Thursday, April 29, 2010

FW: Some Words on Hymnplaying...

On tactus, "pulse," and tempo…


Feed: Pastoral Meanderings
Posted on: Thursday, April 29, 2010 7:41 AM
Author: Pastor Peters
Subject: Some Words on Hymnplaying...


A disclaimer:  I took many years of organ instruction but have not played anything but hymns for mostly 25 years and I am by no means an accomplished organist -- a frustrated one -- but you know, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing...

Tactus... the tempo of hymn playing... I wish we could teach it... It is really something to be felt.  You cannot get it from the time signature on the music or extrapolate from one hymn to another.  It is intimately connected to the text as well as the tune.  It is affected by the singing of the people in the particular place you are located.  It is a hidden component to the successful musical leadership of the congregation.

I was in Minnesota a few weeks ago and am still trying to catch my breath.  The tempo was way too fast.  Breath and you lost at least a couple of words and perhaps a whole musical phrase trying to catch up.  Still and all I like it better than the opposite.

I was at an event in Synod and a noted organist was on the console and, well, I could have been filing my nails while I waited for the organist and most of the people to catch up with me... It was way too slow and discouraged not only the singing but any appreciation of the text and tune whatsoever.

We have a wonderful parish musician.  He tends to play about right most all the time -- though he can slow down a bit for me (especially if he is uncertain how well the people know the tune and as the second service gets near the end).  But I am the typical Pastor with the loud booming voice trying to get the folks to keep up.  I am sure this bugs him some of the time (if not all).  But tactus, the sense of tempo, rhythm, and how the text and tune combine is the key here.

Perhaps the bad rap on hymns with many stanzas and hymn singing in general has more to do with bad hymn playing than anything else.  It is an art and it is not helped with the organist does not have the art -- and congregations are not willing to pay for their training to equip them to better assist the singing and probably do not pay them adequately in the first place...

It is a wonderful thing when the person on the bench knows how to make it easy to sing... last Sunday I felt it from the less known hymn Our Paschal Lamb, that sets us free... to the familiar The King of Love My Shepherd Is... to the beloved Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Me... There is no way to overvalue the gift and art of accompanying the liturgy and hymns... not with esteem or money... so parishes take note and people wake up...

View article...


The official press release…


Feed: VIS news - Holy See Press Office
Posted on: Thursday, April 29, 2010 6:00 AM
Author: VIS - Holy See Press Office


VATICAN CITY, 29 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Pope had lunch yesterday in the Vatican's Casina Pio IV with members and consultors of "Vox Clara", an advisory committee for questions concerning the celebration of the Roman Rite in English.

  Following the luncheon the Holy Father, himself speaking English, thanked "Vox Clara" for the work it has done "over the last eight years, assisting and advising the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in fulfilling its responsibilities with regard to the English translations of liturgical texts. This has been a truly collegial enterprise. Not only are all five continents represented in the membership of the committee, but you have been assiduous in drawing together contributions from bishops' conferences in English-speaking territories all over the world".

  "I thank the superiors and officials of the congregation for their daily, painstaking work of overseeing the preparation and translation of texts that proclaim the truth of our redemption in Christ, the Incarnate Word of God", he said.

  Benedict XVI went on: "I welcome the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will soon be ready for publication. ... Through these sacred texts and the actions that accompany them, Christ will be made present and active in the midst of His people".

  Going on then to identify a new task, that of "preparing for the reception of the new translation by clergy and lay faithful", the Pope pointed out that "many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world".

  "Soon the fruits of your labours will be made available to English-speaking congregations everywhere", the Holy Father concluded.

AC/                                    VIS 20100429 (350)

View article...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FW: New Mass Translation Given Rome's Approval

Big news for the English-speaking Roman Catholic world…


Feed: New Liturgical Movement
Posted on: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 10:28 AM
Author: (Shawn Tribe)
Subject: New Mass Translation Given Rome's Approval


New Mass Translation Given Rome's Approval

by Edward Pentin Wednesday, April 28, 2010 3:09 AM

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is to issue its formal approval of the new English translation of the complete Roman Missal later today.

The recognitio comes after nearly ten years of study and sometimes difficult consultation over the new translation of prayers for the Mass.

Today's development will therefore mark a key step, although when the new Missal will be made available in parishes remains unclear.

Cardinal George Pell, chairman of the Vox Clara Committee, the international group of bishops advising the Vatican about the translation, told the Register yesterday that although formal approval will be given today, the new Missal certainly won't be available before 2011.

Advent next year is considered to be the most likely time, once various technical adjustments and printing are completed.

The International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) has been working in consultation with English-speaking episcopates worldwide to formulate a new translation in line with the 2001 Vatican document Liturgiam Authenticam, making the texts adhere more closely to their Latin original.

Source: National Catholic Register

View article...

Hymnody Review: J. S. Bach

Bach & Friends: World-class musicians reflect on the power and genius of Bach's music and perform his greatest masterpieces (A two hour documentary on Johann Sebastian Bach). Michael Lawrence Films, 2010. 116 minutes. Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, Italian, and Japanese. 2-DVD video set. $39.95. (H)

For all of the superlative praise of Johann Sebastian Bach in this excellent documentary, there is something missing. The world-renowned, virtuosic musicians all speak about it, but their words similarly dance around it, the 500 gorilla in the room. Nearly all the musicians speak about "it," but appear to lack the proper words, words Bach freely confessed. "It" should refer to the One who made J. S. Bach who he was, the One to whom Bach dedicated his music: God in Christ. As St. Augustine reportedly said in prayer,  "Our hearts are restless, until they find rest in Thee."

