21 October 2007

Looking forward to the Reformation Festival

this year. This coming weekend, we'll observe Divine Service, Setting Five, for the first time at St. Paul's. This setting is based on the classic "Chorale Mass" that characterized worship in the rural churches of Saxony after the Reformation. In outline, the ordo runs as follows:

Confession and Absolution
Entrance Hymn: "A Mighty Fortress"
Kyrie, God Father (sung by Cindi Weedon)
Gloria in Excelsis: "All Glory be to God on High" (festival setting by St. Paul's choir, bells, timpani and trumpet, together with congregation)
Salutation and Collect
First Reading
Gradual
Second Reading
Hymn of the Day: "If Your Beloved Son, O God"
Holy Gospel
"We All Believe" - Chorale setting of the Creed
Sermon
Prayer of the Church
Offering
Preface (invariable)
Our Father
Words of Our Lord
Sanctus: "Isaiah, Mighty Seer"
Pax Domini
Agnus Dei - "O Christ, Thou Lamb of God"
Distribution with hymns
Post-Communion Hymn: "O Lord, We Praise Thee"
Post-Communion Collect
Benedicamus and Benediction
Hymn: "Lord, Keep Us Steadfast"

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just want you to know, it's ALL YOUR FAULT! ;)

Now that Nat's out of the hospital, we were all able to go to church together. Jason got to see Zion Detroit. He said "It's the same thing as my old WELS church, if you take away the chanting.". I've been to that WELS church and it seemed really dull to me. Now it seems even MORE dull, now that I've seen nearly high church. (They don't do incense because some of the members don't like it.)

I went to Zion to broaden my experience and see if I could learn to like something new... or at least liturgy. Now I dislike low-church even more if that's possible. I won't be going back to charismatic church, but now I feel like there's nowhere else to go BUT Zion, and it's all your fault.

LOL!

Jen

William Weedon said...

I will gladly take the blame - all of it! Enjoy the rich feast of the Divine Service, and may it fill you will all the fullness of God!

Pax!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Loree calls it a Tridenten Mass, whatever that means. They don't do the "X# Sunday after Trinity" thing like you do. It's "Michaelmass" somethingorother. I guess J.F. changed things up a bit before he split, if you know what I mean.

Jen

Brian P Westgate said...

Jen, you just opened Pandora's Box. Is it Sundays after Pentecost (Roman (Tridentine) Rite/Fenton), is it Sundays after Trinity (Sarum Rite/Anglicans/Lutherans), are we now in Sundays after Michaelmass (at least from Gehrke - Petersen says that and the Michaelmass skip are innovations). Not to mention LSB's "Proper whatever" Sundays. Maybe we need a church council to figure this one out. Or maybe just St. Michael's Conference at Zion next year. . . .

Angela said...

We use that service frequently (since long before LSB) and I really enjoy it. I think all that singing will make for a great festival service - have fun!

William Weedon said...

The definitive answer, Brian, from the pope of Hamel is "away with this Michaelmas stuff." ;)

We just do the Sundays straight through, except that for Last Sunday we always use propers for Last Sunday. Makes life easier. I've not noticed any of the foundational Lutheran Church orders advocating the Michaelmas skip, and their practice reflects what was going on in those areas prior to the Reformation. Of course, the idea of a definitive "Last Sunday" is also a bit of innovation, but appears to have been around in Lutheranism for some time.

Anonymous said...

*waves to Brian*

I'm a new Lutheran. Um... what did you say?

I'm very lost and have a LOT to learn. What did I do? What did I say? I thought I was being discreet.

*hides in shame*

wm cwirla said...

"Maybe we need a church council to figure this one out. Or maybe just St. Michael's Conference at Zion next year. . . ."

They'd like to think they're a council. ; )

I thought about doing the Lutherpalooza service for "Reformation Sunday." Decided to go with DS 1 and truck load of Reformation hymns. It's interesting that Reformation Day began as a classroom exercise. Not really a feast day, certainly not a Sunday. But worthy of celebration given all the denials of justification these days.

The terms "High church" / "Low church" don't really belong to Lutheranism. In Anglicanism they signal whether one leans toward Rome or Geneva. Lutherans don't lean (or at least they shouldn't unless something is terribly wrong with them). We just have "church" where we hear the Word as Law and Gospel, eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ, and render our thanksgiving, prayer, and praise to the triune God who so graciously saved us.

