Liturgy: The Invocation
The service begins with a phrase called ‘the Invocation.’
“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
This sentence comes from our Lord’s institution of the sacrament of Baptism (Matthew 28:19) through which God brought each of us into his Holy Christian Church. The pastor makes the sign of the cross, likewise reminiscent of Baptism when we received the sign of the cross on our heads and hearts to mark us as redeemed children of God. Many churches place the baptismal font in the entryway as yet another reminder of this means by which we enter our holy God’s presence.
In Baptism the Father receives us as his children and heirs (Galatians 3:26–27), the Son washes our sins away with his blood (Acts 2:38), and the Holy Spirit gives us new birth by working faith in the Savior in our hearts (Titus 3:5). The invocation tells us we are worshipping this great Three-in-One God who has done these things for us, and there is no other. The congregation responds with the word ‘Amen,’ a Hebrew word meaning ‘certainly’ or ‘truly.’