Thursday, September 30, 2010

Closing QBR 4.3, Opening QBR. 4.4

This post will mark the last entry in QBR 4.3, Apostles' Tide, and the opening entry in Angels' Tide, QBR 4.4.

FW: From Starck's upon St. Michael's


Feed: Weedon's Blog
Posted on: Sunday, September 26, 2010 6:37 PM
Author: William Weedon
Subject: From Starck's upon St. Michael's


O gracious God, grant Your Holy Spirit that I may not grieve these creatures of Yours by my sins, nor drive them from me by reckless living, forcing them to stand far off and to forsake me because of my wickedness.  Grant that even in this life I may become like the angels by serving, praising, obeying, and glorifying You, so that at last I may be like the angels also in the joys and bliss of the life that never ends.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven - let this prayer resound in my ears and in my heart from now and forevermore.  My God, let Your holy angels remain with me in death that they may carry my soul to Abraham's bosom and accompany me to glory.  There let me forever be in their fellowship and company, rejoice with them over Your glory and majesty, and chant with them:  Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts!  And so I will praise You for this and for all Your blessings forever and ever.  (p. 115)

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pulpit Review: Concordia Commentary

Lessing, R. Reed. Amos (Concordia Commentary). St. Louis: Concordia, 2009. 691 Pages. Cloth. $42.99. (P)

I liked Hebrew more than Biblical Greek. As a student I noticed that the Hebrew vocabulary was smaller and that it seemed that every fifth word in that Hebrew vocabulary was a word translated as: “slaughtered, maimed, or killed.” Of course this is not quite true, but I say this to indicate that I am not qualified to judge the grammatical accuracy of Reed Lessing’s work: Amos.

That said, I read the commentary as a parish pastor who wanted to better teach God’s people the fullness of God’s Word. I started reading the book in preparation to attend a three day seminar dealing with Amos and taught by Lessing.

This commentary is a great resource for the pastor. It is rich with information concerning the culture and habits of the day which helps with the interpretation of God’s Word. Geography, economics, world events, and other information is presented to help understand Amos. This information not only helps the pastor understand Amos, but enriches his understanding of much of the prophetic writings. Of course, this then builds the appreciation of the rest of the Holy Scriptures.

Amos speaks the law very clearly. This is the purpose for which he was called. Lessing in his treatment helps us to see the clear presentation of the Gospel message of Amos. He also helps the reader to grasp and appreciate the love of God that causes him to send and sustain an unlikely prophet like Amos. Sin and Grace are apparent as the commentary educates concerning the language and structure of Amos’ preaching.

Lessing’s treatment and discussion about structure shows the sophistication of the Scriptures and the inspiration by the Holy Spirit in it writing and transmission. The subtleties of Hebrew poetry and the complexity of the constructs of the whole book are stunning. The explanation of these things in this Concordia Commentary is not overbearing but encouraging to the reader as knowledge and understanding is increased. There were a lot of “Aha!” moments for this student as the unity of Amos and the unity of the rest of Holy Scripture was revealed in the commentary.

The result of this commentary and the seminar teaching was a prompt Bible study for the saints in my congregation. Using the commentary and the seminar discussion the preaching of Sin and Grace in Amos became more clear. The preaching Sin made clear the condition of all sinful flesh-in Amos’ day and in ours. The preaching of Grace by the prophet Amos made clear the love of God for his people Israel in Amos’ day and the “Israel of faith” throughout all generations.

Brother pastors and other brothers and sisters in Christ, this commentary on Amos is a valuable asset to You in the understanding of God’s Word for the strengthening of your faith.

The Rev. Kirk Peters is pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Buffalo, Wyoming, Third Vice President of the Wyoming District of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, and Advising Editor of QBR.

LHP Review: Religious Satire

Rummel, Erika, translator. Scheming Papists and Lutheran Fools: Five Reformation Satires. New York: Fordham University Press, 1993. 122 Pages. Paper. $23.00. (LHP)

I have always enjoyed history. The workings of cultures, nations, and individuals is fascinating. As a student I was seldom good at dates and the details that are important to historical study. I had a college history professor who would give dates, names, decrees, and documents along with the best. However, he would always ask, “Ah, but what were the people thinking?”

Erika Rummel presents Five Reformation Satires to give the reader a glimpse of what the attitudes of people might have been in Germany in the early 1500’s. Satire is a genre which must draw the reader in and get the point across without direct narrative and explanation. Satire is not benign. It works to infect with an idea and influence thinking.

Rummel does a good job of setting some degree of context for each of the five pieces and gives an overview of the characters so that the reader can get a glimpse of “what the people were thinking”, and why the each satire may have been written.

This book is not for the youth or the fragile. Saturday Night Live has nothing on these satires with regard to adult content and situations. Luther sometimes writes about “coarse Germans”, and these works are evidence of that critique. Conversations that are presented in the satires seem to be absurd, and yet they strike at the truth. The satires reveal that the absurd goes on under the nose of the Emperor, under the supervision of the Pope and the cardinals, and in the face of the people. It takes the cover off of the abuses of authority and power. In places these satires are blunt. They accuse the abusers for their actions and they accuse the abused for their complacency and apathy. As satires, the words cut both ways.

Some of the subtleties of the culture certainly may be lost as none of us who read them now are 16th century Germans. This book is a good read, none-the-less, and more importantly a good “re-read”. A second reading helps to keep the characters clear and new insight become evident.

Satire is not a genre that is common to our current culture with regard to religious and spiritual subjects. We often think that we have advanced from cultures of the past. Erika Rummel provides us with the sophistication of discourse that was used by “coarse German’s” nearly 500 years ago. With some cautions concerning the maturity of the reader, this book is profitable to those seeking to understand the need for the Reformation of Christ’s Church.

"This volume is a collection of five satires from the Reformation period, written between 1517 and 1526. In her Introduction to the work, Rummel explains that the battle between reformers and champions of the old faith was waged on many fronts, 'not only by preachers thundering from the pulpits, theologians facing each other in acrimonious disputations, and church authorities issuing censures and condemnations.' This collection focuses on the impact and importance of a supporting cast of satirists whose ad hoc productions reached a wider audience, in a more visceral manner, than the rational approach which typified scholarly theological arguments. Rummel explains: 'Satire, a genre that requires finely honed language skills, was the preferred weapon of the humanists, who by and large sympathizes with the reformers.' The humanists and reformers were often so closely associated in the reading public’s mind that the earliest phase of the Reformation was sometimes interpreted as a quarrel between philogists and theologians, a manifestation of professional jealousies. Thus Erasmus claimed that the debates of his time were the result of antagonism between the faculties of Arts and Theology.

"Three of the selections contained in the volume represent the Reformers, and two support the Catholics, the 'Papists' of the title. These satirical essays, circulated widely among educated laypersons, use wit and biting humor to ridicule and discredit their adversaries and belong to a genre which was part of a larger body of sixteenth-century satire. The proliferation of satires became a concern of authorities who moved to suppress what they called 'hate-mongering.' Officials banned the publication of anonymously authored writings, effectively ending the publication of the satires, which were largely published either anonymously or carried only the name of the publisher. As a result, many of the pieces did not survive to the present day, many more are only known to us through obscure references in other literature.

"This volume brings to light five of these satiric pieces, written in the pivotal period when the Reformation ceased to be a protest and organized itself as a full-fledged movement. The topical issues featured in each satire are brought into historical context by a headnote explaining the circumstances surrounding its publication and giving bibliographical information about the satire’s author. The witty style makes this collection entertaining reading and the impact of these writings sheds new light on the history of the Reformation.

"Erika Rummel has taught at University of Toronto prior to accepting her current position with the History Department of Wilfrid Laurier University" (publisher's website).