Whether the gifts come adorned with much pomp and circumstance or not, with a 1 yr or 3 yr lectionary, on a Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity, Michaelmas, or the Feast of St. Fred does not matter all that much. The gift wrap may be pretty, but it's the gift that counts.

Confuswed said...

Could someone explain the appropriateness of celebrating something like the Reformation? I don't quite understand where the precedence for celebrating like "Posting of 95 Theses" comes from. Is that what is being celebrated. It isn't a saint day. It isn't Biblical. What is it? Rome doesn't celebrate in their calender Trent or Vatican II. Anglicans don't celebrate the publishing of the BCP or King Jame's Bible, etc. Where does the precedent come from for such a feast? Or is it a commemoration?

Sincerely,
Confused

William Weedon said...

Dear Confused,

We celebrate the Reformation to thank God for allowing the light of His gracious Gospel to shine with such brilliance in those days and to effect a reform of the Church in which she sought to give all glory to God and all comfort to poor sinners. So it is not as much the remembrance of an event long ago in the history of God's people, as a yearly rejoicing in that Gospel light and a fervent prayer that we may never betray it but pass it on as faithfully as we have received it.

The good news that no one could have ever dreamed up, but that God in His mercy has revealed through the Sacred Scriptures (how God justifies the sinner by grace through faith for Christ's sake) is at the beating heart of what Reformation celebrates.

It does NOT celebrate the fracture in the Western Church - rather, Lutherans grieve that the entire Western Church did not embrace the Reformation. In that sense, it is a day of sorrow. But for us the joys outweigh the sorrow when we remember and give thanks for the parishes and pastors who embraced the Reformation and faithfully passed onto others that great and awesome good news!

Chris Jones said...

The gift wrap may be pretty, but it's the gift that counts.

I don't think that the liturgy of the Apostolic Church is mere "gift wrap." There certainly are different rites within the Church's overall liturgical tradition, and there is scope for legitimate variation in how we celebrate the liturgy; but in its structure and essential function the liturgy is invariant. The liturgy is not something of our devising for us to do with as we will, but something that is given to us in the tradition. It is to be received with gratitude, treated with reverence, and passed on intact.

I think "gift wrap" is a dangerous metaphor.

Confused said...

So, if it is not a celebration of a certain event in the history of the Church (nor a certain saint for their life of holiness), I take it you are saying it is a celebration of the teaching of a certain doctrine ("...a yearly rejoicing in that Gospel light...") or a certain grace of God ("...to thank God for allowing the light of His gracious Gospel to shine with such brilliance in those days and to effect a reform of the Church...")?

If that is the case, what is the precedence of making a Feast out of doctrine and not an event or making the Feast out of a grace of God, once again not tied to an event or a person?

Sincerely,
Confused

William Weedon said...

Dear Confused,

Not of a certain teaching - for justification is not a "teaching" but the very act of God from which the Church lives in Christ. The nearest I can come to pointing out what Reformation is like for Lutherans is to point to a feast that the Orthodox celebrate the first Sunday in Lent. It celebrates the conciliar decrees of the 7th ecumenical council that finally put to rest the controversy over icons. It is celebrated as "the Triumph of Orthodoxy." In much a similar way, Lutherans celebrate "the Triumph of the Gospel." Now, both are tied to concrete events in the history of Christendom, but neither is so much a celebration of that event as it is the celebration of the clarifying teaching issuing from that event.

In our Calendar, as Lutherans, we also celebrate Holy Cross Day - another day that is anchored in a specific history, but that is given over to celebrating the foolishness of God in saving the world through the weakness of the cross.

Confused said...

William,
I have to point out first of all that you contradicted yourself in your last post. First you wrote, "Not of a certain teaching - for justification is not a "teaching"..." and then you wrote "Now, both are tied to concrete events in the history of Christendom, but neither is so much a celebration of that event as it is the celebration of the clarifying teaching issuing from that event."

