01 July 2006

Why LSB?

One of my very best friends - one who is given to brutal honesty - asked me today: why bother with the Lutheran Service Book? Why not be content with The Lutheran Hymnal? Why the extra expense?

I was so glad she asked. It gave me the opportunity to pull some thoughts together. Here they are - not in any particular order - but reasons why I favor the adoption of the Lutheran Service Book:

1. Better job of updating the Common Service than in LW.
2. Lots of great new (and old) hymns.
3. Compline! I love the Prayer at the Close of the Day - and the setting in LSB is accessible and beautiful.
4. Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage and Funeral - all in the LSB, cutting out reasons to print these services out.
5. A single method of counting pages, making the hymnal MUCH more user-friendly.
6. Lowered keys (YES!).
7. Fabulous job of updating Matins and Vespers - very simple to follow, kudos on the Magnificat in Vespers.
8. More Psalms!!!
9. A chance (just a chance) of unifying the Synod behind a single ordo that respects fully the heritage of the Common Service, and yet has place for some insight from the 20th century liturgical movement.
10. In DS I and II, a fuller Eucharistia that is sensitive to the concerns of the Lutheran Church and yet offers opportunity for a richer thanksgiving.
11. The historic series given an equal footing with the three-year - a much needed help to restoring historical Lutheran worship.

That's my top 11 reasons. What are yours?


περιμήκετος said...

I would also add the alternate Baptismal rite which is found in the Altar Book. It is based on Luther's 1526 Taufbuchlein. The big difference is the addition (or re-insertion) of the rite of Exorcism.

Additionally both LSB Baptismal rites include the Flood Prayer, which is just beautiful in tying Baptism to the Flood as Peter does in 1 Peter 3:21. It reads:
Almighty and eternal God,
according to Your strict judgment You condemned the unbelieving world through the flood,
yet according to Your great mercy You preserved believing Noah and his family,
eight souls in all.
You drowned hard-hearted Pharaoh and all his host in the Red Sea,
yet led Your people Israel through the water on dry ground,
foreshadowing this washing of Your Holy Baptism.
Through the Baptism in the Jordan of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
You sanctified and instituted all waters to be a blessed flood
and a lavish washing away of sin.

We pray that You would behold name(s)_ according to Your boundless mercy
and bless him/her/them with true faith by the Holy Spirit,
that through this saving flood all sin in him/her/them ,
which has been inherited from Adam
and which he himself/she herself/they themselves has committed since,
would be drowned and die.
Grant that he/she/they be kept safe and secure in the holy Ark of the Christian Church,
being separated from the multitude of unbelievers
and serving Your name at all times with a fervent spirit and a joyful hope,
so that, with all believers in Your promise,
he/she/they would be declared worthy of eternal life;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

There are many more reasons, especially from the officiant's standpoint as the rubrics are well defined and explained.

William Weedon said...


I agree, though I wish that they had left the entire Baptismal Service from that Order intact. The use of the Flood Prayer is a welcome return - and its use in the Baptismal Order ties in very nicely with its use in the Vigil.

An example of what irritates me about the "update" is actual in the great flood prayer: why on earth was the language of the original "being made worthy" altered to push the theological idea of "being declared worthy"?

Still, I am delighted indeed to see its return, even in the current form.

Rev. Ryan Fouts said...
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Rev. Ryan Fouts said...

I don't know...

One of my top reasons has to be that the vineyards will no longer be fruitful, and our hopes and dreams will no longer be squeezing their way into the offertory.

Also, the fact that the very first sizable publication for the LSB series is the historic, one-year lectionary.

David B. said...

The more I realize what a poor, miserable sinner I am, the less satisfied I am with confession and absolution in p. 5. If I'm going to chicken out of private C&A, at least let me confess my sins with my mouth in the service, rather than having the pastor do it for me!

Leistico said...

dear father,
I agree with most of your reasons - though the logic of the first and last is not aimed so much at your sister favoring TLH.
as for myself, I can foresee one parish going LSB and the other staying TLH... that could be "fun" twisting my mind every Sunday... there better be an index cross-referencing TLH and LSB hymns

William Weedon said...


Sounds like you need to work extra hard on getting that one congregation to switch. My suggestion? Tell them that absolutely and under no uncertain circumstances will you ever even think of using the LSB. ; )

William Weedon said...


You know, if you give private confession a chance, I'll bet you'll never want to go back to even page 15. It's spooky at first, but the more you do it, the more you will come to treasure it.


David B. said...

Pastor Weedon, thank you. You're right. I actually did manage to work up the nerve one time, and it was a wonderful blessing. I do hope to make it part of my routine, but the Old Adam always finds excuses, y'know? Maybe your encouragement will help get me moving in that direction more quickly.

Rev. Jeffrey Horn said...

Personally one of my top reasons to go with LSB is the pastoralcare resources they are making available. From what I have read these resources will be a good help to pastors, giving good suggestions for scriptures and prayers in many unique and challenging situations. It should not serve as a crutch, a text from which the pastor does not deviate, for that would not be helpful to the flock. But it will be a start for ideas, a tool to lead, a guide to helpful scriptures, and a strengthening aid to pastors who often face difficult care issues on their own, and could use a friendly aid.

Also I like that it has the catechism in it, which TLH left out.

William Weedon said...

Two more good points! Thanks!

RevFisk said...

Though I agree with the esteemable Rev. Fouts (;)) about not missing the gathering of *all* hopes and dreams, I can't help but wave a teary-eyed goodbye to the request for the foretaste of the feast.

But, otherwise, preach on brother Weedon! And, if I might add one more for my aesthetically addicted generation, this is the coolest cover to any hymnal in the history of the world.