If a lesson from the Apocrphya is read during a Lutheran liturgy these days, eyebrows are raised and heads are scratched. "Has pastor lost it?" the people wonder.
It shows how little we know our history, even our history within the 20th century. I have in my possession a Bible that CPH published around the turn of the previous century. Auf Deutsch, of course. It features not only the canonical Scriptures but also the Apocrypha. All CPH Bibles in German had the Apocrypha. Included in the back of the book is a list of epistles and gospels for the Sundays and major feasts, and then a separate table titled:
"Epistles and Gospels of the Apostles' Days and some Other Festivals which are celebrated in some places."
The "other festivals" includes among others "The Day of Nicholas the Bishop" (December 6), "The Day of St. Laurence" (Aug 11), AND "The Day of the Birth of Mary" (Sept 8). What's so interesting about this is the assigned reading for the day of Mary's birth:
Epistle: Sirach 24:22-31
So it was not all that long ago that a parish in the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod might well celebrate the Day of Mary's birth and to add insult to injury actually read from the Apocrypha in the liturgy! Here's to hoping that our good friends at CPH will twist the arms of the ESV folk to translate the Apocrypha in the manner of the ESV and start publishing it again for our people to have in their hands, and maybe even to read from at Church!