Liturgically Pro-Life

I am guilty of liturgical innovation. I have added a few words to the Litany (Lutheran Service Book version): "To strengthen and keep all sick persons and young children; to free those in bondage; to protect the unborn, the disabled and all who are vulnerable; and to have mercy on us all; We implore you…

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“Liturgical Texts” in LSB

(Post edited 8/9/16, 8 pm) One of the greatest features of the Lutheran Service Book family of books—including the Treasury of Daily Prayer—is that the biblical sources of the liturgical texts are all marked in the margins. This is both informative—it teaches us where those texts are taken from—and edifying—it is a constant reminder that…

Liturgical Titbits: A Tale of Two Calendars

The Christian Church was borne out of the mixed soil of the Old Testament Scriptures, first-century Judaism and the Græco-Roman world. This mixture of influences is still with us today when it comes to measuring and marking time in the Church’s life. The worship of the Old Testament, and much of the Judaism of Palestine…

True worship and heathen worship

This is as true today as it was in the Old Testament and in the first century. The church of Jesus Christ embraces people who were Jews and people who were heathen. Until the apocalyptic dawn of the last things heathen-Christianity will typify the church of Jesus Christ. Israel was elected from the midst of…

Chants for the Reformation Lessons

After the lecture on Music and the Reformation last Friday, we celebrated choral vespers. To get a sense of an earlier time in the Lutheran church, the readings (Epistle & Gospel for Reformation Day) were chanted according to Luther's directions in Die Deutsche Messe. Here's the music (text from ESV®). The Epistle:   The Gospel:…

Sinai, the Land and Liturgy

Profound words from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (as was). This forms the foundation for his discussion of the 'spirit of the Liturgy'. Now it becomes clear that what took place on Sinai, in the period of rest after the wandering through the wilderness, is what gives meaning to the taking of the land. Sinai is not…

What’s with all the Psalm chanting

From last Sunday's service bulletin at Our Saviour Lutheran Church Where do we have Psalms in the service? The Introit, the Gradual and (often) the Alleluia Verse are portions of Psalms. Sometimes, a whole Psalm takes the place of the Gradual. Also, some of the hymns we sing are paraphrases of Psalms (such as The…

This Way and That: Liturgical Orientation

Another liturgical titbit, from last Sunday's service bulletin at Our Saviour Lutheran Church: Liturgical Titbits: Liturgical Orientation One of the noticeable things about the liturgist in a Lutheran service is the fact that he doesn’t stand still. One moment, he’s facing the congregation, another he’s got his back turned on them. What’s that all about?…

Whole body worship

From time to time, I add a little section called 'Liturgical Titbits' to the service bulletin at Our Saviour Lutheran Church. The idea is that, over time, the congregation's knowledge and understanding of various aspects of the liturgy will grow—and bring about a growing appreciation thereof. These pieces are, as the name suggests, very brief,…

The trouble with short hymns and services

These shortened forms of hymnic versions of the Lord’s Prayer are symptomatic of our modern age, which is impatient with hymns longer than three or four stanzas and with services of worship that last longer than fifty-nine minutes. But worship and prayer require time if we are to become attuned to what we are doing…