I am not impressed by seemingly-scholarly discussions of the "Cosmic Bach," nor does my heart warm when some exceptionally talented musician speaks of playing Bach in words like "this is as close as I get to religion" or something of the sort. I grieve when Bach is spoken of merely in the politically-correct, secular terminology of modern American and International academia.

Although the text and tune antedate Bach by just over a hundred years, Bach and Friends would benefit from the perspective of the hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

Bach is identified as a religious man, a Christian, even as a Lutheran, but the latter idenification occurs after over 90 minutes have passed in the main film. And his spirituality is featured near the end. The following text is mentioned, but not explicitly quoted, his last musical effort on this text and its setting:

Before Thy throne I come and pray:

Cast not Thy sinful child away!

Do not Thy gracious help remove

From me who needs forgiving love!

A blessed end do Thou, Lord give;

And then that with The may live,

Awaken me by Thy great power,

Amen. Oh, help me in this hour!

This is, after all I have said, an amazing DVD. The musicians and performances are nimble, lively, and full of emotion. Dextrous fingers dance across keyboards, fretboards, keys, and even crystal glasses. Bobby McFerrin uses his voice in wondrous ways.

The companion DVD features uncut performances that were edited and woven together into an inspiring, but largely secular narrative. That additional disc is a natural outgrowth of recording and experiencing so many phenomenal performances. It is at times religious, but not explicity Christian. This DVD could likely be shown in public schools, universities, libraries, and other institutions without causing anyone much offense. As a pastor and church musician, I would recommend a second DVD set about Bach's faith life as a Confessional, Bible-believing, Church Year composing, Book of Concord reading Lutheran Christian. His music bears inscriptions call upon Jesus for help and attribute all glory to God.

Buy the DVD set. Do what you can to show it (legally) to groups in your community. It will be appreciated by people of nearly all backgrounds and ages. Revel in the genius of both the composer and his many modern musician friends. But also share "the rest of the story," Bach the Christian musician.

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.

LHP Review: On the Holy Spirit

Ritter, Steven E. That Your Joy May Be Full: Learning from the Authentic Orthodox Theology of the Spirit. Salisbury, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2008. 288 Pages. Paper. $26.95. (LHP)

I do not imagine that a finer book could be written about the theology of the Holy Spirit – from an Orthodox perspective. It truly is a fine book – for an Orthodox Christian. It is through and through an Orthodox book, written by an Orthodox author for an Orthodox readership. It is well written, well argued, well thought out, and well organized. But to say it one more time in this paragraph, it is for the Orthodox Christian to read, mark learn and inwardly digest.

All that being said, could a Lutheran parish pastor read this book and benefit from it? Certainly. If he has a desire to learn about the Orthodox faith from the source. Or if he is in a dialogue about the Orthodox faith with a colleague or a parishioner. Or if he wants to round out what little he may have learned about the Orthodox faith in his seminary days. Two questions that sometimes trouble Lutherans were answered by Father Ritter. First, who wrote Hebrews? And second, does John 6 refer to the Lord’s Supper or not? You will have to read That Your Joy May Be Full to find the answers.

A couple of comments about the book’s layout or design. First, there is no index. This is most unhelpful for a reader such as myself. Often I wanted to see what Father Ritter had written about a particular topic in another place in the book. But I was unable to do so as there is no index of subjects. Second, there is no bibliography. If I had wanted to pursue some avenue on which the author had started me, I was unable to do so. There is a very limited “Reference List” beginning on page 283. But no bibliography in addition to that list.

All that being said, there was some that was beneficial to me. Let me give you a couple of citations. On page 132 Father Ritter is writing of the road to divinization (theosis), in which we “’’become by grace what God is by nature’” (p. 126). He writes: “the great paradox of the spiritual life lies in the fact that the closer we draw to God, the more aware we become of our own sinfulness (p. 132). Laying aside the Orthodox teaching of divinization, who in the Church has not felt this paradox at work in himself or herself? The more one grows in the faith, the more one sees one’s sin. And the more one sees one’s desperate need for a Savior. Another quote I especially loved came in a section on the Second Coming of Christ, and specifically the “Rapture.” This false teaching is nothing new as Father Ritter writes: “This was actually condemned by the church under the name chiliasm [thousand years], . . . The heretic Apollonarius was condemned for this teaching by the Second Ecumenical Council in 381” (p. 258). He further writes: “Orthodoxy also rejects this . . . doctrine as something that not only insults the early martyrs of the church – and all martyrs since – but puts forth the notion that those faithful to Christ are somehow exempt from suffering like and with him. In other words, it is a cowardly doctrine” (emphasis added) (p. 259).

It might have just been me, but one thing I noticed throughout the book was a kind of superiority, a kind of smugness. “We have had this right since the apostles and all the rest of you have gone badly astray” seemed to be the attitude. Now, I realize that the Orthodox believe this with all their hearts, but it made the book a bit less winsome to me. I certainly know of which I speak, for who among faithful LCMS pastors has not heard the well-intentioned question in Bible class – “you are not saying that Lutherans will be the only ones in heaven, are you, Pastor?” I know Father Ritter does not mean that. Neither do any Lutheran pastors mean that. But the perceived superior attitude made the book more difficult to read for me.

To put it simply in as few words as possible, for the busy Lutheran parish pastor, this is probably not a book that you would want to put on your list of books to read. Unless . . . see paragraph two above.