Secondly, one of the reasons that I really don't like a celebration like the Lutheran celebration of the Reformation is that it is sectarian. The difference between celebrating Holy Cross Day and the Reformation is that you can be assured of one thing: no one else in Christendom, except for Lutherans, are concerned with celebrating 'the Reformation' (except for the ELCA and Wisconsin Synod; but none of these bodies are even in fellowship with each other).

Thirdly, would you not agree that it would be far more appropriate for the Reformation to possibly be a commemoration, if anything?

Sincerely,
Confused

William Weedon said...

Dear Confused,

On the contradiction, you're right. What I was trying to say was "not just a teaching."

Should Lutherans celebrate a day that they alone celebrate? Why on earth not? Further, why would anyone who is not Lutheran care that we do? I doubt anyone who is Lutheran would object.

Should it have been placed among the commemorations? If you are asking for my personal opinion, I would rather that June 25, the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession had been moved UP from the commemorations to the festivals; and had Oct 31 moved from festivals to the commemorations. I just think that the presentation of the Augsburg Confession is a much better "marker" - if you will - for celebrating the Lutheran Reformation than is the day of nailing the theses.

But I am not the arbiter of such things, and I do note that the day itself, October 31, is designated across American Lutheranism (ELCA, Missouri, WELS, and ELS) as Reformation. Perhaps to stand in solidarity on that point with fellow Lutherans was deemed of greater importance than highlighting the more important occasion. Still, either way, whether in June or in October, what is being celebrated is worthy of being celebrated - and not just by Lutherans! :)

Confused said...

William,
Would it not be far more appropriate to celebrate, say, the lives of Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon on the days of their deaths compared to celebrating an event like the nailing of theses to a door (which one can argue was not "the event" of the Reformation anyways)?

Not to mention the fact that the celebration of the Reformation on a Sunday has the knack of displacing until "the next Sunday" a far more important festival: All Saints' Sunday?

Finally, once again, what is the "festival" of the Reformation celebrating? A teaching? Not just a teaching? An event, and if so, which event? Martin Luther's life? The renewal of the gospel (doesn't the Church celebrate the gospel, and maybe even the "renewal" of the gospel, every Sunday)? God's grace (which, once again, see the parenthetical note from the last question)?

Sincerely,
Confused

wm cwirla said...

I don't think that the liturgy of the Apostolic Church is mere "gift wrap."

I never said the Liturgy of the Apostolic Church is "gift wrap," mere or otherwise. The discussion was on how the Liturgy was adorned, that is, within the scope of "legitimate variation in how we celebrate the liturgy."

William Weedon said...

Dear Confused,

We do commemorate Martin Luther, Doctor and Confessor, on the day of his death, February 18. But the Reformation was not about the man Luther, or the man Melanchthon. Rather, in the words of Luther, "while Nicholas [Amsdorf] and I drank Wittenberg beer, the Word of God went out and did this thing." THAT is what is celebrated on Reformation - the Gospel that goes out and does its job of keeping the Church the Church, cleansing us from all trust in our own goodness or works, and teaching us to be nothing but beggars before the throne of grace - but beggars who are then richly graced!

The festival of the Reformation celebrates that Word - that Gospel Word - thanking God for its light and begging God to preserve that light to us and our children and to all the world.

Here in the US (and I suspect you know this) All Saints is hardly "displaced" anymore than Reformation is. Rather, each one is celebrated. The last Sunday in October for Reformation and the first Sunday in November for All Saints. Both are great joys and neither need be set in competition with the other. The one feast celebrates in a special way Christ's Church militant; the other in a special way Christ's Church triumphant.

Chris Jones said...

Dear Confused,

I think you are being a little hard on Fr Weedon and on us Lutherans. It is not as if we are unique in Christendom because we have a day in our calendar to celebrate an important event in our heritage.

The Eastern Church, for example, celebrates the Council of Nicaea on the seventh Sunday of Eastertide. And on the first Sunday of Great Lent, they commemorate the restoral of the icons under Empress Theodora (an historical event, rather than a particular saint), and celebrate the triumph of Orthodoxy over every sort of heresy (just as much a celebration of doctrine as Reformation Day is).

The Anglican Church (at least here in the United States) includes in its calendar the remembrance of the publication of the first Book of Common Prayer -- an historical event at least as important to the English Reformation as the posting of the 95 Theses was to the Lutheran Reformation.

