15 October 2009

Neglected Rubrics

The presiding minister may conduct the Confession and Absolution from outside the chancel.


The presiding minister and his assistants may enter the chancel.

These two "may" rubrics are common to all the five Divine Service Settings of LSB.

There is a truth contained here that is wonderful to mark: the confession and absolution are preparation, not actually a part of the service itself. The service proper begins with the entrance of the presiding ministers and assistants into the chancel at some point during the singing of the Introit, Psalm or Entrance Hymn. Why? Because we literally "enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise!" (Psalm 100:4) The movement of the clergy to the altar manifests that in the Divine Liturgy and the songs we offer therein, we have come into the Holy of Holies and offer our praises before the throne of God and the Lamb in the power of the Holy Spirit.


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I generally take a step into the chancel with each phrase that the Congregation says during the introit.

Past Elder said...

Well Judas jumping in the sacristy, we could just chop the confession and absolution off entirely and leave it optional like the bleeding LBW! No messy reminder of sin.

I think rather our confession and absolution in the West gets confused with the prayers in the sacristy while vesting results from a dislocation of its proper place at the beginning of the Mass of the Faithful / Service of the Sacrament rather than at the beginning of the Mass of the Catechumens / Service of the Word.

The first of the two parts is open to all, believer, those not baptised but under instruction, and non-believer alike, but only the believer can truly confess to and be absolved by the God whom the others have not professed. It is not a prayer they can pray, therefore the penitential language, while not a confession and absolution per se, is found in the Prayer of the Faithful and the Great Entrance in the Eastern liturgy.

So we have an out of place penitential segment followed by an entrance verse after you've entered (introit) followed by a petitionary prayer minus the petitions (kyrie) to start our liturgy. Oy.

About enough to drive you to DSI. Except if you're going to Greek up the kyrie into something more like the First Litany from which it comes, why not put the penitential thing where it is in the Greek Mass (yeah, I know, EO guys, not a good phrase for it)?

Or we could zap the introits into nonexistence and put the kyrie before the absolution, like my former synod did in their hack job on the Common Service.

Or we cold just do the Common Service. There, that's the one!

BTW vesting prayers in the sacristy are a riot in Latin when the vestments don't fit and you gotta help the priest with them -- from the notes of a former altar boy.