The Rev. Peter Bertram, a regular QBR contributor, is pastor of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Chadron, Nebraska, a congregation of the Wyoming District of the LCMS.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Two Convention Workbook Overtures on Worship

From Page 160


To Encourage Responsible Worship

Whereas, The Lord has commanded His people to worship Him

in spirit and in truth; and

Whereas, There is diversity in expression of that same spirit as

the one Lord of the Church comes to His people in the Means of

Grace; and

Whereas, The Church has been engaged in worship since her

inception (Acts 2); and

Whereas, The Lutheran confessors did not seek to violate this

“Great Tradition” but instead desired to affirm their catholicity in the

proclamation of Christ crucified, risen, ascended, and returning; and

Whereas, The Council of Presidents has produced the Theses on

Worship for guidance for congregations of the Synod; and

Whereas, The CTCR and the Commission on Worship have conducted

a Model Theological Conference on theology and worship

that has generated dialogue and conversation about worship in the

Synod; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Synod affirm the Great Tradition and the ongoing

development of resources for worship within the Great Tradition;

and be it further

Resolved, That the Synod recognize responsible diversity in worship;

and be it further

Resolved, That the Synod encourage congregations to follow the

historic practices of the ancient and Reformation churches in celebrating

the Lord’s Supper at each Divine Service (1995 Res. 2-08A, “To

Encourage Every Sunday Communion”); and be it further

Resolved, That the Synod affirm Eucharistic centrality in the

Divine Service (see Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:20, 33; the CTCR’s

Theology and Practice of the Lord’s Supper, p. 28; and the 1986

translation of Luther’s Small Catechism) within appropriate and

responsible cultural contextualization; and be it further

Resolved, That the Synod encourage “responsible use of freedom

in worship” (2004 Res. 2-04) so that the Great Tradition is not lost

nor are people restricted from employing diverse resources that are

doctrinally sound; and be it finally

Resolved, That the Synod foster a confessional unity and unified

confession in the unity and diversity of worship that respects the

Great Tradition as it is expressed in contemporary and contextual

ways throughout the Synod.

Board of Directors

Atlantic District
To Remain Faithful to Lutheran Worship Practices

Whereas, Disunity exists in our Synod because some Lutheran

congregations and pastors are using non-Lutheran materials and forms

of worship; and

Whereas, The clear witness of God’s Word states: “Now I exhort

you brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you

agree with one another so that there be no divisions among you, so

that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment”

(1 Cor. 1:10); and

Whereas, Lutheran congregations and pastors have bound themselves

to the “[e]xclusive use of doctrinally pure agenda, hymnbooks,

and catechisms in church and school” (Constitution, Art. VI 4); and

Whereas, The practice of a congregation in worship affects its

doctrine; and

Whereas, A Lutheran congregation that uses different forms of

worship that are not doctrinally pure deceives the members into thinking

there are no important doctrinal issues that separate it from those

who are in error; and

Whereas, This is harmful to the salvation of the soul and robs the

Christian of the assurance of that salvation; and

Whereas, According to Romans 16:17, Christians are urged to

“watch out for those who cause divisions” and “keep away from

them”; therefore be it

Resolved, That the congregations of the Wyoming District memorialize

the Synod to instruct the Council of Presidents to come up with

a responsible way of ensuring that pastors and congregations who are

introducing heterodox forms of worship be disciplined according to

the Word of God in a manner that reflects Jesus’ words in Matthew


Wyoming District

LCMS CTCR Report on the Model Theological Conference on Worship

From Page 57 of the Convention Workbook

2. Model Conference on Worship

2007 Res. 2-01 (see also 2004 Res. 2-04) called for a theological

conference that would “build greater understanding of our theology

of worship and foster further discussion of worship practices

that are consistent with that theology.” In 2009, CTCR members and

staff joined together with staff and members of the Commission on

Worship for the planning of a model theological conference focused

on the topic of worship under the theme “Toward a Theology of

Worship.” Once again, a wide spectrum of participants from Synodwide

entities participated, but the primary participatory goal was for

wide representation from the 35 districts of the Synod. In addition

to its president, each district was invited to send two parish pastors,

two laypeople, and one commissioned minister, with its delegations

including balance among individuals who were representative of the

diverse worship practices in the Synod (both so-called “traditional”

and “contemporary” or “contextual” practice). The conference was

held on January 11–13, 2010, and was hosted by Concordia Lutheran

Church of Kirkwood, Missouri.

The four theological conferences have been made possible by generous

grants from the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation.

Many of the papers presented at these conferences are available on

the CTCR’s Web site at

LCMS Commission on Worship Report in the 2010 Convention Workbook

Source: Convention/convention_wb.pdf
(Pages 43-45)


Commission on Worship

The current Commission on Worship, comprised of seven members

appointed by the President of the Synod (Bylaw, is

immersed in addressing the worship situation ongoing in the Synod.

As an appointed group, the members represent a microcosm of the

Synod’s varying positions on matters of worship. It is the commission’s

collaborative task to shore up the treasure of the Lutheran

heritage of worship as it is has been advanced, confirmed, and published

in the vast constellation of resources associated with Lutheran

Service Book (Bylaw Furthermore, the commission has been

actively engaged in seeking to understand, network, and care for the

growing number of pastors, musicians, and laity who are skilled in

navigating, harnessing, and unleashing the benefits of multimedia in

worship and are able to integrate Web delivery systems that readily
provide nearly an infinite number of worship repertoire choices

(Bylaw 3.9.7). Out of necessity, the commission has had to embrace

living with the challenge of weighing ecclesiastical authority, personal

preference, and thoughtful appreciation for local contextual practices.

