25 July 2006

Adiaphoronism

Fr. Fenton laments adiaphoronism on his blog. His comments reminded me of an interesting tidbit I came across in an old CTQ (62:2:140):
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Bugenhagen, who prepared this rite, takes a much stricter line on liturgical non-deviation than Luther did: "this is an order, and is to be followed as closely as the old order was!"
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This in regards to the Liturgy for Brunswick in 1528. Luther's orders were neither of them actually put into Church Law at the time of the Reformation, though they greatly influenced those that were. But each territory did promulgate a liturgical order that was "to be followed as closely as the old order was" - and thus the myth of Lutherans of the 16th century all doing their own thing parish by parish is false.

3 comments:

fr john w fenton said...

You know, I've consistently misspelled that word. Thanks for getting it right. (Or it that rite)?

Pastor Beisel said...

I just came across that same quote from Bugenhagen in Luther Reed's book on the Liturgy. I was reading about these church orders, and it definitely seems like they had the advantage of obligatory submission. We have agendas, to be sure. But how many pastors actually follow the Agenda even on occasional services? Each individual pastor is left up to doing "what is right in his own eyes." It is clear from a cursory review of these church orders that in most places a high regard was given to maintaining liturgical ceremonial. What I find interesting is that many of these church orders were developed with the help of the Wittenberg faculty, and were read and approved of by Luther and Melancththon. Reed notes that there were no less than 135 church orders that were developed in a relatively short period of time.

William Weedon said...

Pastor Beisel,

Do you have a copy of Dr. Joseph Herl's *Worship Wars in Early Lutheranism*? If you enjoy studying the Church Orders (and they are fascinating) his book does some great contextualization and gives detailed information about numerous rites. Unfortunately, at heart he is a musician and so he paid great attention to the musical aspects while at times leaving tantalizing remarks like: "A prayer follows the Sanctus and precedes the Verba" AND HE DOESN'T GIVE THE PRAYER. GRRRRRRR. I've ribbed him about this before and he just laughs. Still, aside from sitting down with Sehling and reading through the orders yourself, Herl is the best you can do in English in my opinion.