Confused said...

William,
Once again you have defined Reformation Sunday as celebrating either the proclamation of the gospel (which seems to be the goal of every Sunday) or as an idea. So I continue to ask, what is Reformation Sunday and where is the historical precedence to be found for such a Festival?

Chris, does the commemoration of the BCP displace a Sunday in the Anglican Church Year as the celebration of the Reformation does? Or is it simply a "commemoration", not a "festival", which normally passes quite benignly in the life of the church?

Sincerely,
Confused

William Weedon said...

Dear Confused,

I am at a loss at how to alleviate the confusion! Both Chris and I have mentioned the Triumph of Orthodoxy as a precedent for a similar feast. For that matter, the Feast of the Holy Trinity in the Western Church sort of fits the same bill. I've also mentioned Holy Cross Day. In Lutheran practice (and current Roman practice in the US, I believe), important feasts during the week may be transferred to Sunday for observance, provided the Sunday is not privileged. My rule of thumb for that that works most times is that any other color feast can trump a Green Sunday.

So, for the last time, really, yes, It DOES celebrate the Gospel and particularly the Gospel's proclamation as that which sustains the life of Christ's Church. Yes, the Church is to proclaim the Gospel each week, but this day is set aside to rejoice in the saving power its proclamation. It's precedence is that we've been celebrating it in our churches - for a long time! Maybe the confusion would be alleviated by joining for the Divine Service on that Sunday?

Luke said...

In Lutheran practice (and current Roman practice in the US, I believe), important feasts during the week may be transferred to Sunday for observance, provided the Sunday is not privileged. My rule of thumb for that that works most times is that any other color feast can trump a Green Sunday.

Of course, this poses a bit of an issue in AD 2007, because October 28 is the Feast Day of SS. Simon & Jude. In my two LCMS parishes, they will be getting the honor, rather than an Augustinian friar pounding some grievances on the community bulletin board. (Though, we will sing three Luther hymns: LSB 656, 617, 655.) I would think a day honoring two apostles would trump most other commemorations or festivals: 2nd Class beats 3rd Class.

Your comment regarding the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession is right on target. Perhaps there should be a guerilla movement to scrap Reformation Day celebrations and promote June 25.

LTZ

William Weedon said...

Yes, LTZ it does pose a bit of a problem this year! But for us, it is solved by transferring Sts. Simon and Jude to the Thursday Eucharist (which is actually All Saints Day) since we're transferring All Saints Day to Sunday. That way we get to have our cake and eat it too, as it were. :)

Confused said...

William,
What has happened to poor St. Andrew in your Lutheran Liturgical Calendar juggling act? ;)

Sincerely,
Confused

William Weedon said...

Oh, it's not too difficult to figure out, is it? St. Andrew will be anticipated at the Thursday Eucharist on the 29th. We observe the saints days and minor festivals on their proper days for a while, but discovered that folk struggled to remember when they fell since they could be any day. A set Thursday Eucharist solved that for us (an idea I hijacked from our neighboring parish, Trinity, which observes a midweek Eucharist on Wednesday). At St. Paul's, we regularly transfer certain days to Sunday as well. St. Michael's is invariably the last Sunday of September; Reformation the last Sunday of October; All Saints the first Sunday in November; and Epiphany the Sunday nearest to the 6th of January - which this year is the 6th of January!

Brian P Westgate said...

Holy Father, if you have a red shoe, I might just have to kiss it next time you're in Fort Wayne. . .
Sorry I confused you Jen. It all is actually very confusing. That's what happens when the Western Rite traditions can't agree on anything after Pentecost. I blame the Roman Missal. . . .

William Weedon said...

Brian,

Aren't those red shoes unbelievably tacky???

Lord, have mercy!!!

But, Jenn, welcome to the liturgical battles among liturgical Lutherans. Just remember: what's the difference between a terrorist and liturgiologist? You can negotiate with a terrorist. ;)

Pax!

Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention "missal". I googled "Lutheran Missal" today to see if there was one.

