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…

More bad things done to good hymns

My researches for Sunday Cantata keep throwing up wonderful Lutheran chorales that never made it into English, or have been forgotten entirely. More distressing still is to find that hymns that have survived have been sadly mistreated by translators and/or hymnal editors. The latest exhibit for this latter category, from BWV 166, Bach's cantata for…

Ritschl shall reign where’er the sun?

One of the joys of working on Sunday Cantata has been to delve into the texts of the chorales used in Bach's cantatas. My policy has been to quote the translation in the Lutheran Service Book whenever possible, for the benefit of listeners who are familiar with the hymns. Every now and then, however, I…

Lectionary madness

Next Sunday is the Second Sunday after the Epiphany. The readings in the three-year lectionary, Series B are 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (the calling of Samuel), 1 Cor 6:12-20 (flee from sexual immorality) and John 1:43-51 (the calling of Philip and Nathanael). Which got my blood boiling. Here's a preview of part of the sermon I'm…