Are there any WELS congregations which worship in a "high church" style? By which I mean liturgical worship involving the traditional common service, chanting, vestments, and the like. Is contemporary worship more common? Who decides what form of worship an individual congregation follows? Thanks!
I do not have any data to pass along to you, but I can assure you there are WELS congregations that use “the traditional common service, chanting, vestments, and the like.” Those congregations may offer that style of worship exclusively or as part of a worship schedule that includes contemporary worship or blended worship.
You might be interested to know that during this past school year Martin Luther College, the WELS college of ministry where I teach, used settings of The Service from the new hymnal for its morning chapel services. Those orders of service included cantors, chanting and vestments.
You can view the services and the printed materials on the college’s website. You will have a better idea of the chapel worship experience by watching chapel services prior to March, when we were still in a face-to-face mode of education.
Congregations will make decisions on worship services that align with their setting and circumstances. Certainly, pastors and congregational leaders will serve as resource people and advisors in helping congregations arrive at decisions.
Your question is a reminder of the freedom Christians enjoy when it comes to their worship of the one true God. While ceremonial laws regulated God’s Old Testament worshipers, there are no New Testament ceremonial laws regulating corporate worship today.