It seems like there's far too much liberty in the LCMS. Then again, I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm confused by the disagreements I see amongst Lutheran pastors in these blogs. I'm confused as to why so many Eastern Orthodox people chime in or care. I'm confused as to why Pastor Loree gave me a copy of "Christian News" and it seems to display the same kinds of disagreements that I witness on the internet. It's like the LCMS is falling apart. What on earth is going on?

My husband tells me that WELS is much more consistent.

I have so much reading to do and I don't know where to start.

Jen

William Weedon said...

Jen,

The LCMS is called the LC Mess for a reason. :) But when she's being true to herself, the LCMS doesn't want to talk about herself, but about our Lord, about what He has done and continues to do for His people.

There is no Lutheran Missal, but you will find that each of the jurisdictions in American Lutheranism has produced the book that sits upon the altar. There's one for WELS (Christian Worship); one for ELS (Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary); one for LCMS (Lutheran Service Book); and one for ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Worship). I have all the books sitting on my shelf. There are differences, of course, but what is amazing is the underlying unity, especially between the first three.

Lutherans have always been messy about liturgy. The reason is we have a prescribed confession (lex credendi) but no prescribed liturgy (lex orandi). That lex credendi, though, does contain a basic approach that has guided Lutheran liturgy throughout the centuries. And that's why under the differences, you'll find huge basic agreement.

The existence of the Church Growth type of services in Lutheranism poses a challenge. We don't argue as Lutherans that they are sinful. But I would argue as a Lutheran that they are foolish; they depart from the received wisdom of our fathers for a novelty that people will soon enough tire of. The Lutheran liturgy, by contrast, for all its warts and blemishes, is sturdy Gospel-delivering and faithful. I think St. Justin (mid 200's) wandering into a service conducted from LSB would recognize exactly what was going on. I'm not sure he'd recognize what was up with the service of the Pentecostals - even when the name out front says Lutheran.

William Weedon said...

Oh, and to borrow a page from the Orthodox, don't try and sort it all out in your head. Go ahead and pray at Zion. Receive the gifts of Your Lord there. Living in the liturgy is the path to understanding it!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I discovered there was no Missal, but isn't that what is in the front of a hymnal?

My husband has a red hymnal called "The Lutheran Hymnal" printed in 1941. Which one is this??

William Weedon said...

That's the old hymnal of the LCMS, WELS, and ELS. It's the hymnal we used at St. Paul's until the publication of *Lutheran Service Book.* Other LCMS parishes adopted either *Lutheran Book of Worship* or *Lutheran Worship* back in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Thus, the sad situation arose in the LCMS where you had parishes that had TLH, parishes with LBW, and parishes with LW. Thanks be to God, it looks like the new LSB is at last unifying the Synod again into a single book - though it is a gradual process and parishes take their own sweet time in adopting it. The rate of adoption thus far, though, looks excellent and promising for the future.

William Weedon said...

Oh, also, what's in the front of the hymnal is as much as the congregation needs to follow along in the worship. The altar book for either TLH (called The Lutheran Liturgy) or for LSB (Lutheran Service Book: Altar Book) contain the complete orders of service - everything except the hymns - that the pastors need to conduct the liturgy.

William Weedon said...

For example, the LSB Altar Book is 1004 pages!!! It's a HUGE monster up there on the altar, but it has in it everything that a pastor needs to conduct the Divine Service, or the prayer offices, in a congregation.

Anonymous said...

Zion uses TLH (but blue, not red). Apparently this is the only Lutheran hymnal I've ever seen. I'm a very sheltered Lutheran. :/

I have a feeling that Pastor Loree isn't inclined to change the hymnal. He seems pretty happy with Zion, as is.

Maybe I'll buy myself a LSB. I wanted to go to a Lutheran bookstore today, but we ended up being at the hospital until after 1pm. Natalie had 2 appointments and I had to pick up a TON of Potassium Chloride.

Thanks for answering all my petty questions. They must seem so elementary compared to your other blog interactions. Bleh. I feel like a 5 year old. If you get bored, I have a question in Pastor McCain's blog that nobody will touch.

William Weedon said...

Jen,

Yup it has been published with both blue and red covers, but it's the same book underneath.

I'd encourage you to check out LSB. It's a pretty neat book!

There are no petty questions, only petty questioners. You're not one of those! A question asked to learn and come to know more is always a GREAT question. Never be ashamed to ask it.

