28 October 2009

Someone really should

lock this man up and make him write nothing but profound blog postings:

The Case for the Liturgy.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

You just like the fact that he called you "esteemed"

;-)

- Jeff

Chris said...

Well, St. Paul wrote some of his best stuff from prison, so maybe your'e on to something here, Fr. William.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. And I chuckle in appreciation of the previous two comments.

Drew said...

An Apology for Authorized and Set Forms of Liturgy: Against the Pretense of the Spirit

The work above is by the Caroline Divine, Jeremy Taylor. It seems to me - admittedly, as an outsider - that there are some parallels in the tensions between the Laudians and the Puritans of the Anglican Church of the 17th century and what we see unraveling in the Missouri Synod today.

I know that Missouri Synod Lutherans tend to keep their theological reading primarily within the Lutheran tradition (which is understandable), but the Caroline Divines are really, really amazing - and I'm not even an Anglican.

If any are interested in the practical living out of the faith within a liturgical, sacramental, and ascetical context, I highly recommend both The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living and The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying by, again, Jeremy Taylor.

Scott Larkins said...

So I've been a Missouri Lutheran for eight years. What is "The Liturgy"? Has Lutheranism ever had "A Liturgy"?

The Orthodox. Now they have "A Liturgy"

Rome had "A Liturgy".

The churches among us teach with complete unanimity...that one holy church will remain forever. The church is the assembly of saints in which the gospel is taught purely and the sacraments are administered rightly. And it is enough for the true unity of the church to agree concerning the teaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments. It is not necessary that human traditions, rites, or ceremonies instituted by human beings be alike everywhere. As Paul says [Eph. 4:5, 6]: “One faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all...” ...
Concerning church rites they teach that those rites should be observed that can be observed without sin and that contribute to peace and good order in the church, for example, certain holy days, festivals, and the like. However, people are reminded not to burden consciences, as if such worship were necessary for salvation. (Augsburg Confession)

William Weedon said...

Scott,

What Lutherans have is sort of akin to what Rome had before Trent. It's easy to imagine the codification that resulted in the Tridentine Mass as representative of what came before, but before there was the kind of crazy variety you find in Lutheran liturgical circles!!! Each region had its peculiar Use (for example, the Sarum Use). The basic liturgy with local variations.

But yes, as a Missouri Synod Lutheran you have a liturgy. It's found in our service books - The Lutheran Liturgy (for those parishes using TLH); Lutheran Worship Altar Book (for those parishes using LW); Lutheran Service Book Altar Book (for the overwhelming majority of our parishes which now have LSB). It may be ignored in some places, but it IS the liturgy that our Synod has authorized and adopted at convention.

William Weedon said...

Thanks, Drew, that looks quite interesting.

IggyAntiochus said...

Recommended dosage of Pastor Peters' blog: twice daily or more often as needed!

SimonPotamos said...

But yes, as a Missouri Synod Lutheran you have a liturgy. It's found in our service books - The Lutheran Liturgy (for those parishes using TLH); Lutheran Worship Altar Book (for those parishes using LW); Lutheran Service Book Altar Book (for the overwhelming majority of our parishes which now have LSB). It may be ignored in some places, but it IS the liturgy that our Synod has authorized and adopted at convention.

Doesn't this show that we (in the ELCE, we too have adopted the LSB, and used both TLH and LW before) don't have a liturgy but a set of liturgies (DS I/II, DS III, DS IV and DS V). All of them can be called Lutheran liturgies, but they are not "a" liturgy, or even different "settings" of the liturgy. I understand the use of "Divine Service, Setting x", (pace Past Elder) though even that is misleading.

Unless of course you and I are using the word "liturgy" in different senses.

None of the above is to argue for or against having more than one liturgy in the church body.

William Weedon said...

Does it differ from Rome's novus ordo and the extraordinary rite and now the Anglican rite and historically the Milanese rite and the Mozarabic rite? Or the East's St. Basil and St. John Chrysostom? When I use the word "Liturgy" I mean it to embrace the historic Mass form - and usually mean of the West, since that's my context.

Past Elder said...

Yes it does. You don't show up at one parish and find the Milanese Rite at 0800, the Roman rite at 1030, and the Mozarabic rite the night before at 1830. Or the St Basil rite at 0800 and St John Chrysostome at 1030. All published in the same book. with a liturgical committee cranking out "additional resources" along the way.