The Rev. Kirk Peters is pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Buffalo, Wyoming, Third Vice President of the Wyoming District of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, and Advising Editor of QBR.

Resources Received

Smith, Michael W. Wonder. Franklin, TN: Provident/Reunion, 2010. Audio CD. $11.98.  (N)

Note: Previous CD of this title was a pre-release copy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Resources Received

The Least Among You. Santa Monica, CA: Lion's Gate Films, 2010. Video DVD. 97 minutes. (N)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Resources Received

Spitzer, Lee B. J. Dwight Stinnett, Series Editor. Making Friends, Making Disciples: Growing Your Church Though Authentic Relationships. Valley Forge: Judson, 2010. 161 Pages. Paper. $16.00. (LHPN)

Hinlicky, Paul R. Preaching God's Word According to Luther's Doctrine in America Today. Dehli: American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, 2010. 200 Pages. Paper. $19.00. (P)

Stiegemeyer, Julie. Illustrated by David Erickson. When Someone Dies: Find Comfort in Jesus. St. Louis: Concordia, 2010. 32 Pages. Hardback with Jacket. $13.99. (P)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fw: Sasse on the Missouri Synod

A true classic quote...

Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 5:58 PM
Subject: Sasse on the Missouri Synod

"With its roots in the agricultural region of the Midwest, where in some parts Lutheranism is almost more "of the people" than in many so-called "people's churches" (Volkskirche) of Europe, the Missouri Synod, like every true missionary church, has grown far beyond her historical origins. But she is a missionary church in a sense which cannot be said of any other Lutheran church. This is one of her most profound characteristics...Missouri is the church of home missions among Lutheran churches. Where other Lutheran churches, following the older Lutheran ethos, always have in view the Christian in his "state" (Stand), to which belongs not only his nationality and vocation but also his religious home, the Missouri Synod instead sees the individual soul, which is to be converted to Christ and incorporated into the church."

From Confession and Theology in the Missouri Synod, Letters to Lutheran Pastors No.20, July 1951 (originally published in German in the Lutherische Blaetter).

Compiler's Note: This is a profound observation by Sasse, in which he goes to the essence of what distinguishes the Missouri Synod from almost every other Lutheran church body - its zeal to see the pure Gospel have free course to impact the world, which makes Missouri a truly evangelical church. It's a remarkably sympathetic insight for a German theologian raised in a state church and educated in the German university system, although by this time (1951) Sasse had been a member of a Lutheran freikirche in Germany and was teaching at Immanuel Seminary in Adelaide, the theological institution of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia. But this church body was not necessarily sympathetic to the Missouri Synod, being an amalgamation of various and sometimes disparate strands of Lutheranism that had come together slowly over 80 years in various mergers, often in opposition to the local Missouri-aligned church body. Sase's essay, then, must have raised some eyebrows not only in his native land but also in his newly adopted church body, although it undoubtedly gained him an appreciative audience in the Synodical Conference in the US and in the local Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia, which was in fellowship with the churches of the Synodical Conference.

As an Australian Lutheran writing today, one is compelled to note that the tensions Sasse pointed out as existing at the time between "Missourian Lutheranism" and "World Lutheranism" (my terms) continue to exist not only on the world stage but also in microcosm in the Lutheran Church of Australia, which formed in 1966 through a merger of the aforementioned UELCA and ELCA, a union to which Sasse contributed substantially. These tensions are exemplified by the LCA's current associate membership in both the Lutheran World Federation and also the LC-MS sponsored International Lutheran Council.

God willing, we will post some more excerpts from this interesting essay on the Missouri Synod. It seems a fitting topic to focus on following the installation on the 11th of September of the Sasse scholar, Pr Matthew Harrison, as President of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod.

_ + _ M.H.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Resources Received: DVD Music Lessons & The Trinity for Children

Resources Received for Review

Slikker-Vlahos, Cathy. A Snowman's Gift. Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing, 2010. 40 Pages. Paper. $12.99.  (N)

Musicademy. Improvisation Skills for Orchestral Instruments in Worship. Chorleywood, Hertsfordshire, UK: Musicademy, 2009. Three video DVDs. $77.99. (LH)

Musicademy. Intermediate Acoustic Worship Guitar Course. Chorleywood, Hertsfordshire, UK: Musicademy, 2009. Three video DVDs. $77.99. (LH)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

FW: The Kyrie for Eastertide

A Kyrie for Eastertide…


Posted on: Thursday, September 09, 2010 9:43 AM
Author: Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes)
Subject: The Kyrie for Eastertide


Here is my translation of the Kyrie for Eastertide (or from Easter to Pentecost) traditionally sung in many German Lutheran churches, and in America before the switch to English, when the wide adoption of the Common Service (or lowest common denominator service) left American Lutheran churches only one basic threefold Kyrie to be sung for the whole church year. The music comes from Spangenberg's cantional. It can be found in Lochner with harmony by Riegel.

Kyrie, God, of all things Father and Creator: Eleison!
Christè, who true God and Man was born, and borest for us men God's scorn: Eleison!
Kyrie, God, the Holy Ghost, one God with the Father and the Son: Eleison!
Kyrie, help us to keep the faith unswervingly, and adore only Thee, and Thy servants ever be: Eleison!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.


Kyrie, Gott aller Welt Schöpfer und Vater, Eleison!
Christe, wahrer Gott und Mensch geborn, der du für unst trugst Gottes Zorn, Eleison!
Kyrie, Gott, Heiliger Geist, mit Vater und Sohn Ein Gott, Eleison!
Kyrie, hilf uns, daß wir in solchem Glauben rein, dich anbeten allein, und bleiben Diener dein, Eleison!

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FW: Did Luther Endorse “Bar” Music for the Church? by Phillip Magness

Phil Magness answering an old rumor…


Feed: Steadfast Lutherans
Posted on: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 5:26 AM
Author: Pastor Tim Rossow
Subject: Did Luther Endorse "Bar" Music for the Church? by Phillip Magness


Editor's Note: Over on another string Ron Beck asked a great question about Luther and his musical reforms (comment #79). He asked:

I need your help. Will you explain for me the myth or the history about Luther using bar tunes for hymnody.

On that same string Phillip Magness, Cantor of Bethany Lutheran in Naperville, Illinois, and newly elected member of the LCMS Board for International Mission, responded with the following helpful answer that puts this myth to rest once and for all.

Ron, here's a very good answer to your question from Rev. Peter Berg, who posted this on the old "Motley Magpie" site a few years ago:

Myth: Luther used bar songs in his hymnody. Ergo it's permissible, even advantageous, to use popular forms of music in the church today. (Note: One of our esteemed editors recently visited the web site of a WELS congregation where the church's CCM group justified its existence based on the "fact" that Luther used bar songs.)

 Truth: Luther did not use bar songs but rather his own creations and the musical heritage of the church catholic. The term bar refers to the type of staff notation used in medieval musical composing*. Luther did wed one sacred text to a popular tune**but later regretted this dalliance with love ballads. The relatively new academic discipline called Sentics has demonstrated that music can independently generate two very different reactions and emotions, termed Dionysian and Apollonian. The first is emotive and turns one inward. It is self-gratifying and clearly anthropocentric. The second, while not denying the emotional impact of music, maintains control and gives room for the intellectual processing of the truth of the text. In the first type, the music dominates the text. In the second, the music is in service to the text.  Christian Contemporary Music, a bad clone of popular music, is clearly Dionysian. Luther called Dionysian music "carnal" and he wrote his music to wean people away from the love ballads of his day.

