I have to confess: when I first heard that LSB was including a Service of Prayer and Preaching, I thought: Why? I mean, if we have the Eucharist every Lord's Day, and if we use the Daily Prayer Offices of the Church (Matins, Vespers, Compline), why would we need any other preaching service? But a careful examination of the *Service of Prayer and Preaching* suggests that it might be misnamed. What we have here is nothing but a modern version of the old Lutheran Catechism service.
Yes, Catechism SERVICE. For many years after the Reformation, Catechism was not thought of as a "text book" for a "class room" but as a "prayer book" for worship. There was a regular liturgy for it, featuring the singing of hymns, the recitation of the primary texts of the Catechism, and then the back and forth on one of the explanations of the chief part being discussed that day. The preacher would then give instruction on that chief part and wrap the whole thing up with prayer.
If you look under the hood, that's exactly what *Service of Prayer and Preaching* is:
Old Testament Canticle (Isaiah 12 - a very catechetical canticle!)
Scripture Readings and Responsory
Recitation of Ten Commandments, Creed, and Our Father
Responsive Reading of a Section of the Catechism
Sermon or Catechetical Instruction
Prayer (Litany and the Collect of the Day and for the Word)
Optional Morning or Evening Prayer
New Testament Canticle (Romans 6 - again, all wet with Baptismal water!)
What amazing things could happen among us if we moved our Catechetical experience from the classroom (open head, dump in knowledge, test and voila! A Christian!), to the Church, returning it to a context of the presence of God and prayer! The outcome of such catechesis being not the knowledge that puffs up, but the humility of a repentant heart learning to cling to the promises of God in Christ.
I'm ready to go for it. Anyone else?