Conversations initiated by the commission have sought to balance

and consider matters of worship that are unequivocally theological,

practical, and missional. Through a labyrinth of networks, the commission

has sought to create a permeating sense of concord throughout

the Synod, so that congregations and church workers may continue

to walk together grounded firmly in a sacramental identity whereby

worshipers humbly receive the divine service of God through the

proclamation of the Gospel and the faithful administration of Baptism

and the Lord’s Supper. Certainly God’s people gathered around Word

and Sacrament are to be continually revitalized by celebrating the

Eucharist feast where faith is bolstered, forgiveness is declared, and

saints of God from every time, place, context, and mission gather to

feast upon the lavish grace of God.

Admittedly, the commission has moved intentionally beyond the

printed bylaw guidelines outlined in the 2007 Handbook. Resolutions

from previous conventions have expressed the need for greater awareness,

development, and appreciations for diverse worship resources,

such as Res. 2-04 of the 2004 convention, which

• affirmed “respect for diversity in worship practices as we build

greater understanding of our theology of worship and foster further

discussion of worship practices that are consistent with that


• encouraged “pastors, musicians, and worship leaders to exercise

this freedom responsibly”; and

• called on the commission “to initiate a process leading toward

the development of diverse worship resources for use in The

Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.”

Furthermore, 2007 Res. 2-01 resolved

• that “the Commission on Worship and the Commission on

Theology and Church Relations organize a model theological

conference, including representation of pastors and laity from

each district as well as representation from each of our schools

of higher learning,” in order to fulfill 2004 Res. 2-04;

• that the districts of our Synod be encouraged “to organize similar

conferences to further discussion and understanding”; and

• that “the Commission on Worship, in consultation with the

Council of Presidents and the faculties of our seminaries, universities,

and colleges, prepare studies on this topic for use in

circuits and congregations.”

To fulfill the requirements of the above bylaws and resolutions,

the Commission on Worship has specifically collaborated, consulted,

endorsed, administered, and/or created the following events, endeavors,

publications, and resources.


1. “The Institute on Liturgy, Preaching, and Church Music,” July

22–25, 2008, at Concordia University, Nebraska—a nationwide

gathering of 750 pastors, musicians, and laity who are engaged

in conversation, education, and diverse and practical expressions

of Lutheran worship practices that are grounded in Word and


2. “Word and Sacrament Ministry in This and the Next Generation,”

a “Worship Leaders’ Conference Exploring Worship Diversity in

a Campus Culture,” February 15–17, 2009—a gathering of university/

seminary chaplains and deans called to discuss in an open

and collegial manner contextual worship paradigms at each and

every campus ministry setting of the Synod. 
 3. “A Model Theological Conference—Toward a Theology of

Worship That Is …,” January 11–13, 2010, in St. Louis—a gathering

of district presidents, designated pastors, musicians, and lay

persons from every district that is currently and constructively

engaged in contextual/contemporary and/or traditional/liturgical

worship. A series of well articulated discourses on the confessional,

scriptural, missional, vocational, personal, contextual,

practical, and theological aspects of worship was presented and a

series of wide-ranging worship opportunities was modeled.

4. “A Lutheran Songwriters’ Conference—Singing the Sacraments

of God,” April 22–23, 2010, in St. Louis—a gathering of Lutheran

songwriters, worship leaders, and educators actively engaged in

shaping the musical worship life of the Synod’s congregations.


1. LSB: Guitar Chord Edition—A comprehensive collection of the

hymnody in LSB scored in lead-sheet format for guitarists and

keyboardists, intended for ensemble or individual use in corporate

worship and group and family devotions.

2. Children Making Music DVD—A video presentation endorsing

through testimony and witness the value of engaging children in

the task of making music in the context of Lutheran worship.

3. “Let Us Pray”—An ongoing subscription service providing

weekly prayers for the worship life of our congregations.

4. “Worship Survey” —An expansive survey of worship practices

developed and administered with the assistance and care of personnel

from LCMS Rosters and Statistics. The survey explored

the varieties of worship practices and attitudes across the Synod.

Results of the survey are posted online.

5. “Theses on Worship”—A comprehensive document prepared by

the Council of Presidents that coalesces specific worship principles

clearly delineated in Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

6. Online digital recordings of the comprehensive liturgies drawn

from Lutheran Service Book have been made available so that

pastors and musicians can effectively model and lead corporate


7. “As We Gather”—Lectionary summary statements are released

regularly to coordinate with the historic one-year and the threeyear

lectionary series, helping pastors and parishioners make

connections between the readings, particularly as they relate to

the Church Year.

Para Church Organization Collaboration

1. Center for U.S. Missions Worship Consultant—During the first

year of the past triennium, study groups were formed in collaboration

with the worship consultant connected to the Center for

U.S. Missions to evaluate nearly 200 contemporary worship songs

being used in LCMS congregations. The result was the online

“Song Evaluation Tool,” an expandable resource to inform congregations

of particular strengths or weaknesses of the worship

songs based on a prescribed set of Lutheran constructs as defined

in the resource “Text Music Context—A Resource for Reviewing

Worship Materials.”

2. Transforming Church Network—The commission’s executive

director recruited an advisory group of pastors to assist Rev. Dr.

Terry Tieman in developing an initial module on worship practices

that are distinctly Lutheran and yet sensitive to intentional missional

endeavors. This online publication will be available directly

through Transforming Church Network.

Future Resources

1. Re:sound—The Commission on Worship continues to establish

an online network of diverse pastors, musicians, technicians, and 
worship leaders who actively engage in the creation, administration,

and implementation of worship at the local congregational


2. LSB: Hymnal Companion—This comprehensive edition will

provide essays, vast historic documentation, textual detail, music

discussion, and creative practical suggestions on how to understand

and integrate the rich hymnic resources made available in

Lutheran Service Book.

