Monday, August 29, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Lutheran Service Book (LSB) has given us a lot of possible commemorations, perhaps more so than any previous English language hymnal.
For example, in the Missouri Synod's sanctoral calendar on LSB page xiii, we find that "Augustine of Hippo, Pastor and Theologian" is commemorated on August 28 - which falls on a Sunday this year. Setting aside for the time being the sectarian terminology ("Augustine of Hippo, Pastor and Theologian"), it is a good development for us to honor whom the rest of western Christendom calls "St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church."
However, LSB does not provide any liturgical propers for the celebration of the feast. Fortunately, we do have some resources at our fingertips. Obviously, there are many ways to figure out what propers to use (such as Anglican and Roman Catholic resources), but so that my parish can commemorate St. Augustine per our own synodical calendar, here is what I happen to be using:
- For the collect, I am using the one in the Treasury of Daily Prayer.
- For the Introit, Gradual, Epistle, and Gospel, I am using the helpful volume edited by my colleague here at Gottesdienst, the Rev. H. R. Curtis: Daily Divine Service Book: A Lutheran Daily Missal (DDSB).
- For the Old Testament Reading, I am using the late Rev. Paul W. Nesper's reference called Biblical Texts. It is in reprint thanks to Concodia Theological Seminary Press.
Most of the legwork has been done by Fr. Curtis. The Introit comes from Sirach 15:5 (Antiphon) and Psalm 92:1-2. The Gradual is from Psalm 37:30-31. The Epistle is 2 Timothy 4:1-8, and the Gospel is Matthew 5:13-19. Since my congregation uses ESV, I did have to look up these texts in that version as opposed to Fr. Curtis's preferred KJV - which unlike ESV, is in the public domain.
As DDSB follows the tradition of the Common Service and The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH) and does not include Old Testament readings, I used Fr. Nesper's reference work to give me some options. I looked up both the Gospel and Epistle readings in the index (page 438). I found that the Epistle is used in one lectionary for the 11th Sunday after Trinity. In turning to Trinity 11 (pages 380-381), I discovered that the Epistle was used in Lectionary 10 (see page 337). This happened to have been the old Synodical Conference lectionary. Back to page 380, it is clear that the Old Testament reading used by the Synodical Conference that matched up to the Epistle Lesson given in DDSB is Micah 2:7-13.
So, I now have a complete set of Lutheran propers to use for the feast of St. Augustine.
This is a little bit of work. However, it's a lot less work than it could have been, especially to the labors of Fr. Curtis.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Schedule of Events for Oktoberfest and Gottesdienst Central
(Oct. 9-11, St. Paul's Kewanee, IL)
Featuring Dr. William Weinrich from Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Conference theme (for Sunday and Monday): Baptism in the Gospel of John
5 p.m.: Autumn Choral Vespers
6 p.m.: Bratwurst Banquet (and partying into the night)
8:30 am: Registration
Private confession is available in the vestry from 8:30-9:15 am
9:30 am: Solemn Mass.
Fasting prior to mass is a laudable custom.
10:45 am: Brunch, in the cafeteria.
11:15 am: Dr. Weinrich
12:30 pm Office at Sext
12:45 pm Break. Snacks will be available.
1:10 pm: Dr. Weinrich, continued.
2:00 pm Break.
2:10 pm: Dr. Weinrich, continued.
3:00 pm: Office at Vespers
The late afternoon and evening is free. Weather permitting, a golf outing might be arranged.
9:00 am Low (spoken) Mass
9:45 – noon: Open seminar and workshop on the ceremonies of the Lutheran Mass: attention to the details that confess and magnify the Real Presence.
12 noon: Office at Sext
12:15 pm – lunch (on your own: we will attend a local restaurant)
1:30 pm – 3:15 pm: Seminar, continued.
3:15 Office at Vespers. Itinerarium
Sign up here.
AmericInn, 4823 US Hwy 34. 800-634-3444
Super 8 Motel, 901 S Tenney (Rt 78). 309-853-8800
Aunt Daisy’s B&B, 223 W Central Blvd. 888-422-4148
Kewanee Motor Lodge, 400 S Main St. 309-853-4000
Days Inn, I-80 & Rt 40, Sheffield. 815-454-2361
Holiday Inn Express, I-80 & Rt 78, Annawan. 309-935-6565
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
A blog entry from August 12th contains an email claiming to be from Rev. Isaiah Obare who is studying at the Fort Wayne seminary. Rev. Obare is the son of Bishop Walter Obare of Kenya, known to many of our Gottesdienst readers as a strong suppoerter of Confessional Lutheranism and a former recipient of our Sabre of Boldness award.
