The Western Rite

The Western Rite is a term for the order of service used in many churches. It is called Western to distinguish it from the Eastern Rite (Churches in the “Orthodox” tradition, Greek, Russian, Armenian, etc.).

The Order of Mass in the Roman Catholic Church, the Order of Holy Communion or the Common Service in the Lutheran Church, and the Holy Eucharist in Anglican and Episcopal churches are all versions of or derived from the Western Rite.

Nearly every version of the Western Rite follows this outline:

  1. Kyrie
  2. Gloria in Excelsis
  3. Service of the Word
    • Prayer/Collect of the Day
    • Readings
      • First Reading
      • Psalm
      • Second Reading
      • Gospel Acclamation / Verse / Alleluia
      • Gospel
    • Sermon
  4. Credo
  5. Sursum Corda, Preface (Anaphora)
  6. Sanctus
  7. Prayer of Thanksgiving
  8. Lord’s Prayer
  9. Verba (Words of Institution)
  10. Agnus Dei
  11. Communion
  12. Dismissal/Blessing
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Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book

The Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book was the English hymnal of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, published in 1912. It was published in text only and text and music editions. In its liturgical texts, Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book was very similar to The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church. Since Common Service Book was published in 1917 and 1918, five or six years later, ELHB displays an older version of the Common Service and other texts. CSB seems to have undergone a revision and expansion of personal prayers, propers, and other rites. In 1941, The Lutheran Hymnal mostly retained the older forms in ELHB rather than use the updated texts in CSB.

The services in Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book included “The Order of Morning Service, or the Communion,” and “The Order of Evening Service, or Vespers.” The text only edition also contained “The Order of Early Service, or Matins.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book used Scripture texts from the King James Version of the Bible, used the British spelling of Saviour, and capitalized pronouns referring to the Deity, including Who/Whom.

For this electronic edition, different editions were consulted, so the files below may not be exactly the same as any one print edition. These files were made by modifying and correcting the texts that were generated by the pdf files of the original books and putting them into a usable format. Headings and rubrics were put in red, even though they were printed black in the original books.

The updated liturgical material combined elements from Common Service Book, Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, and other resources. Rubrics are simplified. More updated liturgical material can be seen and downloaded at our Common Service Book page.  

To properly display the docx files, you will need the fonts Old English Text MT and Liturgy. Updated contemporary versions also use the Liturgikon symbol font (embedded in the docx documents).   

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, Electronic Resourceselhb

  1. Morning and Evening Prayers [pdf] [docx
  2. The Order of Morning Service, or The Communion (text only) [pdf] [docx] [Graphic pdf with music*]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  3. The Order of Evening Service, or Vespers (text only) [pdf] [docx] [Graphic pdf with music*]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  4. The Order of Early Service, or Matins (text only) [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  5. Introits, Collects, Epistles, Graduals and Gospels (From Common Service Book. Material identical to ELHB)  [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated versions of the introits, collects and graduals and lessons (ESV), prepared for the LCMS Lutheran Service Book areavailable at
  6. Invitatories, Antiphons and Responsories (From Common Service Book. Material identical to ELHB) [pdf] [docx]
  7. Collects and Prayers [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version (from Common Service Book) in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  8. General Prayers (Litany, Suffrages and General Prayers) [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version of The Litany in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version of The Suffrages in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version of The Bidding Prayer in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
Liturgy and Agenda, 1916 was an accompanying book to Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, and contained The Order of Morning Service and The Order of Evening Service, along with an alternative form for Morning Service with chant tunes for the minister [Available at Google Books]
Lutheran Service Book, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal


* With cooperation of the Lutheran Public Domain Liturgy Project, we present scanned pdfs of the noted liturgies from Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book.
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