The diversity was across time and place, not at the same time and place.

Chris said...

But the vast majority of the divine liturgies found in the LSB, though maybe rooted, to a point, in the Rite of St. Gregory (the traditional western rite) are modern innovations. How can you say that the DL setting one has the same ancestral pedigree as the Liturgy of St. Basil or St. John Chrysostom? You can't. The only one that comes close is DL setting three with its canon.

William Weedon said...

Chris,

They are all rooted in the liturgy of St. Gregory, as it is called, though that liturgy itself had diverse expressions across the face of Western Europe prior to the Tridentine codifications. I wasn't, however, likening our LSB services to the liturgies attributed to Chrysostom and Basil per se, but noting that there is variation in rite even in the Eastern Church.

PE,

That dog don't hunt. In a Roman parish you may indeed have at one Mass extraordinary rite and in another novus ordo and within the novus ordo rite you have a "single" rite with LOTS of permutations built in. Kyrie or is it part of the penitential rite? Which penitential rite? How many repetitions in the Kyrie? And four different Eucharistias to choose from? People made fun of our book as "The Lutheran Book of Options" but the Roman rite is as option filled! Granted, they don't have various prose translations of the ordinary and I suspect that's what you're mostly griping about among us; still, there is huge variety. And I notice the same sort of variety obtains in the Prayer Book update that Rome has issued for the Anglicans. You can do the King Jamesy rite or the modern language one. And here Rome DID do exactly what the Lutherans have done: retained the older wording of the ordinary in one rite and a newer wording in the other. And a parish might well offer both settings on a single Sunday at different masses.

Scott Larkins said...

The key term here is Adiaphora. It's important to get a grasp on the unfortunate interpretations of this concept in Lutheran liturgical history.

Is the recitation of the creed adiaphora? Some say yes. Some no.

The liturgies in LSB seem to be mere suggestions. A congregation can do what it pleases from one Sunday to the next. Unfortunately most do. My weekly liturgy is printed on a "Worship Folder". It changes every week. Never know what your going to get.

Just an observation.

William Weedon said...

But they are not suggestions; they are the liturgy of our Church. It is a shame when they are dispensed. But printing them out does not dispense with them, of course. We also print out the liturgy each week using the wondrous Lutheran Service Builder, but what we print out is one of the Divine Services from Lutheran Service Book. As I've said many times before, this liturgy belongs to the whole people of God. I wish more laity would demand it of their pastors. And why? Precisely for the reason that Fr. Peters wrote on: we repeat that which should never be forgotten.

Past Elder said...

What you are describing is a situation barely 40 years old, since Vatican II, in the Roman church, and Vatican II For Lutherans among us.

Woof.

William Weedon said...

No, Terry. Not among Lutherans. In the LCMS prior to the publication of The Lutheran Hymnal, there were already TWO rites for Holy Communion. One of which was based on the Saxon lineage with rimed paraphrases of Kyrie, Gloria, and Credo, and one with prose translation of these. In the one order, Confession and Absolution followed the sermon. In the other, it preceded the Introit. In the one there was no Pax Domini; in the other there was. In the one there was no Nunc Dimittis; in the other there was. This is simply the heritage that the Missouri Synod had from the moment that the common service was published. She'd ALREADY Englished her Saxon Service, and so we had both services going on in Synod for some time as the switch to English was taking place, and it was only with the publication of the 1941 book that the Saxon service was buried - it just didn't stay buried. It came back in LBW/LW and of course in LSB.

Scott Larkins said...

Fr. Weedon,

I should mention that our parish does have a mostly traditional form of worship with weekly Eucharist. For that I am very thankful. After the LCD screens went in I thought we were done for. So far the form has remained the same.

Guess we should all give thanks for the blessing of weekly Word and Sacrament.

Past Elder said...

I don't think we're talking apples to apples here. I'm not saying the Common Service stood alone and unchallenged in LCMS any more than I am saying the Tridentine Rite cane right from St Peter and the boys.

It should be borne in mind too that the struggles of an immigrant church switching from one vernacular to another are going to be different than those of immigrant churches where the liturgy is in the same language, old or new country. It would be closer to the EO churches retaining the classic language intact, updating to the modern old country language, or switching to English.