Today I was advised by a reputable source who is well acquainted with Rev. Obare, advising me that this email is a FAKE, that it is the result of someone having hacked into his email account, and that he is NOT asking for financial assistance. The hacking appears to be the result of a political ploy on the part of someone trying to make it appear as though the Obares are seeking sympathy money from Americans.
What is clear is that although Rev. Obare did have a fall, he does not need surgery, and that he certainly did not request any financial assistance.
PLEASE DISREGARD THE FORMER PLEA. Our apologies for the confusion.
+ B F Eckardt, Editor
Saturday, August 13, 2011
On a visit to the bookstore of the Daughters of St. Paul today, I picked up a Chant CD. It is called "In Paradisium" by the Daughters of St. Paul. The cover depicts a beautiful vaulted cloister courtyard along with the title "In Paradisum" in Latin as well as the subtitle "Chant" and "Ever Ancient Ever New."
Other tracks sounded like the theme from House, MD. Hugh Laurie is a talented guy, but I don't think he can pull off the whole singing nun thing.
Still other tunes sounded like blatant ripoffs of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Again, I like the TSO. I don't care what the trendsetters have to say about it. But TSO is as compatible with singing nuns as is BTO. Still other riffs called to mind Riverdance or some of the soundtrack of Braveheart. Again, nothing against Celtic tuneage. I'm of Celtic heritage myself. But Celtic dance tunes are just not compatible with the ancient dignity of Gregorian Chant. Finally, there is the last tune, which goes disturbingly overboard regarding the mother of God - but what's even stranger, it is set to the Lutheran hymn tune "Erhalt Uns Herr" - otherwise known as the "Muderous Pope and Turk" song.
What a trainwreck!
It didn't have to be this way. There were clues. I should have paid better attention. Had I had the Lutheran traditionalist defender of Lutheran traditionalism(tm), Br. Latif, on speed dial, he could have "talked me down" and saved me ten bucks.
Our conversation would have gone something like this:
Me: "Hey, Brother Latif. Larry here. I'm looking at a chant CD."
Latif: "Hi Father Larry. Okay. Latin or English?"
Me: "Mostly Latin."
Latif: "Nice. Who's it by?"
Me: "The Daughters of St. Paul."
Latif: "Ooh. Uh, habited?"
Latif: "Hmm. Traditional?"
Me: "Well, I'm not sure..."
Latif: "Are their necks or ears exposed?"
Me: "Um, I see a little bit of lobe on one of them. Yes, necks are exposed."
Latif: "No whimples?"
Me: "No whimples."
Latif: "I see. These sound like Vatican 2 habits with modified veils. Could be trouble. Color?"
Me: "Navy and white."
Latif: "Okay. That's enough. I don't need to hear any more. Father Larry, put the CD down, take three steps backward, turn, and run to the nearest bar or juke-joint where you can find some Springsteen or Evanescence..." (Of course, Brother Latif would be referring to the good Evanescence with the deep lyrical themes from the time before the Christian guy left the band, not the inferior-quality post-Christian Evanescence where Amy Lee just whines virtually monosyllabically about her inebriated boyfriend...).
Brother Latif would also have picked up on the fine print on the back of the "In Paradisum" CD: "new arrangements." I mean, what more needs to be said?
Yes, my bad, mea culpa. I was foolish. I hoped for traditionalism, and instead got a Vatican II Baby Boomer blend of Latin Chant and New Age, TV Soundtrack, Big Dramatic Drums, and Synthesized Bagpipes. It happens. But it doesn't have to.
Next time, I'm calling Brother Latif.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Touchstone linked Salvo. I subscribe to both, and suggest you scrounge up the money to do the same - right after you renew your subscription to Gottesdienst. :)
I've linked the article in Salvo before. To their credit, they're taking this head on. Every issue has at least a couple of articles that deal with sexual sins. Pornography is a common thread in all deviancy. It is also rampant. It is not just "out there." It is on our church computers, on our seminary campuses, in the international center. OK. I don't know that. But then again, I do. Because the statistics are there. This addiction afflicts the Church, its pastors, elders, Sunday School teachers, ushers, alligators, coffee and sign minister persons, etc.
So what do we do about it? Understanding it is a good first step. Some demons come out only with fasting and prayer. This demon will destroy your family, shame you in front of your mother, cause you to lose your job, etc. He won't come out easily. He needs to be confessed and external discipline needs to be put into effect. It is time to bear some fruits of repentance.