And now let me add two comments:

*The musical notation was simply a repeat sign, known in Luther's day as a "bar". Yes, believe it or not, some wacky American Lutherans saw Luther's reference to "barred music" in German and changed the repeat sign into a pub!  Why did Luther write positively about "bar(red) music"?  Because it describes the musical form A A B.  He thought that the repetition of the music of the first phrase would help in learning, and then the B phrase would give the balance of variety.  Hence, many chorales are written in this way.  The reason "bars" were used for notating this form was  used to save ink & paper.  Today we simply call these "repeat signs".  You see this even in 19th and early 20th-century hymnals: the music for the first line ends with a repeat sign, and then the second verse of the first stanza is written in.


First line of music (A)
Salvation unto us has come, by God's free grace and favor (repeat sign)
Good works cannot avert our doom, they help and save us never.

SECOND line of music (B)
Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone, who did for all the world atone; He is our one Redeemer.

**The one instance to which Rev. Berg refers is "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come".  It is critical to note that this exception proves the rule: the tune we sing to "From Heaven Above" (VON HIMMEL HOCH) is NOT the popular ballad Luther first used, but a "more churchly tune" of his construction that he wrote AFTER he realized that his hymn was going to be used in the church.   What happened was this:  he wrote the hymn as a Christmas gift for his children, using a tune that was a popular "guessing game" song used by masked suitors of the day.  The clever trick: change the "guessing game" from "who is courting you" to an angel playing the game of "Whose is this advent of which I proclaim?"  So it made sense to use the popular tune.  However, when others began singing the hymn, he quickly wrote, in his words, "a more churchly tune", so that it would be musically appropriate for the Divine Service.

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FW: The Second Major Revision of the first LCMS Hymnal (Part 1 cont.)

More (see previous post) from Matt Carver…


Posted on: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 3:19 PM
Author: Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes)
Subject: The Second Major Revision of the first LCMS Hymnal (Part 1 cont.)


1. Revision of the Hymn Information (cont.)

As the commission embarks upon the publication of its labors, it would make some preliminary remarks which are at the same time to be construed as suggestions: As far as concerns the method kept for indicating the first name of the hymnwriter, all the former, irregular abbreviations should be dropped. There is one hymnwriter, the founder and master of our hymnody, whose first name needs no indication. Under all of Luther hymns it should only read "Luther." The complete indication of multiple given names with many of the composers seemed superfluous to the commission. It was of the opinion that one given name sufficed, since every excess of this minimum impaired the image of the hymn, and that an added given name was only necessary to ensure an author's certification and prevent confusion with another writer of the same name. But in the process, it became clear that in many cases the second and third given name had become so connected to the writer that no thought could be given to cutting out the ostensibly superfluous names. These have therefore been left intact. The aliases, however, were not, since it appeared unnecessary to the commission to keep them under the hymn text, e.g.: "Gramann (Poliander)," "Bienemann (Melissander)," "von Birken (Betulius)," "Behm (Behem, Behemb, Bohemus)," and the like. The latinized names, as much as feasible, were dropped, and titles and dates of births and deaths, as well as alleged years of hymn composition, were omitted. The dating of hymns is doubtful in the majority of cases. Even Luther's hymns cannot all be dated. Of the 131 pieces written by Paul Gerhardt, an exact date can only be given for five, and these are occasional hymns. To provide the biographical dates would become monotonous in many cases; we would have to repeat them 36 times with Luther, 39 with Gerhardt, 32 with Heermann, and 11 times each with Rist and Olearius. What would be the purpose? All these omissions should be included in a special hymnwriter index in the hymnal appendix; that is their proper place. The index of authors would provide occupational titles, vocations, and personal details. Something characteristic of the hymnwriter could also be included there, e.g., his importance for the church or the Christian life; a famous saying of his, some excellent book of edification that he wrote, the circle in which he moved, etc. What a light is shed on, e.g., the hymn "Lasset uns mit Jesu ziehen" [Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus], when we learn that the writer was forced to flee Bohemia with his parents because of his faith, or when we hear that Fleming wrote his travel hymn "In allen meinen Taten" [In All My Plans, Thou Highest] as he set out on his journey to the Orient. Many would certainly be surprised to find out from the notes that our hymns were not only written by theologians, but that poets of various places and vocations in life enhance our church's history.

With thoses hymns referred to as adespota, because their authors are not yet determined, the hymnal or hymn collection will tell where the hymn first appeared in print. Original stanza as well as added stanzas will, as previously, be indicated. The spelling of a number of author's names was examined and corrected. With many hymns, a biblical connection appears before the author's name. This scripture reference is best placed before the hymn. The historical notes under the hymns have been kept as brief as possible. In order to save room, the hymns in the list here following are arranged according to number, not according to first line. For the sake of completeness, all the hymns in the list are given, including those not in need of correction:

