Having heard both Law and Gospel explained and proclaimed in the sermon, the congregation sings its thanksgiving. In Divine Service Three we join in David’s song of restoration. His song becomes our own as we have been restored by the Gospel (Psalm 51:10-12). It speaks to the reality that the Word has been heard and has become effective in us.
With the words of Scripture on our lips we confess our thankfulness to the Lord. The Offertory points us toward the Service of the Sacrament where our Lord cleanses our hearts from sin and deepens our faith through the reception of Christ’s body and blood. Psalm 116 gives us fitting words, “I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call on the name of the Lord. I will take the cup of salvation and will call on the name of the Lord.”
Historically, the Offertory was chanted while the congregation brought forward their material offering. As offerings are given Psalm 116 focuses our understanding. God needs nothing from us. We give out of gratitude with vows of praise and thanksgiving from what He has given us (Psalm 116:12-13, 17-19).