Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What the New Pastor Needs

Call Day is less than a month away and the reality of leaving school and becoming responsible for the pastoral care of one of Christ's flocks is surely taking on new prominence in the minds of the candidates. Here's my short list of what the new pastor needs before he gets to his ordination day. What other tools of the trade do you recommend? What's essential and what's icing on the cake?

* A mass kit for Communion calls that includes a real chalice, paten, and crucifix. The one I've linked to from Autom is very reasonably priced and looks quite nice.

* Vestments: cassock, surplice, alb, cincture, and a complete set of chasubles and stoles. Gottesdienst has long advocated the recovery of the chasuble among Lutherans in North America and it continues to gain ground. A good way to introduce it is with a red set for ordination. You can get what you need at the usual places (CPH, Almy, Gaspard), but I'm a little biased given that my mom sews vestments and paraments (including the beautiful gold set at Fr. Petersen's parish). You can email her for a quote at:

* Books: Treasury of Daily Prayer, LSB Pastor's Companion, LSB Agenda, and LSB Altar Book from CPH; The Conduct of the Service by Piepkorn and McClean and Ceremony and Celebration by Lang (email Fr. Petersen for these); Daily Divine Service Book; Brotherhood Prayer Book; LPLC CD (link to buy at right).



  1. Fr. Curtis, do you have a problem with your people who are home bound being reluctant to take the chalice? My vicarage supervisor only uses the disposable individual cups because he says that many of his people were reluctant to take a cup that they thought someone in the hospital may have used.

    I am opposed to those darn 'disposable Jesus' shot glasses. I was hoping you could offer some guidance on cleaning the chalice, or perhaps convincing the recipient that it is, indeed clean.

    Thank you,
    C. Griffith

  2. Dear Sem. Griffith,

    Why give a choice? Just show up and be natural with its use. Always cleanse it after you finish the Mass (rinse, consume, then wash). Never had a problem . . .


    + Rob

  3. Under books I would add a Bible :-). Though I guess it would be assumed he had one through seminary. However I have found the smaller version of TLSB helpful for shut in and hospital calls.

    I can't say I use a crucifix for shut in calls. I have two in my office and one hanging over our altar here at he parish and one at home. But I have not used one or seen a crucifix used for shut in calls. I am intrigued - tell me more. :-)

  4. Chris,

    I, too, have never had a problem. In fact, I've only received "oohs and aaahs" when I bring it out for the first time. It gives you a chance to tell them about how precious the Sacrament is and why we adorn it with our best.

    Fr. Keith,

    The Mass kit comes with a little stand to hold the crucifix on the table you are using as an altar. It also comes with a corporal, purificator, paten, host box, and cruets for wine and water.


  5. I like the idea of introducing the crucifix for use when visiting the shut ins of the parish. My set has a paten, chalice, etc., but no crucifix. I will look into it.

  6. Our Ladies Aid group at Zion have slowly been replacing our Pastor's garments from
    Shepherds' Threads, LLC
    6485N 750E
    Churubusco, IN 46723


    This is the company that designed the Witness Mercy Life Together logo for Pastor Harrison's installation as Synod President. They are incredible people to work with and have as a mission to properly outfit Lutheran Pastor's at a reasonable price.

  7. What the new pastor needs
    ...a father confessor
    ...a large crucifix in his study

  8. I've found it useful to have two copies of the LSB Pastoral Companion -- one for the car, one for the office.

    I also have a mass kit similar to the one pictured, and only one couple ever wanted to use a shot glass. The rest, as Pastor Curtis says, were impressed with how nice everything was.


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