3. LSB: Liturgy Desk Edition—This resource will explain the background

of each liturgical component in the divine services and

daily offices in Lutheran Service Book, providing careful historic

background as well as rubrics regarding liturgical presiding and

service leadership.

4. LSB: Hymn of the Day Bible Study Series—This resource will

explore the biblical foundation for select hymns in Lutheran

Service Book. The initial goal is to provide online or printed

resources as needed for congregations and/or individuals engaged

in studying hymn texts as they are related to Scripture and integrated

into various worship settings.

5. DVD Contemporary Hymn Accompaniments—A resource that

represents the culmination of research, consultation, and development

of fresh accompaniments and video components for

congregational song. This is an intentional endeavor to begin moderating,

encouraging, and providing a fresh palette of sounds to

support the singing of hymnody in contemporary idioms.

Institutional Connections

1. Seminaries—Personnel from the Commission on Worship have

provided encouragement for and engaged in forum discussions

with the faculties of LCMS seminaries to ascertain assistance in

resolving theological, missional, and practical issues regarding

worship practices in the Synod.

2. Concordia Universities—The Commission on Worship has provided

advice for and engaged in collaborative efforts with several

Synod colleges and universities in support of the development of

responsible certification programs to assist future musicians and

pastors to navigate through the complexities of hymnal and nonhymnal


In response to its mandates, the Commission on Worship is purposely

engaged at a very critical juncture in the Synod’s history. The

commission stands in the middle of an intersection that is filled with

individuals and groups that have singular preferences and passions

related to worship. This ongoing situation may confuse and challenge

our ability to present a clear unwavering Gospel proclamation

of One Mission, One Message, One People. In the meantime, within

the mosaic of worship practices that characterize the national Synod,

the commission continues to encourage faithful yet diverse members,

gifted musicians, and pastoral leaders to worship the Triune God, in

spirit and in truth, as individuals and as congregations of the Synod.

Gregory Wismar, Chairman

David Johnson, Executive Director

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Resources Received: New and Notable!

Rudnick, Milton L. Journey into Prayer. St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 2010. 94 Pages. Paper. $9.99. (L)

Comite liturgique francophone de l'Eglise lutherienne du Canada. Liturgies et Cantiques Lutheriens. Winnipeg, Canada: Editions de l'Eglise Lutherienne du Canada, 2009. 864 Pages. Cloth. $20.00. (LH)

Liturgy Review: Custom Paraments from a Lutheran House

Gladieux, Carol. Six Ecclesiastical Art Samples: 1) Sample Baptismal Remembrance; 2) Sample Confirmation Remembrance; 3) Baptismal Napkin/handkerchief with baptismal shell; Sample Parament/Vestment Patterns: 4) A "Holy Spirit" on red poly satin; 5) A "VDMA" on purple 100% cotton; 6) A "Ship of Faith" (aka "the Church") on dark green 100% cotton. Churubusco, IN: Shepherds' Threads LLC, 2010. Prices Vary.  (L)

Over the last four years, we have done "book reviews" for lots of non-book items. Consider the following:

"With extensive backgrounds in design engineering and customer service (Dennis) and sewing/embroidery, technical writing, and customer service (Carol), we are combining our experiences and talents to provide custom embroidery designs at reasonable prices to both the Christian community and to general enterprises. We are Christ-centered and family oriented. We seek to serve our Lord Jesus with distinctive designs and outstanding service by presenting unique, yet affordable, embroidery motifs that are stitched out on custom stoles for pastors or on altar paraments, We also offer personalized baptismal, wedding, and confirmation remembrances or memorials for framing.

"We believe that artistically wrought symbols of our Christian faith have an important place in our lives—in our church facilities, in our homes, or out in the world. They provide visual recognition for many and can serve as “talking points” for witnessing about Christ and our faith. They serve as tangible reminders of our faith, providing comfort and encouragement when needed.

"We will also design and stitch out custom logos for small companies or large corporations. We can help our customer present his or her company, club, team, or special event with a logo that best reflects the mission or culture of the organization or team.

"Whether by providing innovative designs for church staffs, groups, or ministries or for corporations, youth sports teams, or small businesses, we will work with our customer to bring a design concept to reality in thread.

"As a consideration to our customers, our designs and stitch-outs are produced in a smoke-free, pet-free environment" (publisher's website).

We were sent the following samples:

These first three pieces celebrate our baptismal life in Christ. A baptismal shell in muted, tasteful gold is applied on the diagonal on the baptismal napkin. Lace trims the white fabric.

Two frameable 8x10 cloth "certificates" or remembrances can be customized with the confirmand's or baptizand's name, congregation, and special day. The same baptismal shell symbol unifies the baptism set. Pink, blue, or other colors are available as background for girls or boys. I just love the uniquely Lutheran confirmation symbol, with draped resurrection cross, open Bible and Luther Seal!

Other pieces celebrate parts of the Church Year.

VDMA = Verbum Dei Manet in Aeternum = The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
Great for Lent I on Violet.
Put on Red for Augsburg Confession, Reformation Day, or a Lutheran Confirmation.

A classic, yet modern dove symbol for the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Red.

This deep green fabric highlights "the ship of faith" in bold gold.
Perhaps three "green" sets could help highlight different tides of the Trinity/After Pentecost Season.

We were impressed by these samples. Consider Shepherds' Threads as an online Lutheran vendor for custom paraments, vestments, and baptismal life remembrance items. Please note other products here:

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.

