March 16, 2008

Are we really that strange?

I was particularly surprised at the number of comments after Divine Service today that indicated people had not experienced before a Palm Sunday liturgy like what is observed at Immanuel. (The biggest surprise seemed to be the reading of the entire Passion of St. Matthew. Um ... isn't that what everybody does?) To be sure, some things are relatively rare in the Missouri Synod: kneeling for the Verba, the minister genuflecting at the altar, etc. But the liturgy we use is, I am happy to say, simply what is given in the Altar Book. It will be the same on Holy Thursday, and Good Friday. None of it is my own invention, or something we bought from a "creative communications" outfit. It's just the liturgy we have agreed to in the LCMS, and in many respects very similar to the Agenda that accompanied Lutheran Worship. How is it that people haven't experienced this before?


Timothy said...

Dear Pastor,

I have been accustomed to hearing the Passion read just on Good Friday. However, I am not complaining. :)

Dizziness said...

FYI: Your feedburner link is broken.

I'm curious if you've been reading the latest anti-LSB diatribes coming out of Christian News? While I largely disagree with the periodical, I do find the argument that the myriad of options in LSB actually fuels this do-it-yourself mentality.

In my own practice I have used the "do it like the book" argument to be accepted, for the most part. Even so, does the book provide accepted uniformity or is it still too complex (i.e. five DS settings?)

On the other hand, the rant against the hymnody is unfounded IMHO (in Christian News.) Yes, some are cut short. Bu the restoration of some Gerhard and Luther has my vote.

The Sunday of the Passion is bound to rile people up for years to come. The long established priori for Palm Sunday (in TLH) will take a long time to get over.

Christopher Esget said...

Re. Feedburner - Yes, I'm trying to get the address "" pointing at this blog, but not having success so far.

I quit reading CN a number of years ago; once in awhile I look at it just to see Cascione's rants, which for some reason I find comical.

I suppose some of what is in LSB reflects a "do-it-yourself mentality," but that's really just a symptom of our larger culture; we live in an age where people just hang out a shingle or a web site and "start a church," often for the most selfish of reasons.

I don't mind the five settings of the DS, when I think of it this way:
1 & 2 - same thing with different music
3 - the preferred ordo
4 - an attempt to bring the contempo crowd back to some kind of responsible liturgical practice
5 - an historical order useful for Reformation services, etc.

Few parishes will (or should) try to use all five - but there is something responsible there for everyone to choose from. At Immanuel, we use mostly DS 3, with 2 during Advent and Lent and 1 a little during the summer. 4 and 5 each get used once or twice a year for special services.

I haven't read any of the articles you refer to regarding the hymns, but over all, I'm really happy with LSB. There are things I miss from LW (and TLH), and some things I wish weren't in there - but really, it's the best hymnbook in English ever produced, I think.

Cheryl said...

Hi Pastor Esget,

I don't think you're strange at all. At Bethany, although we didn't read the entire St. Matthew Passion, we did sing it!

Christopher Esget said...

That's awesome, Cheryl. I wish we could pull something like that off here. You've given me something for which to strive!