You, your hubby, and Natalie continue in my prayers, dear. God's peace to you all!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I have attended Reformation Day services in plenty of non-Lutheran settings. Even one liberal Baptist church used to observe the day. In my (limited) experience, many Protestants celebrate it.

Anastasia

Christine said...

I'm confused as to why so many Eastern Orthodox people chime in or care.

Dear Jen,

Perhaps because of the goodness of our Lord we, His baptized children whether Lutheran, Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Anglican care enough about our Christian faith to take a stand and proclaim that yes, Jesus Christ is Lord in a world that more and more dismisses the Good News of the Gospel (as He warned us would happen).

For me, even when we sometimes squabble and disagree (as do all families), I am encouraged and heartened by the presence of so many brothers and sisters in Christ.

Brian P Westgate said...

Jen, I too am sometimes surprised by the Eastern involvement on this blog, but since Fr. Weedon doesn't seem to mind. . . .

WELS is not all hunky-dory. They aren't even all in agreement, since some have fallen for the church "growth" heresy. The biggest problem in WELS is their belief on church & ministry. We believe that Christ has given His Church an Office, a concrete one at that, which has duties. A man is placed into this office to preach and teach the Gospel and administer the Sacraments. WELS says that the Office is abstract, so that anything can become "gospel ministry." The loss of the article in such talk is a sign of false doctrine by the way. One tell-tale sign of their false doctrine is calling grade school teachers and college phy ed teachers "ministers of the gospel" even though they do none of the things Christ has given the Office to do.

Fr. Weedon, I've heard a rumour that Fr. Curtis is working on a Lutheran Missal. Is this true?

William Weedon said...

As for the EO (and WO) involvement, well, I have many friends and some family who are Orthodox, and it is no secret to anyone that I seriously contemplated swimming the Bosporus myself.

Yes, Fr. Curtis is working on putting together a missal. Some project that he and Fr. Petersen have up their sleeve. Myself, I find the Altar Book for LSB to be quite manageable. It does the job that needs to be done in my opinion. It only needed two more ribbons, but I make up for that with the use of sticky tabs. :)

Brian P Westgate said...

I hadn't heard the Fr. Petersen part of the story, which is interesting, since I heard the rumour at St. Michael's Conference! I gotta figure Deacon Muehlenbruch is involved in some way. Now that's a project I'm interested in!
Speaking of sticky tabs, I think I've seen plenty of them in the CTSFW chapel. . . .

Omar said...

Fr. Weedon,

1. I had an inkling that you might once have seriously considered a swim across the Bosporus. Sometimes the bells and incense from the East wafts from your writing:-) Knowing these things about people further drives home the point that my own strong desire to the cross back over the Tiber-- I am orginally a cradle Roman Catholic -- is not something quite out of the ordinary...

2. Could you give a brief explication as to how Lutheranism as a clear lex credendi and a no (or perhaps, less clear) lex orandi?

Danke Schön

William Weedon said...

Omar,

1. No, it's not strange. It is like a siren call. Tie yourself to the cross as the place your salvation was surely won and do not be deterred by the sweet whisperings! "It is finished!"

2. Lutherans have a clear lex credendi in our Book of Concord. This is a normative expression of the faith for us. But there is not the corresponding normative expression of Lutheran liturgy. We are the inverse of the Anglicans in that regard. Lutherans strive for uniformity in doctrine and tolerance in ceremony. What is interesting is that at least at the time of the Reformation and for several centuries thereafter, Lutheran doctrine DID produce a quite identifiable Lutheran liturgy - there is a form of worship that simply is fitting and appropriate for what Lutheran doctrine confesses. But always the deterioration of Lutheran liturgy was a sign and symptom of the more serious rot: the deterioration of Lutheran doctrine. This happened in the time of Pietism and Rationalism, and I think it underlies the conflict in Lutheranism also today. When the doctrine goes south, no liturgy can shore it up.

William Weedon said...

By the way, I believe that Lutheranism is the weaker for the way we've treated liturgy. Ratzinger (as he was called then) was bang on right when he observed that it would have been a different ball-game if Luther had put the liturgy into the same category as the Creeds: it is, after all, the Church's prayed confession.