1. Nikolaus Decius (?). Low German, 1525. 2. Josua Stegmann. 3. Erfurt 1611. 4. Gotha 1651. 5. Johann Olearius. 6. Hannover 1646; st. 13 from 1659. 7. Naumburg Order of Worship 1538. 3. Tobias Clausnitzer; st. 4, Berlin 1707. 9. Hartmann Schenk. 10. David Denicke, after Kornelius Becker; st. 7 from 1657. 11. Straßburg 1547. 12. Ludwig Öler. 13. Johann Rist. 14. Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer. I5. Luther. tr. of Sedulius' hymn, "A solis ortus cardine." 16. Johann Walther. 17. Transl. of the hymn, "Dies est laetitiae." (pre-reformation) 18. Christian Keimann. 19. Kornelius Freundt. 20. Paul Gerhardt. 21. Luther; st. 1 from 1370. 22. Michael Weiße. 23. Heinrich Held. 24. Elisabeth Creutziger. 26. Kaspar Ziegler. 26. Johann Gottfried Olearius. 27. Kaspar Friedrich Nachtenhöfer. 28. Dresden 1632. 29. Michael Weiße. 30. Nikolaus Herman. 31. Georg Weißel. 32. Michael Weiße. 33. Valentin Thilo the Elder; st. 4 ? 34. Rochlitz 1746. 35. Johann Olearius. 36. Luther. tr. of Ambrose' hymn, "Veni, redemptor gentium." 37. Hannover 1646; based on "In dulci jubilo" (ca. 1400.) 38. Philipp von Zesen. 39. Paul Gerhardt. 40. Paul Gerhardt. 41. Luther. 42. Luther. 43. Michael Weiße. 44. Paul Gerhardt. 45. Kaspar Füger. 46. Paul Gerhardt. 47. Johann Heermann. 48. Eisleben 1598. 49. Cyriakus Schneegaß. 50. Paul Eber; st. 7, Koburg 1649. 51. Cyriakus Schneegaß. 52. Johann Rist. 53. Salomo Liscow. 54. Paul Gerhardt. 55. Georg Werner. 56. Paul Gerhardt. 57. Martin Opitz. 58. Georg Weißel. 59. Martin Behm. 60. Luther. tr. of Sedulius' hymn, "Herodes, hostis impie." 61. Peter Hagen. 62. Johann Mylius. 63. Johann Olearius. 64. Johann Franck. 65. Luther. 66. Peter Hagen. 67. Johann Rist. 68. Johann Olearius. 69. Agnus Dei. Low German: Braunschweig KO 1528. 70. Hannover 1646. Based on Johann Böschenstain. 71. Ahasverus Fritzsch. 72. Johann Scheffler. Based on "Anima Christi sanctifica me." (Aus dem 14. Jahrhundert.) 73. Paul Gerhardt. 74. Plön 1647. 75. Johann Heermann. Nach Anselm von Ccmterbury. 76. Sigismund von Birken. 77. Hannover 1657. Nach Johann Heermann. 78. Gotha 1699. 79. Ernst Christoph Homburg. 80. Michel Bapzien. 81. Johann Kaspar Schade. 82. Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer. 83. Adam Thebesius. 84. Paul Gerhardt. Based on "Salve, caput cruentatum" by St. Bernard. 85. Martin Behm; st. 7: Kirchen- und Hausmusik. Breslau 1644. 86. Nikolaus Decius (?). Low German, 1531. 87. Dresden 1724. 88. Johann Rist; st. 1 Würzburg 1628. 89. Paul Gerhardt. 90. Johann Job. 91. Paul Gerhardt. Based on "Salve, mundi salutare," by St. Bernard. 92. Bayreuth 1663; st. 4 Altdorf 1699. 93. Salomo Franck. 94. Justus Gesenius. 95. Christoph Fischer. 96. From the 15th c. 97. Paul Gerhardt. 93. From the 13th c. 99. Luther. 100. Michael Weiße. 101. Georg Werner. 102. Bartholomäus Helder. 103. Nikolaus Herman. 104. Dresden 1731. 105. Johann Heermann. 106. Johann Niedling. 107. Kinderspiegel. Eisleben, 1591. 103. Johann Joachim Möller. 109. Kaspar Neumann. 110. Luther. 111. Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen. Berlin, 1653. 112. Justus Gesenius; after Georg Weitzel. 113. Paul Gerhardt. 114. Georg Reimann. 115. Plön 1674. 116. Ernst Christoph Homburg. 117. Ernst Sonnemann. 118. Johannes Zwick. 119. st. 1 from the 15th c. st. 2 from the 13th c. 120. Johann Rist. 121. Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer. 122. Erasmus Alber. 123. Prätorius' Musae Sioniae, 1607. 124. Friedrich Funcke. 125. Johann Niedling. 126. Leipzig 1733. Tr. of the hymn, Spiritus Sancti gratia. st. 3 ? 127. Leipzig 1673. Like 126. Long form. 128. Georg Werner. 129. Moritz Kramer, 130. Paul Gerhardt. 131. Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer. 132. Luther. tr. of "Veni Sancte Spiritus." 133. Kaspar Kantz' Evangelische Messe, 1522. Based on "Veni Sancte Spiritus." 134. Luther. st. 1 from the 15th c. 135. Heinrich Held. 136. Luther. st. 1 from the 13th c. 137. Johann Olearius (?). 138. Bartholomäus Ringwald. 139. Bartholomäus Helder. 140. Magdeburg 1738. After Michael Schirmer. 141. Paul Gerhardt. 142. Luther. 143. Luther. Based on "O lux beata Trinitas." From the 5th c. 144. Johann Olearius. 145. Luther. Based on the pilgrim's litany from the 15th c. 146. Darmstadt 1698. After Martin Rinckart. 147. Luther. 143. Georg Weitzel. 149. Justus Gesenius. 150. Paul Gerhardt. 151. Johann Gottfried Olearius. 152. Johann Heermann. 153. Bartholomäus Helder. 154. Fünf auserlesene geistliche Lieder. Marburg. 1535. st. 11–12, Gotha 1767. 155. Georg Reimann. 156. Paul Eber. After Philipp Melanchthon. 157. Justus Gesenius. 153. Luther. 159. Luther; st. 4. 5 Justus Jonas. 160. Hannover 1643; st. 11 Dresden 1724. 161. Anark zu Wildenfels. 162. Luther. 163. Johann Heermann. 164. Johann Christoph Arnschwanger. 165. Nürnberg 1611. After Nikolaus Selnecker. 166. Luther. 167. Apelles von Löwenstern. 163. Hans von Assig. 169. Andreas Gryphius. 170. Luther. 171. Luther. 172. Boh. Brethren, 1566. 173. Singende und klingende Berge, 1698. 174. Nikolaus Selnecker. st. 2. 3 Rudolstadt 1638. 175. Johann Heermann. 176. Johann Heermann. 177. Luther; st. 2: Das christlich Kinderlied, Wittenberg, 1566. 178. David Denicke. 179. Ludwig Helmbold. 180. Luther. 181. Luther. 182. David Denicke. 183. Luther. 184. Tobias Clausnitzer. 135. Luther. 186. Luther. 187. Paul Gerhardt. 188. Justus Gesenius. 189. Thomas Blaurer. 190. Benjamin Schmolck. 191. Hannover 1652. 192. Nikolaus Herman. 193. Nikolaus Selnecker. 194. Johann Rist. 195. Luther; st. 1 from the 15th c. 196. Ämilie Juliane, duchess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. 197. Samuel Kinner. 198. Johann Heermann. 199. Bernhard von Derschow. 200. Paul Gerhardt. 201. Rebenlein (Hamburg) 1674. 202. Friedrich Heider. 203. Gerhard Walther Molanus. 204. Johann Olearius. 205. Luther. 206. Johann Heermann. 207. Johann Rist. 208. Salomo Liscow. 209. Gotha 1648. 210. Johann Franck. 211. Samuel Zehner. 212. From Johann Groß' Gedenkpredigt, Jena. 1613. 213. Konrad Hubert. 214. Luther. 215. Johann Weidenheim (?). 216. Bartholomäus Ringwald. 217. Ahasverus Fritzsch. Based on the sequence "Dies Irae." 218. Christoph Tietze. 219. Johann Heermann. 220. Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen, Berlin. 1653. 221. Johann Rist. 222. Erdmann Neumeister. 223. Johann Heermann. 224. Laurentius Laurenti. 225. Martin Moller. After "Aufer immensam, Deus." 226. Königsberg 1643. 227. Chemnitz (city) 1759. 228. Johann Heermann. 229. Johann Heermann. 230. Johann Heermann. 231. Christian Weise. 232. Johann Olearius. 233. Bollhagen 1791. 234. Christian Ludwig Scheidt. 235. Johann Joachim Möller. 236. Lazarus Spengler. 237. Paul Sp3ratus. 238. Johann Rist. 239. Simon Dach. 240. Johann Andreas Rothe. 241. Erdmann Neumeister. 242. Leopold Franz Friedrich Lehr. 243. Luther. 244. David Denicke. 245. Georg Weitzel. 246. Johann Heermann; st. 6 Hannover 1646. 247. Benjamin Schmolck. 248. Paul Gerhardt. 249. Johann Heinrich Schröder. 250. Johann Schcffler. 251. Johann Franck. 252. Johann Flitner. 253. Ludämilie Elisabeth, duchess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. 254. Georg Linzner (?). 255. Christian Keimann. 256. Paul Gerhardt. After a prayer in Arndt's Paradiesgärtlein. 257. Johann Heermann. 258. Martin Moller. After "Jesu dulcis memoria," by St. Bernard. 259. Salomo Liscow. 260. Adam Drese. 261. Philipp Nicolai. 262. Wolfgang Christoph Dehler. 263. Salomo Franck. 264. Peter Lackmann. 265. Bartholomäus Crasselius. 266. Johann Friedrich Ruopp. 267. Benjamin Schmolck. 208. Kaspar Neumann. 269. Ludwig Andreas Gotter. 270. Caspar Bienemann. 271. Martin Schalling. 272. Johann Heermann. 273. Johann Agricola. 274. Paul Gerhardt. 275. Johann Olearius. 276.1530. 277. David Denicke; after Johann Heermann. 278. Sigismund von Birken. 279. Johann Burkhard Freystein. 280. Johann Scheffler. 231. Johann Hcermann. 282. Wilhelm Erasmus Arends. 283. Benjamin Prätorius. 284. Michael Franck. 285. Georg Michael Pfefferkorn. 236. Karl Friedrich Lochner (?). 287. Justus Gesenius (?) ; st. 7 Johann Heermann. 283. Johann Heermann; after St. Bernard. 289. Lüneburg 1661. 290. Paul Gerhardt. 291. Paul Gerhardt. 292. Hamburg 1592. 293. Johann Mühlmann. 294. Nikolaus Herman. 295. Praxis pietatis melica, Frankfurt, 1662. st. 3–6 Hannover 1646. 296. Johann Michael Dilherr. 297. Heinrich Albert. 293. Nikolaus Selnecker. 299. Martin Wandersleben. 300. Johann Kolrose. 301. Geistliche Lieder, Leipzig, 1586. st. 3 Christlich Gesangbüchlein, Hamburg. 1612. st. 10 Nordhaus 1686. 302. Johann Friedrich Möckel. 303. Martin Behm. 304. Paul Gerhardt. 305. Burkhard Wiesenmeyer. 306. Johann Eichorn's Hymnal, Frankfurt a. d. O., 1561. 302. Plön 1672. 303. Johann Heermann. 309. Ludwig Helmbold. 310. Erasmus Alber (?). 311. Levin Johann Schlicht. 312. Erasmus Alber. 313. Erfurt 1526, after "Christe, qui es dies." 314. Petrus Herbert. 315. Bodo von Hodenberg (?). 316. Kaspar Neumann. 317. Nikolaus Herman. 318. Johann Heermann. 319. Paul Gerhardt. 320. Johann Friedrich Herzog; st. 10 Leipzig 1693. 321. Johann Rist. 322. Ämilie Juliane duchess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. 323. Saubert (Nürnberg) 1676. 324. Morgen-und Abendsegen, Waldenburg, 1734. 325. Heilbronn 1719. 326. Johann Heinrich von Hippen. 327. Johann Olearius. 328. Luther; st. 6 Bucer's Hymnal 1545. 329. Paul Fleming. 330. Nikolaus Herman. 331. Benjamin Schmolck. 332. Christian Schmidt. 333. Fibel. 334. Gotha 1651. 335. Praxis pietatis melica, Frankfurt, 1693. 336. Ämilie Juliane, duchess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. 337. Luther. Transl. of ancient Te Deum. 338. Paul Gerhardt. 339. Paul Gerhardt. 340. Paul Gerhardt. 341. Joachim Neander. 342. Martin Moller. 343. Neue deutsche Liedlein by Antonio Scandelli, Nürnberg, 1568. 344. Praxis pietatis melica, 1664. 345. Dresden 1724. 346. Martin Rinckart. 347. Paul Gerhardt. 348. Johann Gramann; st. 5 from 1569. 349. Johann Mentzer. 350. Johann Jakob Schütz. 351. Paul Gerhardt. 352. Martin Moller. 353. Johann Heune. 354. Geistlich Gesangbuch of Vulpius. Jena, 1609. 355. Paul Gerhardt. 356. Ernst Stockmann. 357. Chemnitz (city) 1759. 358. Hävecker's Kirchenecho, 1695. 359. Johann Friedrich Zihn. 360. Hannover 1657. After Freder's hymnic litany. 361. Johann Mathesius. 362. Martin Moller. 363. Freylinghausen 1714. 364. Salomo Franck. 365. Adam Reusner; st. 7 Kornelius Becker. 366. Paul Gerhardt. 367. Geistliche Lieder und Psalmen. Erfurt. 1611. 363. Luther. after the Latin. 369. Kaspar Schade. 370. Paul Gerhardt. 371. Christoph Tietze. 372. Ludämilie Elisabeth, duchess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. 373. Johann Heermann. 374. Ludwig Helmbold. 375. Paul Gerhardt. 376. Samuel Rodigast. 377. Nürnberg, ca. 1554. 373. Johann Heermann. 379. Paul Gerhardt. 380. Johann Olearius. 381. Joachim Magdeburg; st. 2.3 Harmonia, Leipzig, 1597. 382. Georg Neumark. 383. Lampertus Gedicke. 384. Johann Heermann. 385. Johann Heermann. 386. Das geistliche Antidotum, Berlin, 1583. 337. Paul Eber. 333. Cyriakus Schneegaß. 389. Lutherisches Handbüchlein, Altenburg, 1655. 390. Johann Heermann. 391. Johann Olearius. 392. Ämilie Juliane, Gräfin von Schwarzburg-Rudolftadt. 393. Johann Saubert der Jüngere. 394. Ludämilie Elisabeth, Gräfin von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. 395. Greifswald 1592. 396. Hannover 1646. 397. Johann Georg Albinus (?). Johannes Rosenmüller (?). 398. Salomo Liscow. 399. Luther. 400. Geistlich Gesangbuch. Jena. 1609. st. 8 ? 401. Paul Gerhardt. 402. Bartholomäus Fröhlich. 403. Franz Joachim Burmeister. 404. Begräbnisgesänge, Freiberg, 1620. 405. Johann Heermann. 406., 407. Paul Eber. 408. Geistliche Lieder. Frankfurt a. d. O. 1561. After Prudentius. 409. Paul Gerhardt. 410. Simon Dach. 411. Begräbnisgesänge, Freiberg, 1620. 412. Leipzig 1633. 413. Johann Heermann. 414. Kornelius Becker. 415. Gotha 1643. 416. Luther; st. 1 pre-reform., after the chant by Notker Balbulus, "Media vita in morte sumus." 417. Michael Weihe; st. 8 Magdeburg 1540. Responses: Georg Neumark. 418. Michael Schirmer. 419. Paul Gerhardt. 420. Nikolaus Selnecker. 421. Johann Heermann. 422. Johann Quirsfeld. 423. Nürnberg, ca. 1555. 424. Simon Dach. Responses: Paul Pfeffer. 425. Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer. 426. Valerius Herberger. 427. Christoph Tietze. 423. Nikolaus Herman; st. 5 Bonn 1575. 429. Ämilie Juliane, duchess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. 430. Zacharias Hermann. 431. Nikolaus Herman. 432. Paul Gerhardt. 433. Bartholomäus Ringwald; after "Dies irae," 434. Johann Rist; st. 17 Valentin Ernst Löscher. 435. Heinrich Albert. 436. Philipp Nicolai. 437. Simon Dach. 438. Justus Jonas. 439. Anmutiger Blumenkranz 1712. 440. Michael Weiße. 441. Johann Daniel Herrnschmidt. 443. Johann Matthäus Meyfart.