To that end, I suggest Open DNS. I am not a tech guy, but even I figured this out. Thanks, btw, to Rev. Jonathan Fisk for pointing this out. Open DNS is free and it doesn't slow down the computer. We have it at church and home and I never notice it. I am ashamed to admit it but we often sacrificed security for speed at home. We tried programs like Net Nanny and other filters but they slowed down the computer and since the kids complained, I blamed them. The truth is, nobody liked the slower speeds. But Open DNS actually speeds up the internet. And did you forget that it is free? So click on the link and set up an account and keep yourself and your kids safe.
But that may not be enough. Because if you are the addict, you will cheat. That is what addicts do. So in a sober moment, you need to hand the keys over to someone you trust, someone who loves you. Set up the account. Follow the instructions. Then give your user name and password to a trusted friend (or spouse) and have him change it so that you do not have access. He can do it from a distance, over the internet. Put it on at home and at church and everywhere.
Go to confession. Come to the Sacrament. Pray the Psalms. And use the tools that God provides, including Open DNS and Salvo and Touchstone and Gottesdienst.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
This is the perfect book to explain the liturgy to new members, youth, and even long-time members and pastors. First printed over a century ago, this Lutheran liturgical handbook uses questions and answers to explain the meaning of the Communion, Matins, and Vespers. (Liturgical texts are equivalent to those of The Lutheran Hymnal 1941.) In addition, hymnody, liturgical theology, and history are addressed succinctly.You should really buy copies of Emmanuel's edition for all your elders, worship committee, etc. and study it with them. And see the many other wonderful reprints and original works that Emmanuel has to offer.
As I was musing on St. Laurence, whose martyrdom we celebrated yesterday (August 10) at mass, I got to thinking about the apocryphal story of the exchange between him and Sixtus, who was himself being led off to martyrdom on August 6 of the fateful year 257.
The story goes that Laurence was grieving over the fact that he could not accompany his bishop to martyrdom: "Father, where are you going without your son? Have I not ever followed you wherever you have served? Have I not been faithful to you in all things? How can you leave without me?" To which Sixtus prophetically replied, "Yet three days and you will follow, the deacon after the priest."
This led me to thinking about a related matter, one we tend to be rather loath to talk about in the Missouri Synod, because our established practice is already so entrenched. I refer to the matter of lay assistants at the distribution of the Sacrament.
I'm fully aware of the parish nightmares that tend to arise when a pastor institutes change too abruptly or without forethought or warning. Gottesdiensters already have a bad reputation in this regard, though I would submit that it is largely undeserved. We do not endorse foolhardy revolutions in the parish; but we do take issue with those who deny the need for certain changes, especially regarding the Sacrament.
So on the matter of lay assistants at the altar, of course we have to deal with the century or so of the use of this practice--and I'm probably being generous in my assessment; it may be far less than that, but I'm not going to go look it up right now--which means that practically speaking there will be a need for much education, catechesis, preparation, etc.
But what I find unsettling is the popular notion that this is a matter we can altogether ignore. Here's the other side of the matter. AC XIV is not the first time the Church has insisted that no one should administer the Sacrament without a regular call. If you think so, you might be able to dismiss its more "rigid" interpretations by saying that when a lay assistant is handed the chalice, then in fact the one distributing is still the pastor (though even this is a stretch; I mean, distribution has to do with, well, distributing). But the Church catholic has, prior to the sixteenth century's Augustana, always insisted that only ordained men should do the actual distributing of the chalice (to say nothing of the Host!).
St. Laurence was a deacon, and one of the most prominent diaconal duties was the distribution of the chalice. This was widely known and indisputable in the third century and well before and beyond. The deacon was ordained to do this. St. Laurence did not need ordination to tend to the needs of the poor and look after the church's treasury, though he did those things too. He was ordained to distribute the chalice and to read the Gospel (there's another matter we can perhaps take up at another time).
To make matters worse for the confessional Lutheran's conscience, consider this: it was among the Protestant churches--specifically those churches with a low view of the Sacrament--that the use of laymen to distribute first became popular. It's a kind of Pietist invention. While it is true that this is one area in which (sadly) even the Roman Catholic churches have at last been influenced, it was not always so. It's only since Vatican II, if I'm not mistaken, that their "extraordinary ministers of the Sacrament" have arisen, among whom today one can even find women.
In St. Laurence's day it was unheard of; as also in Luther's day.
I will grant on the one hand that this is not a matter that must be changed this instant: having lay assistants at the altar does not make one apostate, after all, and no Gottesdienster would say such a thing. On the other hand, I think it needs to be considered; it needs at least to be on the radar screen. With the acknowledgment that we've come a long way in the Missouri Synod comes a rider: We can do better.
