One of the liturgical terms that is often misused (simply because it is different from secular use) is the term "Verse." While you may hear a pastor or worship leader refer to hymn "stanzas" as "verses" (e.g. we will now sing hymn 555, verses 1, 2, and 5), that's not the liturgical meaning of Verse.
The Verse comes right before the Gospel Reading. In every season except for Lent, the Verse is preceded and followed by an Alleluia. The most common Verse is this:
Alleluia. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia.
These are Peter's words from John 6:68, spoken after Jesus proclaims Himself the bread of life and that everyone must eat His flesh. Everyone stops following Jesus except for the Twelve. Jesus asks if they want to leave as well. This is Peter's reply. Who else can we follow? Where else can we go? Jesus has the words of eternal life.
Then we listen to Jesus' words in the Gospel Reading.
Some congregations choose to use John 6:68 throughout year (except Lent). First Lutheran typically uses the designated Verse of the Day. This is often a line taken from the Gospel reading. Sometimes it is drawn from the Epistle or another scriptural passage. It is meant to set the tone for the Gospel that is about to be read.
The Verse is a prelude. It's almost like a theme song. It lets you know what's coming. Theme songs are of course common in television. When you hear the first few notes, you know what's coming. It only takes a few notes for me to know exactly what's coming in theParks and Rec,Cheers, orFirefly theme songs. I'm sure you have your own favorites.
But the Verse, to me, is more reminiscent of personal theme songs that we see in sports. This is common in baseball. As batters make their way to the plate, their music plays. It pumps them up I guess.
Even better in my opinion is a professional wrestler's theme song. There are so many iconic wrestler theme songs, but none is better than Stone Cold Steve Austin's. It begins with broken glass. You don't even need to hear a note of music, you know as soon as you hear that broken glass exactly what's coming. The Texas Rattlesnake is on his way!
That's what the Alleluia and Verse are like. They are a moment of praise that grabs your attention and points you to what is coming: The words and actions of Jesus.