The Commission on the Hymnal:

A. Crull.
O. Hattstädt.
J. Schlerf.

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FW: The Second Major Revision of the first LCMS Hymnal (Part 1)

An interesting translation project by Matt Carver…


Posted on: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 3:18 PM
Author: Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes)
Subject: The Second Major Revision of the first LCMS Hymnal (Part 1)


The Second Major Revision of the St. Louis Hymnal.
Compiled and translated by Matthew Carver, 2010.

I. Revision of the Hymn Information.

When more than sixty years ago the fathers of our synod, constrained by their circumstances, embarked upon the publication of a new hymnal, it was their intent to adopt the hymns in their original form. For the textual versions they resorted to the old hymnals, predominantly those of Saxony which came out before the age of hymn decadence, which they had previously used in their divine services, and which they assumed to contain authentic exemplars. Since it was a foregone conclusion among them not to change the form of a hymn, the hymns were adopted in the version as they found them. But in 1863, when the St. Louis parish, erstwhile owner of the hymnal, offered it to the synod as a gift, it was recognized that the hymnal was in need of revision, "since in the current edition," as it says in the corresponding synodical report, "there are not only many typographical errors, but also errors in respect to the text as well as in the ascription of authors, as new hymnological research has shown." And since the St. Louis parish, well aware that a revision would be brought forward, in transferring the rights of the hymnal included in their stipulations no hindrances to that, but only specified that in future revisions the hymns should not be changed counter to the author's original text," the synod in assembly resolved to revise the text and hymnological notation under the hymns wherever necessary.

