I was born and raised as a WELS Lutheran. I am now a teacher, teaching in a Catholic school. At first, not really a big deal to me. I attend Mass with my students throughout the week, but I anxiously awaited Sunday to attend church at my church that I knew. But after listening to Father's homily at Mass, it has made me second guess my feelings on where I belong. Am I going to church for the right reason or not? Lately, I have been feeling drawn more toward Catholicism than Lutheranism. Why don't we as Lutherans have a time for Adoration like Catholics do? Why don't we make the sign of the cross when saying "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit"? Why don't Lutherans kneel during any times of the service? Why don't we pray to the Saints? Why is Mary seen as important of a figure to us as to Catholics?
I will address your questions in the order in which you asked them.
Jesus gave the Lord’s Supper to his church so that they could receive it (“Take and eat…Drink from it, all of you…” – Matthew 26:26-27) and not adore it. There was no adoration connected with the institution of the Lord’s Supper, and there was no practice of adoration in the early church.
Lutheran worshipers are free to make the sign of the cross at the Trinitarian Invocation (“In the name of the Father…”). You might be interested to know that one of the general rubrics for The Lutheran Hymnal, the hymnal that most WELS congregations used for decades, stated: “The sign of the cross may be made at the Trinitarian Invocation and at the words of the Nicene Creed ‘and the life of the world to come.’”
In his Small Catechism (in the Concordia Triglotta), Martin Luther included this preface to the Morning Prayer: “In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say: In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer” [which we know as Luther’s Morning Prayer].
Similar wording precedes his Evening Prayer: “In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say: In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer” [which we know as Luther’s Evening Prayer].
Making the sign of the cross is something that God has neither commanded nor forbidden. The same is true regarding kneeling. Again, you might be interested to know that The Lutheran Hymnal indicated that “All may kneel” for the confession of sins. I am aware of WELS congregations where some worshipers still kneel for the reception of the Lord’s Supper and for personal, post-Communion prayers. At the congregation where I belong, there are individuals who make the sign of the cross when they receive the Lord’s Supper while kneeling. I can see this when I help with the distribution of the Lord’s Supper.
We do not pray to the saints because the First Commandment forbids us to worship and pray to anyone except God. To pray to any person as we pray to God is idolatry.
Lutherans view Mary as the woman God graciously chose to give birth to Jesus Christ. Mary received that honor and privilege only because of God’s grace to her (Luke 1:26-38). Mary recognized her sinfulness and her need for a Savior (Luke 1:47). Lutherans recognize that there is only one Savior and mediator between God and people: Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Beyond providing answers to your questions, I trust that you recognize that the biggest difference between the official teachings of the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church concerns salvation. The Roman Catholic Church’s Council of Trent still condemns anyone who teaches the biblical truth that faith in Jesus alone saves. Lutherans confess and teach what the Bible teaches—that faith in Jesus Christ alone, apart from works, saves (Romans 3:20, 28; Galatians 2:15-26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7). I pray that is your faith as well.