Liturgy Review: Symbol and Song

Nielsen, Pam. Illustrated by Arthur Kirchhoff. Calligraphy by Edward Q. Luhmann. Behold the Lamb: An Introduction to the Signs and Symbols of the Church. St. Louis: Concordia, 2010. 48 Pages. Cloth. $8.99. (Currently on sale for $6.67.) (L)

Evening & Morning: The Music of Lutheran Daily Prayer. St. Louis: Concordia, 2009. Audio CD. $9.99. (L)

Among the most helpful liturgical resources we have seen are these two new releases from Concordia Publishing House.

Concluding a trilogy begun by Scot Kinnaman in Worshiping with Angels and Archangels and author Heath Curtis' introduction to the Christian Church Year, Ordering our Days in His Peace, Pam Nielsen's book, Behold the Lamb, deserves a place of honor on your shelf next to Lutheran Service Book.

This is intentionally "An Introduction to the Signs and Symbols of the Church." It is not an extensive sign and symbol dictionary. Your pastor may well have one of those or direct inquisitive young scholars and their parents to additional resources. This is a great starting place!

Symbols point to something or Someone else. The author, an LCMS Deaconness, does a wonderful job of keeping the focus on Jesus. Symbols have stories behind them. We can make the most of each opportunity we have to explain a Bible symbol, creedal symbol, or historical symbol to a new believer or a young Christian.

Behold the Lamb makes regular references to Lutheran Service Book, supporting what a child may pray, sing, and experience at worship in their own congregation, an important connection between congregational, educational, and home life.

As with the other two volumes in the series, art is reverent, creative, relevant to the topic being taught, as well as being bright, colorful, and engaging.

A brief two page glossary concludes the volume.

Behold the Lamb is a welcome addition to the resources Christian parents, Sunday School Teachers, and Pastors have to liturgically catechize the newest and youngest Christians in our homes, classes, and congregations. It introduces the reader/listener to symbols of God and Christ, cross and Church Year, Apostles and Martin Luther, preparing the way for curious minds to be hungry for more.

Discounts may be available for bulk orders or for orders of the three book set.

Just yesterday, our Lutheran grammar school took a field trip. We had to leave before our usual starting time, so we would have missed chapel. Thanks to bulletins of Matins and our hymn of the month from Lutheran Service Builder and this recording, we had chapel in the church van and parent vehicles "on the road."

This is a high-quality recording, just what one should expect from Concordia Publishing House, building on the experience and showcasing the expertise of all involved, including:
Choir: The Seminary Kantorei of Concordia Theological Seminary
Director: Richard C. Resch

Organist: Paul J. Grime
Officiant (spoken): Charles Brown
Officiant (sung): Dallas Dubke Jr.
Years ago, I reviewed some other CD travel devotions by another publisher, wishing and praying that something like this would be possible as an audio CD supplement to LSB. Now, here it is! 

Thanks to Rev. Scot Kinnaman at CPH, the CD is organized in the following way.
(One could create a separate playlist for each daily prayer office.)
* Matins (Tracks 01–08)

* Vespers (Tracks 09–14)

* Morning Prayer (Tracks 15–21)

* Evening Prayer (Tracks 22–29)

* Compline (Tracks 30–38)

* Litany (Track 39)

List of tracks:
01 Matins Sentences
02 Matins Venite
03 Matins Responsory
04 Matins Te Deum
05 Matins Benedictus
06 Matins Kyrie/Our Father
07 Matins Collect
08 Matins Benedicamus; Benediction
09 Vespers Sentences
10 Vespers Responsory
11 Vespers Magnificat
12 Vespers Kyrie/Our Father
13 Vespers Collect
14 Vespers Benedicamus; Benediction

15 Morning Prayer Sentences
16 Morning Prayer Venite
17 Morning Prayer In Many Ways
18 Morning Prayer Benedictus
19 Morning Prayer Collect
20 Morning Prayer Our Father
21 Morning Prayer Benedicamus; Benediction

22 Evening Prayer Service of Light
23 Evening Prayer Psalm 141
24 Evening Prayer In Many Ways
25 Evening Prayer Magnificat
26 Evening Prayer Litany
27 Evening Prayer Collect
28 Evening Prayer Our Father
29 Evening Prayer Benedicamus; Benediction

30 Compline Opening Sentences
31 Compline Confession
32 Compline Lessons
33 Compline Responsory
34 Compline Prayer
35 Compline Prayers
36 Compline Our Father
37 Compline Nunc Dimittis
38 Compline Benediction

39 Litany
If you use the LSB and own a CD player (or modern computer, DVD player, etc.), you should own and benefit from this CD. Also, consider purchasing Concordia's other new prayer resource, Treasury of Daily Prayer.

If I have any critique of this CD, it is a very minor one. On the back of the CD case and the CD itself, the service titles "Morning Prayers" and "Evening Prayers" should both lose the final "s." Perhaps this could be done in a "second printing."

I commend Concordia Publishing House for providing solid, user-friendly, hymnal resources for young and old alike.

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.

FW: A Most Ignored Matter

A good question from Pr. Weedon…


Feed: Weedon's Blog
Posted on: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 8:57 PM
Author: William Weedon
Subject: A Most Ignored Matter


If anyone studies the rubrics of LSB, it is surely striking that not one single service - not any Divine Service or a single one of the Daily Prayer liturgies or Service of Prayer and Preaching - calls for a final hymn. The benediction in every case ends the liturgy. And yet.... I've never attended, worshipped, or served at any place where that was the case. Invariably there is a closing hymn. St. Paul's ALWAYS has a closing hymn for the Divine Services at least; St. Andrew always had a closing hymn; Redeemer always had a closing hymn. What about the rest of you?

