Sunday, January 23, 2011

FW: Lutheran Worship in the American Context

On contextual worship…


Feed: Gnesio
Posted on: Saturday, January 22, 2011 9:38 PM
Author: driley
Subject: Lutheran Worship in the American Context


Commentary by August L. Graebner

It appears to be our duty to aid in spreading a knowledge of the rich treasures of our Lutheran Church among those in our country who are unacquainted with German. A good liturgy, the beautiful Lutheran service, form part of those treasures. Church usages, except in the case when the confession of a divine truth is required, are indeed adiaphora. But they are nevertheless not without an importance of their own. Congregations that adopt the church usages of the sects that surround them will be likely to conform to their doctrines more easily and quickly than those that retain their Lutheran ceremonies. We should in Lutheran services, also when held in the English language, as much as possible use the old Lutheran forms, even if they are said to be antiquated and not suitable in this country. We will mention here the words of a pious Lutheran duchess, Elisabeth Magdalena of Brunswick-Lueneburg. Her court-chaplain Prunner relates as follows: "Although her ladyship well knew that the ceremonies and purposes of this chapter (at which Prunner officiated) must have appeared to some to be, and were even said by some people to be, 'Popery,' she still remembered the instructions which the dear, venerable man, Luther, had once given to her father concerning such ceremonies. I remember in particular that her ladyship several times told me that she did not desire at these present times to begin discontinuing any of these church usages, since she hoped that so long as such ceremonies continued, Calvinistic temerity would be held back from the public office of the church."

("Review of Church Liturgy for Evangelical Lutheran Congregations of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession," Saint Louis Theological Quarterly, August 1881, pp. 77-78)


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