But in any case, one does not show up in Milan and find the Milanese rite at one service, the Mozarabic at another, and at the parish down the street a whole different calendar and lectionary with yet another rite in an ordinary and extraordinary form. Or find St John Chrysostom offering this or that way to absolve, that or this anaphora, this calendar or that, that lectionary or this, with more resources on the way.

Single worship books of this kind, as distinct from diverse worship books over time and place, are the result of the Whore of Babylon, which centuries ago as an institution turned its back on the Word rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered, and in the last century turned its back even on itself.

William Weedon said...

About the Babylonian Whore you'll get no arguments from me. :) But note that she of the seven hills is in a quite similar predicament to what we are in: she also now has TWO lectionaries - the old one for the ER and the new one for NO.

Past Elder said...

At least we didn't have to wait for Jerruh to say it's OK.

It should be noted that for the vast majority of Catholics, the ER will be just that in the ordinary as well as the technical sense, extraordinary, to the point of rare.

Then again, I have never heard a Common Service in an LCMS church anywhere, either the TLH one or DSIII (which I think is terrific btw), and if I had started being Lutheran in LCMS would never have heard one at all, ever.

My point again, a diversity of books is not the same as a book of diversity. One cannot validate the latter by the former.

Scott Larkins said...

"Babylonian Whore"......Paaalease.

The one teaching that excludes me from Club Quia. Ain't never bought that one. Find absolutely no basis in Scripture for it. Guess it seemed like a good idea in the 16th century.

Past Elder said...

It seems like an even better idea when that's where you come from then hear what is in Scripture rightly preached. It happened to them in that century and to me in this one.

Actually, I was toning it down -- as I always strive to do, everybody knows that -- and left the part about headed by an office bearing the mark of Antichrist out!

Scott Larkins said...

I, too , am a former citizen of Rome. Just don't find that teaching supported by Scripture.

Bryce P Wandrey said...

Which tradition, prior to the Reformation, does any Church of the Western Rite find precedence for having no Eucharistic prayer (in which the words of institution are situated) and the Epiclesis?

William Weedon said...

Bryce,

You know perfectly well that the lack of a eucharistic prayer was an innovation. Yet the teaching that it is the Verba that consecrate the elements is no innovation, but solidly rooted in the fathers (especially, but not exclusively of the West). The notion of the epiclesis as consecratory has the rather lonely voice of St. Cyril of Jerusalem. Of course, the Lutherans did appeal to St. Gregory's letter to the Bishop of Syracuse in which he explained that the priests said only the Our Father at the consecration and not the canon composed by some "scholasticus." It's a puzzling passage and modern scholars (as Dr. Tighe has shown) offer a reading of it that seems to go against its surface meaning. The Lutheran Reformers took it as a statement that the Apostles consecrated only with the Verba (assumed!) and the Our Father (explicitly stated). The weight of this passage on their practice was, I think, considerable. But do note that eucharistia remained in both the Prefaces and in the Hymns sung during the Distribution of the precious Body and Blood.

William Weedon said...

P.S. The Roman Canon, of course, has no epiclesis unless you run with the rather fanciful "ascending epiclesis" of St. Nicholas Cabasilas in regards to the petition that God's angel would carry these offerings to the altar in heaven.

Bryce P Wandrey said...

You are right, I do know perfectly well that it is an innovation.

I am not sure pinning down what bit of the liturgy actually does the consecrating is a meet, right and salutary exercise. For instance, call it legalistic or good practice, but according to a majority of the Western tradition today you can't simply "say" the words of institution over the elements and have them consecrated. The liturgy of the Sacrament is understood in a more holistic way than that.

I simply find Luther's liturgical revisions troubling. I am not saying they destroy the Mass, but they surely depart from the Western tradition. To what harm, to what good, is up for grabs I guess.

Bryce P Wandrey said...

The words in the Roman Missal 1970 which come closest to what I know as the epiclesis are:

"Bless and approve our offering; make it acceptable to you, an offering in spirit and in truth. Let it become for us the body and blood of Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Lord."

Scott Larkins said...

B.P. Wandrey,

I, too, find it troubling at times. I often wander by what authority did Dr.Luther make these radical changes to the Mass?