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FW: A Paradox to Ponder

A perspective to consider…


Feed: Pastoral Meanderings
Posted on: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 5:56 PM
Author: Pastor Peters
Subject: A Paradox to Ponder


The truth is that congregations of the ELCA tend to be liturgically more solid than congregations of the LCMS.  What this means is simple.  Congregations of the ELCA tend to use their worship book pretty much as it is written – LBW or ELW – for the Eucharist and the rites of the Church (baptism, for example).  Congregations of the LCMS are more likely to use non-hymnal orders for the Eucharist and the various rites (pieces of the liturgy may come from the hymnal – TLH, LW, or LSB – but the order is often constructed with bits and pieces from various sources).  Now I am not suggesting that this is ordinary for the LCMS but a very significant portion of the congregations of this body – much higher than the ELCA – do change the rite (and I am not speaking of music here but of text as well as tune).

This is also true of college campuses.  It is somewhat more likely that a student on an ELCA college campus will find Morning Prayer (or another of the hymnal rites) as the order for that day's chapel while it is somewhat more likely that a student at an LCMS college will find either no order or a variation on the CoWo (contemporary worship for you non-bloggers).  I have this from a number of students on campuses of both church bodies and from the personal experience of my family and the reports of many others.

I might also suggest that the faith of these congregations is directly opposite.  The ELCA congregations tend to have very open communion, to presume no one believes in the six day creation, never to use a work like inerrant, and to speak of the Gospel in terms that include such things as advocacy, ecology, justice, and social work (either in addition to or in place of sin and forgiveness, law and grace, etc.).  The ELCA congregation uses the creeds as they are written but tends to believe the words are not necessarily literally true while the Missouri congregation might use a homemade creed but believe every word of the ecumenical creeds.

The ELCA congregation is more likely to emphasize the welcome of all people (without respect to creed, race, sexual identity, etc.) while the Missouri congregation is more likely not to speak of such diversity at all – much less make it part of their welcome.  The ELCA congregation is more likely to have a "green" committee to deal with such things as their carbon imprint and a diversity committee to help them make sure no barriers are encountered by anyone who might visit (and no offense given) while the Missouri congregation is more likely to have an "evangelism" committee and to deal with questions of eternal salvation and insist upon doctrinal agreement and a common faith before the welcome mat includes too many privileges.

What a strange paradox?  The one which is admittedly more broad in its understanding of the faith is more narrow in its liturgical application while the one that is admittedly more narrow in its faith definition is more broad in its liturgical application.

It reminds me of the fact that when I began in Synodical education, those who were interested in or cared about what happened in worship were considered "liberal" while those who spoke of doctrine were more likely to use the hymnal but not know why or even care – just that it was the official book.  Now some 38 years later, those who care about worship are considered "conservative" doctrinally and those who believe in things indifferent when it comes to Sunday morning are considered "moderate" (the Missouri equivalent of liberal).  I do not think I have changed all that much but the meaning of the categories has and with it my place in the Church has moved... even though I am standing in the same place...  What a paradox?

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

FW: Prayer and the Family

From Pastor Todd Peperkorn…


Feed: Lutheran Logomaniac
Posted on: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:39 PM
Author: (Rev. Todd A. Peperkorn)
Subject: Prayer and the Family


Prayer isn't something that just comes naturally. Prayer must be taught. Our Lord Himself demonstrates this when He teaches the disciples how to pray. He says,"Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…" (Matthew 6:9 ESV) We know that God both hears and answers our prayers. We know that it is a great benefit and blessing. But thanks to our old sinful flesh, we pass on our desire to hide from God and refuse to talk to Him. Our children learn not to pray from us.

Praying as a family can be almost as hard as praying alone or praying in your marriage. In some respects, it is even harder. How do you find the time? What if I don't want to pray? What if the kids are acting up or there's a game on that I want to watch? The reasons not to pray seem to go on and on.

The great thing about the Christian faith, though, is that it is never too late. Each day begins anew. Things can and do change. They can get better. How important is that to remember, as we bask in the glow of the resurrection!

So then, let's get to it. Here are a few simple steps to help make prayer a part of your common life together as a Christian family:

  • Do it. Nike got it right. You don't debate whether to brush your teeth or eat breakfast in the morning. Christians pray. It's that simple. Think through how to make this a habit . It typically takes about six weeks to establish a habit. Give yourselves that six weeks. Make reminders. Put a note on the steering wheel or on the fridge (or on the remote control!). Make a commitment that as a family, we are going to pray together once a day (plus meals, which we will cover next month).
  • Keep it simple. The Lord's Prayer and Luther's Morning or Evening prayer would be a great place to start. We've done that for years in our family, especially while our children are young. But by making that a part of our life as a family, it has slowly been ingrained into us and our children.
  • Teach the words. Children learn how to speak from their parents. They learn how to pray from their parents, too. Give them the language of faith. Be deliberate about it. By being deliberate about it, you are telling your children that this is important, and that it is worth learning and doing. Start with the Lord's Prayer, and then work your way out to other prayers.
  • Give yourself the context to succeed. You know your own family. When are they going to be the most likely to actually hear and pay attention? Nine o'clock at night? Right after supper? Right after breakfast. Each family is different. I would encourage you to think about what is prime time for your family, and then figure out how to work prayer into that prime time. If your children are tired, crabby and just want to either go to bed or fight with each other, that may not be the best time to work on praying.
  • Don't despair! It is very easy to get discouraged with children. It's work. But it is totally worth it.

This is a gift you can give to them that will literally last forever. Pray for patience for yourself and your spouse. Pray for your children, that they learn how to receive God's Word and speak back to Him what He has given to them.

The blessings will flow from this. Believe me. I hope you're ready!