That first revision, however, cannot be regarded as final, since at the time the latest sources for many hymns could not yet be attested, and instead old hymnals were resorted to. Not until the 'sixties were the sources of hymn composition of all ages developed in widest scope. At that time libraries also began to make their great treasuries of hymn collections available to hymnologists so that they were able to gain access to the original texts in their first printings or documentarily authenticated reprints. As a result, the means of assistance in the field are now far more plentiful at present than fifty years ago when our hymnal was revised. In time Philipp Wackernagel, the greatest hymnologist in the century of hymnology, stepped onto the plain with his monumental work, Das deutsche Kirchenlied von den ältesten Zeiten an bis zu Anfang des 17. Jahrhunderts. He was followed by Fischer with his Kirchenliederlexikon and his not yet completed work, Das Kirchenlied des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts, not to mention many other works which all contributed their part. The Hymns of our church can be reproduced in original fidelity. These men have brought a great deal of valuable material to light, long perpetuated errors were corrected by them, and new information given, so that the purity of the text can now be guaranteed to a much higher degree than half a century ago.

From the decision of our synod in 1863 to undertake a revision of the hymnal, it was recognized that it should be done so as to bring the hymns ever closer to their original form, and that they acknowledged and esteemed the research in the historical arena. The fact that our hymnal still has many imprecise renderings despite that revision, and is therefore out of date, finds its explanation—and excuse—in the former state of hymnological science, as stated above. What is said concerning the outdatedness of our hymnal in connection to the text form applies even more so to the historical and biographical apparatus under the hymns.

Having been notified of the outdatedness of our hymnal, the delegate synod that convened this year in Fort Wayne appointed a commission on the hymnal assigned the task of presenting at the next synod specific suggestions in connection to the revision of our hymnal at the next, and before that to publish them in Lehre und Wehre. According to the synod's instructions, the commission's task is to [1] begin with the hymnological notes, [2] be continued with the exact indication of melody, the correction of the punctuation, and expansion of hymn content, and [3] be concluded, where necessary, with the restoration of the original text. For the expansion of the hymn content and the revision of the text, the commission is to be guided by the stipulations laid down in the transferral of the rights of the hymnal in 1863. In the announcement of transferral, these read: "In order that said synod might provide for the further editions of indicated hymnal, and that no hymn already present therein might be omitted or altered counter to the author's original text, and that it might be enriched only with hymns wholly free of suspicion and recognized as pure by the collective evangelical Lutheran church faithful to her confession…."

Lehre und Wehre Vol. 54. 1908. (p. 354.)

Continued in another post.

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FW: Not Starting with a Blank Slate

Pr. Peters, again…


Feed: Pastoral Meanderings
Posted on: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 9:55 PM
Author: Pastor Peters
Subject: Not Starting with a Blank Slate


Tabula rasa.  There are those who would believe that the Church is a blank slate to be written on by each age and generation as it deems needful or helpful.  In classic terms it means that knowledge comes from experience and perception.  In Church terms, it means that every age and place will come up with definitions of what is to be believed about God and how He is to be worshiped.  Okay.  Maybe it is not quite that crass.  But it is close.  Maybe no one actually believes that every age and place starts completely from scratch.  I do think, however, that many do tend to begin with fewer givens, fewer essentials, and fewer non-negotiables.  And this, to me, is scary.

We are a Church of the Word made flesh in a given place, at a given time.  We believe in the Christ of history whom God has made known as His very own Son.  We believe Scripture to be a book rooted in history and historical fact.  The Gospel is not an idea which each generation reshapes to make its own.  The Gospel is that this Jesus became flesh and blood, the Son of God incarnate, to suffer and die in our place on a cross that was made by us and for us, and to rise again that death may not claim us but life is ours forever.  Jesus insists that this Gospel is fact, history, and concrete reality.

But when it comes to God, its seems impossible for us NOT to redefine God or to reshape His Word and the Gospel to fit our own presuppositions and parameters.  In other words, we do not have a Jesus Christ who is yesterday, today and forever the same but a Jesus who is only the same for a moment and then becomes someone new and different as we need or as we shape Him.

The world may enjoy this a bit but it certainly does not need such a God or such worship.  It may be entertaining for a moment or even comforting for a moment, but the world does not need such religion that has to be or allows itself to be reinvented every age and in every place.  And that is why those who insist upon redefining the Church and worship have to be ahead of every trend or they are but a moment away from being out of date or irrelevant.  The Church that is moved by such fear cannot confess the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ for this Gospel confronts and casts out such fear.  Its greatest comfort to us is that it is not something subject to reinvention or redefinition by us but is revealed by the Father by the work of the Spirit, the once for all sacrificial death and life-giving resurrection which is applied to each and every moment but which, itself, remains forever the same.

So it is with great sadness that I read of so many "contemporary" worship congregations where staff and committee must begin each Monday with a blank sheet of paper to decide how to confess this God and how to worship Him next Sunday.  What we do in the name of relevance is, in reality, the height of irrelevance to a world confronted by every kind of change yet in search of Him who changes not.

Language changes and so how we speak this Gospel can and does change... Music changes and musical forms in the liturgy may change and adapt.  But the Gospel itself dare not change and the word lifted up by that music must not change.  We cannot afford to stake our claim on one particular period in history and attempt to recreate that moment in time but neither can we afford to disdain what has come before and re-write the creeds and begin each Sunday with a blank sheet of paper.  In reality, we worship not the God who is forever the same but ourselves -- and we are never the same but always changing. 

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FW: What Church Will We Be?

Strongly, yet gently said…


Feed: Pastoral Meanderings
Posted on: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 7:51 PM
Author: Pastor Peters
Subject: What Church Will We Be?


The tension over what church we will be is not an academic one.  It is the battle for the heart and soul of Lutheranism.  It is played out in Seminary classrooms, in Sanctuaries across the Synod, in catechism classrooms, in choir rehearsal rooms, and in Pastor's Offices.  The other day I read something which made me sad.  It seems that the battle is not only being waged but lost in some of those places. Concordia, Seward, is looking to sell the pipe organ in their chapel rather than repair it and return it to its former glory.  Concordia, Bronxville, has dropped the church music program entirely.  Concordia, Austin, uses a praise band almost exclusively in the campus worship life.  And now Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, seems to have joined the bandwagon for praise bands.

According to an email from a friend, the September 3 campus news included an announcement seeking people who play instruments for a chapel band, aka praise band.  Streamers as banners are a matter of aesthetics -- personally I think they are kind of 1970s cool but, well, we can agree to disagree.  Apparently streamers are not enough, now Dean of Chapel Burreson seems to be taking this a step further -- past aesthetics and toward a diversity I do not welcome.  I guess there is a difference between Ft. Wayne and St. Louis -- but not the one people have been thinking about for some years.

The whole point of the church music at a Seminary campus is to model the best of Lutheran liturgical and confessional identity.  I am sorry, but singing "Shine, Jesus Shine" or "I Just Want to Worship" is not the best of Lutheran liturgical and confessional identity.  If anything, it is a capitulation to those who think that the music and hymnody of worship does not need to reflect the confessional identity and doctrinal stance of a church.  It may well be that some District Presidents and some parishes complain that their Seminary candidates do not seem to know enough about contemporary Christian music.  It may well be that some Seminarians hide their affection CCM until they are set free from the constraints of Seminary to do as they please in the parish.  It may well be that this is a debate within the LCMS.  I know all the reasons why an occasional praise band might not be so far out for a Seminary but they are all wrong in my book.  Nothing justifies choosing the expedient over the orthodox Lutheran identity within the worship setting.  Seminaries should not be training Pastors for the average parish but to lead parishes to a higher level of Lutheran identity and practice on Sunday morning. 