Just something to think about.

William Weedon said...

Fair enough, Bryce, but do note that it was not Luther who first noted that the Verba are the instrument for delivering what the Lord in them promises. You can read it in St. Ambrose, St. John Chrysostom, even St. Gregory of Nyssa.

"For that sacrament which you receive is made what it is by the word of Christ." - Ambrose

Past Elder said...

Great Judas in the Forum, were you Benedictine too Scott?

Scripture will not speak of the RCC in so many words because, contra the RCC, it did not exist yet.

The church in the Western tradition that didn't have a Eucharistic Prayer prior to the Reformation is the same one that ordained women and open homosexuals.

Bryce P Wandrey said...

Scott,
I have too wondered the same thing. By what authority? He didn't make it by any authority than his own. I assume he gauged the response of his followers. I assume he asked for the opinions of other pastors who followed his cause. But ultimately, they were not liturgical changes which went through Synod, Council, etc. (unless I can stand corrected: were they part of the agenda of a Colloquoy or Interim, etc?).

Luther can claim to have made the changes on the basis of making the gospel "clearer" in the liturgy but that opens a whole 'nother ball of wax (who judges what makes the gospel more clear? Luther?). That is an appeal to a principle not to an "authority".

Past Elder said...

Just for the record, should anyone think I am opposed to change per se, while at first the Verba-only thing struck me as really stark and minimal, I have become an unreconstructed, unvarnished Verba Only kind of guy who prizes that highly, not admitting sneaking one in as a Preface or a Communion Prayer either.

Flying Judas in the aviary, my former WELS pastor apparently wrote an apologia for such horse nonsense in the miserable Supplement to the already miserable Christian Worship.

Scott Larkins said...

Gets us right back to the question of Authority and Tradition. Would any of our Orthodox brethren like to chime in on this? Would love to hear your take.

William Weedon said...

Luther had no authority to make such changes, nor did he. He SUGGESTED such changes. But the final word was not his suggestions, but what the Lutheran Church Orders established in their respective territories. Not all followed the way of the Deutsche Messe, though most did. Sweden in particular maintained a prayer of thanksgiving in which the Verba were placed. Some orders included a prayer of thanksgiving post-sanctus, but prior to the Verba (think along the lines of LSB 1,2 ). By what authority? The Lutheran Church maintained the Church herself in every land possesses this authority - to regulate ceremonies - and is to do so in such a way that it does not injure weak consciences or give rise to frivolity.

Bryce P Wandrey said...

See...I stand corrected (to an extent).

William Weedon said...

P.S. Though I indeed advocated for the option of a prayer that embraced the Verba, I (as Terry has) have come to an enormous appreciation of that moment when all our words fall silent and the Lord Jesus speaks and in His divine majesty causes to be exactly what He promises. It is our normal form of Eucharistia at St. Paul's and I have come to treasure it.

Bryce P Wandrey said...

What one prefers does hold weight. Experience is not something to be simply thrown out the window.

But I do have to admit that I wince a little bit every time someone says they stand in the (great) tradition of the Western liturgy when something as fundamental as the Eucharistic Prayer is absent. Or that they worship today just like ------ did so many hundreds of years ago when the structure of the Service of the Sacrament has been dissected like it was by the Lutheran (and other) tradition(s). Where does the buck stop? When has one departed from the tradition? When the EP can be removed and all that is left is the Sanctus, Verba and Our Father? Is that departing from the Western tradition?

Maybe it is just something I should get over and keep the peace. ;)

Past Elder said...

Speaking of what is or isn't in Scripture, I don't see bupkis after "Do this" saying "But dress it up a bit wouldja fellas".

Bryce P Wandrey said...

I should add that to my knowledge, the closest the LC-MS has gotten to an actual Eucharistic Prayer (according to the Western Tradition) was in that little red supplement. It contained the Eucharistic prayer of Hippolytus (if not another "actual" Eucharistic prayer). If I was a Lutheran still today that is the liturgy I would be using (because I do believe in using the "book" of the church I am in).

Bryce P Wandrey said...

According to Scripture, wouldn't the Eucharistic Prayer be considered the part of the liturgy which blesses the elements, corresponding to Jesus' actions of taking, blessing, breaking and saying?

William Weedon said...