+ God be with you +

Pastor Peperkorn

[From the April 2010 Messiah's Messenger


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Friday, April 16, 2010

FW: A Prayer to Be Rid of Some Current and Popular Illusions

Is it ironic to see these prayers on a blog?

Feed: Cyberbrethren Lutheran Blog Feed
Posted on: Friday, April 16, 2010 4:06 AM
Author: Paul T. McCain
Subject: A Prayer to Be Rid of Some Current and Popular Illusions

I'm working through some older books that we are bringing back into print via our "Concordia On Demand" program, and came across a beautiful gem of a book by Dr. Martin Franzmann titled, Pray for Joy, a collection of meditative prayers on various themes. This one particularly caught my eye today:

To Be Rid of Some Current and Popular Illusions

Rid us, O Lord, of the arrogant delusion that our age is harder to live in, harder to live through and be decent in than any age that ever was, that we are being tried as our fathers never were, that we have more excuse for our neurotic screaming, our pitiful muddling, our erorded standards, our sentimental slobbering, our pinching terror at the shadows of the future cast upon our way than any men who ever walked beneath your heaven and on Your earth.

Teach us, O Lord, by your sane and steadying Word that we stand before You as we always stood, living of Your grace and moving toward Your judgment, that the Bomb and the terrible technological trifles of our time have not altered the great, plain, steady fact that You are Lord and have not changed the blessed time ofYour coming as a thief in the night.

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For what it is worth…



Feed: Evangel
Posted on: Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:27 PM
Author: David T. Koyzis


This announcement appears on the "wall" of The Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future facebook group:

We are delighted to announce that, after many months of development, the site is now live! With thousands of resources and hundreds of contributors, plus new materials and updates coming frequently, we hope and pray it will be a resource that edifies and benefits many: ministers, worship leaders, educators, students – indeed, all worshipers. It's a humble beginning, but the threshold of a dream. Please subscribe if you can! And please pray for us and share with many others!

The website appears to call itself both and and can be accessed with either address.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

FW: Beauty & physics, liberal arts & liturgy

Veith again…


Feed: Cranach: The Blog of Veith
Posted on: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3:39 AM
Author: Gene Veith
Subject: Beauty & physics, liberal arts & liturgy


Catholic artist and educator David Clayton makes connections between science, aesthetics, classical education, and then, for good measure, liturgy:

In excellent his book, Modern Physics and Ancient Faith, describing the consistency between the Faith and the discoveries of science, Stephen M Barr describes the scientific investigation of a grouping of sub-atomic particles which he refers to as a 'multiplet' of 'hadronic particles'. He describes how when different properties, called 'flavours' of 'SU(3) symmetry', of nine of these particles were plotted mathematically, then they produced a patterned arrangement that looked like a triangle with the tip missing.

'Without knowing anything about SU(3) symmetry, one could guess just from the shape of the multiplet diagram that there should be a tenth kind of particle with properties that allow it to be placed down at the bottom to complete the triangle pattern. This is not just a matter of aesthetics, the SU(3) symmetries require it. It can be shown from the SU(3) that the multiplets can only come in certain sizes….On the basis of SU(3) symmetry Murray Gell-Man predicted in 1962 that there must exist a particle with the right properties to fill out this decuplet. Shortly thereafter, the new particle, called the Ωˉ was indeed discovered.'

This result would have been of no surprise to anyone who had undergone an education in beauty based upon the quadrivium, – the 'four ways' – the higher part of the education of the seven liberal arts of education in the middle-ages[1]. The shape that Murray Gell-Man's work completed was the triangular arrangement of 10 points known as the tectractys. As described in my previous articles for the New Liturgical Movement, this is the triangular arrangement of the number 10 in a series of 1:2:3:4. 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the first four numbers that symbolize the creation of the cosmos in three dimensions generated from the unity of God; and notes produced by plucking strings of these relative lengths we can construct the three fundamental harmonies of the musical scale. . . .

'The traditional quadrivium is essentially the study of pattern, harmony, symmetry and order in nature and mathematics, viewed as a reflection of the Divine Order. When we perceive something that reflects this order, we call it beautiful. For the Christian this is the source, along with Tradition, that provides the model upon which the rhythms and cycles of the liturgy are based. Christian culture, like classical culture before it, was also patterned after this cosmic order; this order which provides the unifying principle that runs through every traditional discipline.  Literature, art, music, architecture, philosophy –all of creation and potentially all human activity- are bound together by this common harmony and receive their fullest meaning in the liturgy…

When we apprehend beauty we do so intuitively. So an education that improves our ability to apprehend beauty develops also our intuition. All creativity is at source an intuitive process. This means that professionals in anyfield including business and science would benefit from an education in beauty because it would develop their creativity. Furthermore, the creativity that an education in beauty stimulates will generate not just more ideas, but better ideas. Better because they are more in harmony with the natural order. The recognition of beauty moves us to love what we see. So such an education would tend to develop also, therefore, our capacity to love and leave us more inclined to the serve God and our fellow man. The end result for the individual who follows this path is joy.'

When the person is habitually ordering his life liturgically, he will tap into this creative force, for he will be inspired by the Creator. Meanwhile all those multiplets of hadronic particles in the cosmos will be giving praise to the Lord.

via The Way of Beauty.

HT: Cathy Sneidman

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FW: Beta Test the ESV Online

From Crossway…


Feed: ESV Bible Blog
Posted on: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 2:43 PM
Author: James
Subject: Beta Test the ESV Online



The ESV Online is ready for public beta testing.

Sign-up to request an invitation and see what's coming. We'd love to hear your impressions of the new ESV Online!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What Has Rome Been Up To Lately?

See the new Roman Missal in English here:

Then, compare it to the texts in Lutheran Service Book.