I am sad for this choice and for the choices of other LCMS schools who have reshaped their programs and chapel life for the broad path of diversity instead of being incubators for all that Lutheran worship can and should be... So don't expect my check for the joint seminary fund this year... it will go to Ft. Wayne exclusively...

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FW: Presbyterians: We are one

A positive development to productively resolve the worship "wars"?


Consider the details for yourself…


Feed: PrayTellBlog
Posted on: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 9:37 AM
Author: Editor
Subject: Presbyterians: We are one


A Florida megachurch has ended musical style-segregated worship. Hats off to Coral Ridge Presbyterian!

"The church should be breaking down walls, not erecting them. God intends the church to be demonstrating what community looks like when God's reconciling power is at work. … [A]ccording to the Bible, the church is an all-age community. … The only way to musically communicate God's timeless activity in the life of the church is to blend the best of the past with the best of the present. … The gospel revolution at Coral Ridge continues!"

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Monday, September 6, 2010

FW: Sharing the Peace



Feed: Pastoral Meanderings
Posted on: Monday, September 06, 2010 8:06 PM
Author: Pastor Peters
Subject: Sharing the Peace


It is not uncommon for some folks to complain about the sharing of the peace.  It is especially the case for those who complain about the "new" services and bemoan the loss of The Lutheran Hymnal.  I have personally introduced the sharing of the peace in two congregations which had a history of conflict and neither were fond of the idea of sharing the peace -- perhaps most of all because they knew what this ritual actually meant.  I am somewhat sympathetic of those who feel like certain placements of this exchange of peace disrupt the flow of the liturgy and distract from what is happening but this is easily rectified.

I learned from my friend and mentor the Rev. Charles Evanson to place the exchange of peace following the absolution prior to the actual start of the liturgy.  In reality, I prefer this placement not only for aesthetic reasons but also for theological ones.  I understand why it is placed prior to the offering (given the words of our Lord in Luke's Gospel about leaving your gift at the altar and going to make peace with your brother first).  I can understand why it is placed following the Pax Domini since both are about people (although I do not equate the peace of the Lord spoken while lifting up the chalice and host with the handshaking and hugging we associate with the sharing of the peace).  In both places the flow of the liturgy does seem to be disrupted by the practical aspects of standing up and moving around for the sharing of the peace.

For this reason I prefer the placement immediately after the absolution.  It fits.  We have just received absolution from the Father through Jesus Christ and now we have the opportunity to share what God has given us in Christ with those around us, signaling that we are not merely people of vertical relationships but horizontal ones as well.  So, following the absolution I say "May He who began this good work within us bring it to completion on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."  To which the people responds, "Amen." and I continue, "The Peace of the Lord be with you." and they respond, "And also with you."  Then we share the sign of peace one with another, connecting our absolution from God to our relationships together as His people.  That completed, we are now free to begin the Divine Service.  The preparation is over.  The liturgy may begin unimpeded by the sins which built a wall between us and God and between each of us on earth.

As the organist intones the Introit, Kyrie, and Hymn of Prace (the extended entrance rite), we complete our sharing of the peace and move naturally to the beginning rite of the Divine Service.  It just fits.  So much more natural than at the end of the prayers or the Pax Domini of the Eucharistic Liturgy.  Think about it... I really do not know why to move it to another place. It is natural and less obtrusive to folks than stuck there at the end of the prayers or as the last versicle and response prior to receiving the Lord's Supper.

And I found fewer folks complaining about this ritual since it connects so well to the confession and absolution.  So it is an easy introduction to the Divine Service and much easier for folks to understand... what do YOU think?

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FW: Life Together -- The Church and The Psalms

From Al Collver…


Feed: The ABC3s of Miscellany
Posted on: Monday, September 06, 2010 10:07 AM
Author: ABC3+
Subject: Life Together -- The Church and The Psalms


This weekend, I have been reading Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 5) originally published by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1939 as a way to get a handle on koinōnía. The Greek word koinōnía usually is translated as "fellowship" in English or Gemeinschaft in German. Dr. Norman Nagel used to say in his lectures on church fellowship, "The Gemeinde (the congregation) got schaft-ed." The words church and fellowship can be slippery or etherial unless it is grounded in Christ ("wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church," Ignatius, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans, Chapter 8.)

Each age brings certain doctrinal issues to the forefront. One issue confronted by Bonhoeffer, Sasse, Elert, et al. was the doctrine of the church. Under Nazism, the church in Germany appeared to be on the verge of vanishing. The Prussian Union provided the seedbed for the creation of Nazi Germany. Pockets of resistance sprouted -- some more or less Lutheran. Karl Barth's dialectical theology influenced both Bonhoeffer and Sasse -- Bonhoeffer more and Sasse less. Both read Luther. For a time, Bonhoeffer and Sasse partnered (were co-authors) of the Bethel Confession. Karl Barth felt the Bethel Confession was too Lutheran and not Protestant enough. In the editing process, Bonhoeffer and Sasse parted company, with Bonhoeffer becoming closer to Karl Barth. Bonhoeffer accused Sasse of having a "confessional formalism," while Sasse accused Bonhoeffer of being a "fanatic." It is important to recognize the circumstances that prompted these writings.

Overall, Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 5) is a edifying book, but there are places where Sasse's accusation that Bonhoeffer is a "fanatic" is evidenced. Bonhoeffer writes in Life Together, "The Christ in their own hearts is weaker than the Christ in the word of other Christians. Their own hearts are uncertain; those of their bothers and sisters are sure. At the same time, this also clarifies that the goal of all Christian community is to encounter one another as bringers of the message of salvation." In this passage, Bonhoeffer mixes truth and error in a "fanatical" way (as stated by Sasse). It is true that "Christ in their own hearts is weaker" than Christ given in the Word of God. It also is true the "message of salvation" is delivered through the means of the church -- preaching, etc. Where Bonhoeffer errs is in his connection of the Gospel comes extra nos (outside of ourselves) as found in the community of believers. Once again I reminded of Dr. Norman Nagel stating, "The church is a pretty wobbly foundation on which to build salvation." Statements like this and others are what led Sasse to call Bonhoeffer a fanatic. Life Together cannot be read uncritically.

On the positive side of "community," in an age questioning the need for residential seminary education due to cost, practicality, family, etc. and the promotion of alternative routes and distance education (of which as an exception is needed so long as the exception does not become the norm), Bonhoeffer has some insight. "Before their ordination young seminarians receive the gift of a common life with their brothers for a certain length of time." Bonhoeffer gets it here. I suppose unless you have experienced a "seminary community" in study, you will not be able to value it or see it as necessary to the formation process. The community formed at a residential seminary program certainly contributes to future harmony within a church body.

Bonhoeffer also hits the mark when he says, "Christian community means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ. There is no Christian community that is more than this, and none that is less than this... We belong to one another only through and in Jesus Christ." This is a variation on the Ignatius quotation given above, "Where Christ is, there is the church." 

Bonhoeffer goes on to speak how some who enter the Christian community have an idealistic view of how Christians live together. When evil manifests itself in the community or the rapturous dreamlike euphoria of the community comes to an end -- Bonhoeffer believes these moments are gifts of God for the community, not necessary for its existence but little gifts -- some become disillusioned with the community. He says that these "blissful experiences and exalted moods" by God's grace do not last long so we can learn genuine Christian community. Then he notes, "For God is not a God of emotionalism, but the God of truth." It seems that Bonhoeffer himself recognized some of his comments could lead to "fanaticism." 

