Spanish for Ministry

learn the liturgy in spanish with bishop allende and pastor ortiz

allende recordingTrinity has produced two sets of 21 audio programs designed to help students, pastors, and other church leaders conduct the liturgy in Spanish. Most of the programs are less than five minutes long and they feature line-by-line readings of the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles Creed, and other portions of the liturgy, with pauses for the listener to respond after each line. Three of the programs are about 30-minutes in length and feature three different versions of the entire eucharistic service, read line-by-line in Spanish, with pauses for listener responses.

Abraham Allende, Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod, recorded one set of programs for Trinity in August. A second set was recorded a week later by Leila Ortiz, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Md., and a doctoral candidate at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. The two sets allow listeners to hear the Spanish liturgy in both male and female voices.

These liturgical audio programs are currently being used by Trinity students enrolled in Spanish for Ministry classes. The students can put the programs on their IPods or SmartPhones and listen to the liturgical readings while driving or doing housework. The recordings have been a huge hit with Trinity students and they are now available to anyone as downloads from the homepage of the seminary website.

“I don’t know any other seminary that is doing this,” said Bishop Allende. “It’s great that Trinity is taking that forward-thinking step, and anything I can do to enhance that I am willing to be a part of.”

Bishop Allende was born in Puerto Rico and moved with his family to the mainland at age seven. The family settled in southwestern Pennsylvania, where his father worked in the steel mills. Unlike some families who move to this country, Bishop Allende’s family continued to speak Spanish in the home, allowing him to maintain his fluency with the language.

Bishop Allende completed his studies for the ELCA’s TEEM program at Trinity 15 years ago. He then served his first call as a mission developer of Iglesia Luterana la Trinidad, a Spanish-speaking congregation in Canton, Ohio. As Trinity students and the seminary’s Hispanic Ministry Task force are learning: “It isn’t enough to learn the language. It is learning who the people are and that you care for them,” said Bishop Allende. As a mission developer, he often had to serve as an advocate for his members in the hospital, in court, and at school.

The ELCA has become more aware of the issues facing immigrants, particularly when it comes to documentation and unaccompanied minors, he said. “We are becoming a voice of the marginalized,” he added.

Leila Ortiz also is a native of Puerto Rico and was a presenter during Trinity’s Great Lakes Theological Academy last summer. There she shared her knowledge and passion on the topic of Protestant Latino/a Liberation theologies in the United States, observing that, “When Latino/as come to the Lutheran church from another tradition, they tend to make it their own and find a sense of belonging within the tradition, theology, and liturgy.This appropriation does not erase their formation. Instead, faith traditions merge and the Spirit brings about something fresh, new, and exciting. This in turn, gives a bright new flavor to the tradition already in place.”

While students at Trinity learn to recite the liturgies in Spanish they, too, are becoming aware of the unique spiritual needs of the Spanish-speaking population in the United States and the bright, new flavor this population brings to the church and world.

You can download the Liturgy in Spanish audio files here. The files are large and may take time to download.

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Liturgy in Spanish- Pastor Leila Ortiz
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Liturgy in Spanish- Bishop Abraham Allende

Scripts for the Audio Program