Reed laments Luther's short-sightedness on this too. When you are convinced that the world's about to end, though, you just can't work yourself up to provide for the next generation, I suppose.

A very interesting question about Luther is to ask whether or not he really got the canon of the mass correct. He certainly shared what he was TAUGHT it meant - and that was horrible! But the real question is whether the canon itself actually SAYS what Luther's teachers taught him it meant. Just as he retained without hesitation Quincunque Volt with its shocking close (to evangelical ears) and taught it's meaning in an evangelical way, could the same have been done for the canon itself?

Chris Jones said...

Fr Weedon,

A very interesting question about Luther is to ask whether or not he really got the canon of the mass correct.

That certainly is a most interesting question; inquiring minds want to know what your answer to that question is.

Just as he retained without hesitation Quincunque Vult ... and taught its meaning in an evangelical way, could the same have been done for the canon itself?

It will not surprise you at all that my answer to this is "of course it could, and ought to have been." If, as you say, the liturgy is the Church's prayed confession, Luther ought to have been prepared to learn the faith from the liturgy, rather than to have altered the liturgy to conform to his theological stance. The aphorism is, after all, lex orandi lex est credendi, not lex credendi lex est orandi.

I acknowledge that you and I have disagreed on that point before and no doubt will continue to do so. And I do not mean that every word of the liturgy is perfect and inspired. But Luther and the Reformers went beyond changing a few words or sentences in the liturgy to remove manifestly false doctrine; they made a structural change to the liturgy, which is something that (I would argue) the Church has no right to do.

Christine said...

Quicunque vult...

“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith.”

So you find the Creed of Athanasius shocking, Pastor ? :)

William Weedon said...

Chris,

My answer to the question was posted in my Scribblings on the website some time ago. Luther made a category error in the liturgy.

Christine,

Every year when we recite the Athanasian Creed, folks stumble over the words: "they that have done good... they that have done evil..." They stumble because they know themselves to be those who have done evil and wonder if the Creed is thereby excluding them from heaven. The words, of course, are a very slight paraphrase of our Lord's words. And when we understand that the doing good is not the cause, but the result of salvation, and that they confirm faith, with our sins being forgiven, then we've explained the Creed's ending in a manner consistent with the testimony of Scripture.

I believe that Luther could have done a similar thing with the words of the canon. There are parts of the canon, though, that I think are sort of irredeemable. I think of the pleading of the saints merits! But as to whether they were part of the original Roman canon or not is a matter of some debate, no?

Omar said...

Rev. Weedon,

Thanks for the explications to my questions and/or observations.

1a. By the way, I believe that Lutheranism is the weaker for the way we've treated liturgy.

The thought was implicit in my inquiry. There is a kind of disconncect between what is believed -- a more mental exercise -- with what is practiced.I waited for the explanation before I said anything :-)

1b. Chris pointed out that the aphorism lex orandi est lex credendi implies that the fath is learned byparticipating in the liturgy. The question I have is to what extent, if any, does lex orandi always precede lex credendi? If changed belief, as you remarked in an earler post, effects a change in liturgy, how much of the lex orandi can be counted on the precede the lex credendi and thus guide our learning of the faith?

2. No, it's not strange. It is like a siren call.

LOL. Well, this must be quite a siren call for me. The local RC priest thought I was in seminary preparing for the RC priesthood when he first saw me and he still thinks I have priest written on me :-)

3.My answer to the question was posted in my Scribblings on the website some time ago.

On the matter of Luther's undersanding of the canon of the Mass, under what title in the Scribblings did you post your thoughts?

Well, I've said enough. Das ist genug.

Pax

William Weedon said...

Something titled Lutheranism and Stability (or some such). The basic thrust is that the loss of the stable liturgy has had huge adverse effects in Lutheranism, and perhaps explains the loss of mystical union as the very heart and center of Lutheran piety (which it once was, but sadly seems no longer to be). I'm all for recovering:

1. A stable Lutheran Liturgy
2. regular preaching and teaching on the mystical union

William Weedon said...

By the way, Omar, Von Schenk's *The Presence* is pure gold on BOTH topics. It is absolutely uncanny for me to read this book. I'm finding expressed here with clarity and force much of what I've tried to teach and practice in my years of service to Christ's Church.