Liturgical Beauty

We normally sings the Psalms unaccompanied in the chapel at the seminary. There is great beauty in this with the entire congregation singing in unison. What makes it even better is the Gloria Patri at the end. There is always a change in volume as a large portion of the congregation bows its head reverencing the Holy Trinity and then an increase in volume as the words “as it was in the beginning” are said.

Pure beauty.


Liturgical Observation: Stand or Rise?

Just a little observation:

If you choose to give audible rubrics (which I don’t recommend as they distract from the liturgy) remember this: bread rises and people stand.  

Thoughts on Lutheran Service Builder

First off, I’m not trying to knock CPH, the Commission on Worship, or the developers of Lutheran Service Builder, because I think all of them together have done an excellent job in the development of the hymnal and the software. Through my fieldwork congregation I’ve had the opportunity to work with the software and it is excellent, minus some small glitches which are obviously being corrected in updates.

My concern is that this software fosters in some pastors a “cut and paste” mentality. With the click of a button a pastor can quickly mash together any number of elements from any number of services. A service I recently attended included portions of DS 4, DS 3, and DS 1/2. This is done on a regular basis. What good does such mixing do?

My other problem with the software is in the printing of the liturgy. While I can see the use of printing the liturgy on certain occasions, I fail to see the value in printing the complete liturgy every week. I think that it discourages people from using and exploring the hymnal and also is a waste of paper. I do think it is fine to print an outline of the service (the bulletins with the extra tab on the side work really well for this!). This, combined with the ease of use of Lutheran Service Book makes the services quite easy to navigate.

I would like to hear some response to this… I’m open to arguments for or against…

Hymn Scripture Reference

Has anyone else noticed that in Lutheran Service Book (LSB) the reference to the Apocrypha was removed from the hymn, Now Thank We All Our God (LSB: 895, TLH: 36).

In The Lutheran Hymnal the scripture reference given is Ecclesiasticus 50:2: “Now therefore bless ye the God of all, which only doeth wondrous things everywhere, which exalteth our days to His mercy. He grant us joyfulness of heart, and that peace may be in our days in Israel forever: that he would confirm his mercy with us, and deliver us at his time!”

However, it appears those that worked on the hymnody for LSB dropped the Apocrypha for references such as Psalm 107:21-22, Ephesians 5:19; Psalm 105:1-2, and Psalm 37:5-6, 39-40. My question is… why drop the reference? Anybody have any answers…. aside from what some will say… “too Catholic.”

Conduct of the Service

From: Cyberstones

The new edition of The Conduct of the Service is now available. The book contains Piepkorn’s pamphlet from 1965, McClean’s expansion from 1972, and the actual rubrics themselves from The Lutheran Liturgy. This is an essential volume for the Lutheran pastor and all students of the Liturgy. Go to the link above and you can see how to purchase it from Reedemer Press using Paypal. I highly recomend this book. I have used the previous reprint and I must say this one looks much better! (I am slightly biased… Since I helped proofread this copy).

What are you waiting for… go buy it!