The greatest impact this book had on me as a young seminarian was Bonhoeffer's connecting the Psalms to Jesus. He writes, "The Psalter is the prayer book of Jesus Christ in the truest sense of the word. He prayed the Psalter, and now it has become his prayer for all time." Jesus prays the Psalms. Luther had this notion but it did not come clear for me until I read Bonhoeffer in my 2nd year of seminary. Bonhoeffer actually deals with the Psalms as the prayer of Christ in more detail in The Prayerbook of the Bible (a book I never learned about at seminary).

Bonhoeffer goes on to suggest the congregation is the mouthpiece through which Jesus prays the Psalms. He writes, "Jesus Christ prays the Psalter in his congregation. His congregation prays too, and even the individual prays." The imprecatory Psalms frequently are a challenge for Christians today. How do you pray Psalm 58? "The wicked are estranged from the womb ... O God, break the teeth in their mouths... Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime ... The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. Mankind will say, 'Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth.'" 

Bonhoeffer seems to have difficulty applying this to the Nazis. But he does offer a way that these are prayed today. "This prayer belongs not to the individual member, but to the whole body of Christ. All the things of which the Psalter speaks, which individuals can never fully comprehend and call their own, live only in the whole Christ. That is why the prayer of the Psalms belongs in the community in a special way. Even if a verse or a psalm is not my own prayer, it is nevertheless the prayer of another member of the community; and it is quite certainly the prayer of the truly human Jesus Christ and his body on earth."

Bonhoeffer has a good insight in that Christ continues to pray the Psalms through his church. He sees the church, the communion of saints, praying the Psalms together. While you might not be able to pray Psalm 59 because your circumstances are not such, someone else in the body of Christ is under such circumstances. When you pray Psalm 59, you then pray it not for yourself, but Christ prays using you as his mouth piece for someone else. Bonhoeffer certainly captures a portrait great cloud of witnesses where the church on heaven and earth prays. While Bonhoeffer does not deny that a Christian can pray an imprecatory Psalm, he cautions against it as we are "sinners and associate evil thoughts with the prayer of vengeance." True enough. Part of praying boldly is to pray these Words of Christ -- this is something we do not do often enough. Overall, Bonhoeffer's insights on the Psalter being the Prayer of Christ is helpful.

This particular edition is a translation of the critical edition of Bonhoeffer's works from the German. Coming from Augsburg Fortress Publishing house, the translation is annoying for its use of the NRSV and gender neutral language -- I seriously doubt "gender neutral" considerations were on Bonhoeffer's mind in Nazi Germany.

Some thoughts on Life Together on Labor Day.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

FW: Sasse on Prayer and Repentance

From the blog of the new LCMS President…


Feed: Mercy Journeys with Pastor Harrison
Posted on: Sunday, September 05, 2010 7:57 PM
Author: Rev. Matt Harrison
Subject: Sasse on Prayer and Repentance


The great danger of the church of all ages is that she preaches repentance to the world and at the same time becomes a castaway, because she forgets that all true repentance must begin at the house of God, with the repentance of the church. Here too there is no difference between the Catholic Churches which from principle do not repent and the evangelical churches whcih do not repent in practice. We are so accustomed to seeing church politics hold primacy in the church that we erroneously expect that a change in church politics must bring forth a new day in history.


But if we have such expectations, then we should learn from church history that up to now every new day in the Church of Christ has begun with a movement of repentance. Christianity itself once entered world history as a mighty movement of repentance. It was as a movement of repentance that in antiquity it conquered the ancient world and then in modern times (the so-called "Great Contrition") the people of our day. And when at Constantine's time the masses began to stream into the church for more or less external reasons, the cloisters became the centers of repentance. Every new epoch in the Middle Ages began with a movement of repentance, and the Reformation with Luther's first thesis and the saving message of the justification of the sinner through faith alone, is the greatest example in the history of the church for this truth.


At that time people didn't yet believe that the world could be renewed by world conferences. We believe that by conferences and organizations, by pronouncements and radio speeches we can spare ourselves the bitter way of sorrows of contrition and repentance,—until God's mighty hand one day will also crush those means and teach us that the church lives by the Means of Grace, by nothing else, and that her life is expressed solely and only in this that she becomes a praying church again, as she was in the days of the apostles. Then it was said of her: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in the prayers" (Acts 2:42). "And fear came upon every soul" is said of this praying congregation.


Fear has not come upon one single soul because of Amsterdam, Bethel, and Leipzig, because of the Ecumenical Council of Churches, the EKiD and the VELKD, and not because of the college of cardinals either. For only the praying church which moves heaven and earth with her prayer, even when outwardly she has to go down in defeat in the process, could and might effect truly world-shaking changes in this century. The praying church, which we do not want to confound with the church of liturgical scholars, is a power which shakes the social and political world of our century, because in her and in her alone He is present unto whom all power in heaven and earth is given. The life of the Lutheran Church in this century depends on whether she again will become a praying church in the sense of Luther and of the Lutheran Reformation.


Hermann Sasse, Letters to Lutheran Pastors V, Ecclesia Orans.

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FW: Kliefoth (1810-1895) on "Sacramental and Sacrificial"

On Kliefoth…


Feed: Mercy Journeys with Pastor Harrison
Posted on: Sunday, September 05, 2010 7:45 AM
Author: Rev. Matt Harrison
Subject: Kliefoth (1810-1895) on "Sacramental and Sacrificial"


More than any other Lutheran liturgical scholar of the nineteenth century Kliefoth expounded and popularized the liturgical distinction between the sacramental and sacrificial moments in the divine service. This distinction that had first been enunciated by Melanchthon in the Apology (xxiv, 69-77) was developed by Kliefoth and used as a key to the divine-human interaction of the liturgy in Lutheran terms. In the sacramental side of the divine service the Triune God acted on the congregation and gave out his gifts to those who assembled in his presence; in the sacrificial side of the divine service the congregation responded to God's giving of himself and his gifts by presenting its offerings to him. It brought its Spirit-produced, God-pleasing sacrifices to God the Father in prayer and praise, confession and thanksgiving, the giving of gifts and self-giving love for the people of God. The two sides belong together. They coexist in the liturgy. Yet the sacrificial reaction depends on the sacramental action and is empowered by it. The proper balance between these two is upset by the Roman Catholic Church with its teaching on the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice as well as by the Reformed churches with their teaching on the Lord's Supper as an Eucharistic offering. He also warns against two common misunderstandings of this distinction in Lutheran circles. On the one hand, even though the sacramental function of the divine service may be distinguished from its sacrificial function, they cannot ever be separated. They often occur simultaneously, like the preaching of the word and the faithful hearing of it, for, as Melanchthon had already noted (Ap xxiv, 75), the same ritual act can have more than one purpose. On the other hand, the sacramental function of the service is not performed exclusively by the pastor, nor is the sacrificial function performed only by the congregation. Thus the members of the congregation act sacramentally when they proclaim God's word to each other communally in sacred song. Likewise the pastor acts sacrificially when he leads the congregation in prayer. Even though Kliefoth argued passionately for the priority of God's giving in the divine service, much of his work was, in fact, devoted to the promotion of God-pleasing sacrifices in the main service as well as in all the minor services.

John Kleinig, "The Liturgical Heritage of Theodor Kliefoth." In J. Bart Day and others (eds), Lord Jesus Christ, Will You Not Stay. Essays in Honor of Ronald Feuerhahn on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday. The Feuerhahn Festschrift Committee: Houston, 2002, 105-120.


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