Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FW: The Divine Service in Wittenberg, Electoral Saxony


On Divine Service…



Feed: Gnesio
Posted on: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 5:49 AM
Author: driley
Subject: The Divine Service in Wittenberg, Electoral Saxony


As Described by Wolfgang Musculus in 1536

At the seventh hour we returned to the city church and observed by which rite they celebrated the liturgy; namely thus: First, the Introit was played on the organ, accompanied by the choir in Latin, as in the [Catholic] mass offering. Indeed, the minister meanwhile proceeded from the sacristy dressed sacrificially [i.e. in mass vestments] and, kneeling before the altar, made his confession together with the assisting sacristan. After the confession he ascended to the altar to the book that was located on the right side, according to papist custom. After the Introit the organ was played and the Kyrie eleison sung in alternation by the boys. When it was done the minister sang Gloria in excelsis, which song was completed in alternation by the organ and choir. Thereafter the minister at the altar sang Dominus vobiscum ["The Lord be with you"], the choir responding Et cum spiritu tuo ["And with your spirit"]. The Collect for that day followed in Latin, then he sang the Epistle in Latin, after which the organ was played, the choir following with Herr Gott Vater, wohn uns bei ["God the Father, Be our Stay"]. When it was done the Gospel for that Sunday was sung by the minister in Latin on the left side of the altar, as is the custom of the adherents of the pope. After this the organ played, and the choir followed with Wir glauben all an einen Gott ["We All Believe in One True God"]. After this song came the sermon, …delivered on the Gospel for that Sunday…

After the sermon the choir sang Da pacem domine ["Give Peace, O Lord"], followed by the prayer for peace by the minister at the altar, this in Latin as well. The communion followed, which the minister began with the Lord's Prayer sung in German. Then he sang the Words of the Supper, and these in German with his back turned toward the people: first those of the bread, which, when the words had been offered, he then elevated to the sounding of bells; likewise with the chalice, which he also elevated to the sounding of bells. Immediately communion was held. … During the communion the Agnus Dei was sung in Latin. The minister served the bread in common dress [i.e. in a black robe or cassock] but [he served] the chalice dressed
sacrificially [i.e. in mass vestments]. They followed the singing of the Agnus Dei with a German song: Jesus Christus [unser Heiland] ["Christ, Who Freed our Souls from Danger"] and Gott sei gelobet [O Lord, We Praise Thee"]. … The minister ended the communion with a certain thanksgiving sung in German. He followed this, facing the people, with the benediction, singing "The Lord make his face to shine on you," etc. And thus was the mass ended.

(Joseph Herl, Worship Wars in Early Lutheranism [New York: Oxford University Press, 2004], pp. 195-96)

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