Actually, Bryce, the Worship Supplement contained three full Eucharistic Prayers for that first chief order. The first was essentially a revision of what appeared in SBH, and Missouri also authorized it in El Culto Christiano (which is what the prayer is named in WS). The second, which might interest you, was named Cambridge and was essentially the prayer from the 1549 Prayer Book. The third, as you recall, was St. Hippolytus. To me the most fascinating Lutheran liturgy of the 16th century was the Red Book of King John III of Sweden. This order in essence frontloaded the Canon to the Intercessions and also included an epiclesis, but then followed the preface etc. It recognizes the essential nature of the Roman Canon as intercession. Here's a redacted version of the same that we use at St. Paul's not infrequently:

William Weedon said...

We come to You, Holy Father, with praise and thanksgiving, through Jesus Christ, Your Son. Through Him we ask You to accept and bless the prayers and gifts we offer - for we bring You in thanksgiving only what You have first given to us in love.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, Your holy church.  Watch over her and guide her. Grant her peace and unity throughout the world. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, Gerald, Herbert, and all pastors and servants of the Church.  Grant them to hold and teach the faith that comes to us from the apostles. Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, our President, our public servants, and all in our armed forces.  Guide, bless, protect and uphold them in honor. Bring all nations into the ways of peace and justice.  In Your kindness and love, grant us seasonable weather and an abundance of the fruits of the earth.  Lord, in your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, all who suffer for Your name, all who are in prison, the hungry and ill-clad, the poor and the lonely, those who travel, and all who cry out to You in their time of need (especially Delmar, Glenn, Rick, Ray, Elizabeth, Alice, Butch, Ruth, Rolene, Alfred, Florene, Susie, Doreen, Al, Mary, Marie, Lois, Kari, John, Beth, Eldon, Lynn, Debbie, George & Martha, Karen, Norman, Joanne, Pat, Sophia, Tracy, Lisa, Bill, Don, Donald, Sam, and Ray). Take them under Your tender care and grant them a happy issue out of their afflictions.  Lord, in your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, Eunice as she celebrates her 80th birthday, and all who are gathered here before You, our living and true God.  We pray for our well-being and redemption. Order our days in Your peace, deliver us from the danger of eternal death, and keep us faithful to the end. Though we are sinners, we trust in Your mercy and love. Do not consider what we truly deserve, but grant us Your forgiveness.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Remember, Lord, all our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in Christ our Savior.  Refresh their souls with heavenly consolation and joy and fulfill for them all the gracious promises which in Your Word You have given to those who believe in You.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

Holy Father, in communion with the whole Church we honor Your saints, in whom You have given us a mirror of Your mercy and grace.  We praise You especially for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph her husband, St. John the Baptist, Saints Peter and Paul, and all Your martyrs.  Give us grace to walk before you with faith like theirs and, in accordance with their prayers, grant us a share in their heavenly fellowship.  Lord, in Your mercy, R.

CELEBRANT: Lord God, as we prepare to receive the holy Sacrament, we pray You, bless and sanctify, with the power of Your Holy Spirit, this bread and wine, which you have given us, that through our Lord’s Words they may become His body and blood, the food and drink of eternal life.

Grant that we may receive in repentance and faith this sacramental mystery, the New Testament of our Divine Redeemer, for He is the Lamb of God, who gave Himself once and for all, as a holy, immaculate and perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sin and for the life and salvation of the whole world.

Through Him we beseech You, Father, to accept our thanksgiving for so great a Gift, as You once accepted the thank-offerings of Your servants Abel and Noah, the sacrifice of Abraham, and the bread and wine offered by Your priest Melchizedek.  In union with them, we pray that Your holy angel would carry our prayer to Your altar in heaven  and unite us in the unending liturgy of Your servants of every time and place; through Christ, our Lord, from whom all good things come.

Through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is Yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever.

Scott Larkins said...

Fr. Weedon,

Your knowledge of all things liturgical never ceases to amaze me. Glad to have you in the Synod and on the side of the Angels;)

Past Elder said...

Well I suppose we could wait for the Anglican Ordinariate to show up and ask what about novus ordo Eucharistic Prayer II -- that is, if it really was by Hippolytus, if he wasn't an anti-pope, etc.

Libera nos Domine!