+ BF Eckardt
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Setting aside the important underlying theological issues, we can see deeply rooted psychological motives behind the American priests who “individualize” the Masses they celebrate, placing their “personal stamp” on the liturgy. These priests play fast and loose with the rubrics of the mass, transform the “very brief” introduction after the greeting of the people, as authorized by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, into another homily. Some even individualize the prayer of consecration, and in numerous other ways seek to make the Divine Liturgy conform to their own tastes and views.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
It is very handy to have this on a phone, etc. Because DDSB doesn'tjust have the references for the Bible readings. It has the full text.That means I can be stuck in the bleachers at a wrestling match, pullmy phone out with Kindle app and quickly find and read the lessons forthe coming Sunday, etc. It enables me to think on the text. That is avery good thing. This is well worth $5.
Monday, August 8, 2011
We had about 150 people here at Redeemer last week for a family retreat. They were mostly, though not exclusively, homeschoolers. They were mostly, though not exclusively, large families. Many of them have fringe ideas about nutrition, government, polyester, brown eggs, or the Lord of the Rings. They were exclusively, to a man, hardcore confessional Lutherans and passionate about everything. More than half of them were under 18, most under 16, only a handful were over 50. It was exhausting, but wonderful. I am almost recovered and beginning to climb out of my characteristic over-analysis of the details, able to start reflecting on the blessing we have received and the joy that was bestowed upon us.
Here are the first things that are bubbling up:
My children had godparents, now, sadly divorced, whose children were my own godchildren. Of their own design, years ago they started to call one another “god-cousins.” In that rare inspiration of language they hit the mark. They were more than friends and neighbors. Their parents were god-brothers and that made them god-cousins. The adults gathered here this past week weren’t just friends, they were brothers. And that made all the children cousins.
I love being the pastor of small children. Nothing could be easier or more rewarding. The children do not care at all about my orthodoxy, insight, eloquence, or chanting. The length of my sermons or my stand on close communion or who I will marry or what I think of the synodical president, don’t matter. I am not just a friend of the family: I am the pastor. I am their pastor, same as their mom’s, and they love me. And, as is always the case, having first been loved, I love them.
Okay, maybe that is not Gottesdienst material. I should say something profound about the Sacrament or send a torpedo over the prow of the Contemporary Worship crowd. But it is what is coming now and I think the cousins bit is quite good.
The next retreat, btw, will be Tuesday July 31-Thursday Aug 2, 2012. Rev. Dr. Larry Rast, president of CTS will present on Martin Franzmann. We will sing a lot of Franzmann hymns and perhaps learn a thing or two about poetry and theology (as though they were different topics).
Sunday, August 7, 2011
The Apocrypha in the Worship of the Augustana Rite 17
–SEASON OF ADVENT– 20
The Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord 47
Ash Wednesday 142
–SACRED TRIDUUM– 307
Ascension Eve 397
Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity 502
Divine Service with Rubrics 569
–FEASTS OF JANUARY– 599
–FEASTS OF FEBRURARY– 634
–FEASTS OF MARCH– 659
–FEASTS OF APRIL– 692
–FEASTS OF MAY– 709
–FEASTS OF JUNE– 734
–FEASTS OF JULY– 783
–FEASTS OF AUGUST– 820
–FEASTS OF SEPTEMBER– 858
–FEASTS OF OCTOBER– 888
–FEASTS OF NOVEMBER– 920
–FEASTS OF DECEMBER– 944
Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary 973
Common of a Bishop 976
Common of a Saint 979
Common of a Martyr-Bishop 983
Common of a Martyr Not a Bishop 986
Common of Several Martyrs 990
Common of a Confessor-Bishop 993
Common of a Doctor of the Church 998
Common of a Confessor not a Bishop 1001
Common of an Abbot 1005
Common of a Pastor 1008
Common of a Virgin-Martyr 1012
Common of a Several Virgin-Martyrs 1016
Common of a Virgin not a Martyr 1017
Common of a Martyr not a Virgin 1020
Common of Several Martyrs not Virgins 1024
Common of a Holy Woman not a Martyr 1025
–VOTIVE DIVINE SERVICES FOR THE DAYS OF THE WEEK– 1029
–VOTIVE DIVINE SERVICES FOR VARIOUS OCCASIONS– 1063
Appendix A: Selected Prayers for the Celebrant While Serving at the Altar 1082
Appendix B: Hymns of the Day 1089