testament Lesson and the Epistle Lesson. Finally, there is the hymn of the day, or the Sermon hymn. All of these things are proper to the specific Sunday, as they all contribute to the theme. And this is why these things are called "Propers."
The best way to come prepared for Sunday morning (so you don't get lost) is to come to church every Sunday. After a few years you will begin to know the ordinaries by heart, and you will recognize more and more the propers as they come up each year.
The SECOND best way to come prepared for Sunday morning (so you can be even more prepared) is to meditate on the propers for that upcoming Sunday. And that is what this page is for! Below you will find an interview by Issues Etc. host Todd Wilken talking with Pastor David Petersen of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, IN, in which they through all of the propers for the coming Sunday. And you can follow along as well. For further study you can check out Gospel Notes from Steadfast Lutherans.