19 March 2007

Gottesdienst Day!

Each time I think the periodical Gottesdienst couldn't get any better, Fr. Fritz pulls a fast one. There's much to be commended in the latest edition, but the top reading, in my opinion, is from Fr. Fritz himself. He has written a little opinion piece called "Lutheran Identity Crisis?" VERY worth the read. What does it say? Well, subscribe and find out!

Oh, all right. All right. Just one teasing bit:

"This leaves the restless among us to consider flight to one of the historic episcopates. Some have been known to get a bit misty-eyed about the historic episcopates, an understandable weakness for the liturgically aware.... The temptation is palpable. A bishop comes along who actually looks and acts like a bishop, and whose churches actually look and act like churches, and it's no wonder we fumbling Lutherans look up from our sandboxes and wonder if maybe there's something we're missing over here. Well, of course there is! Our churches don't look or act like churches. That's what is missing."

Oh, so much more. And very tasty. Enjoy!


The Unknown Lutheran said...

Pr. Weedon:
There is nothing in our confessions that says we can't have bishops that look and act like them and celebrating the mass every Lord's day and feast day leands itself to having churches that look like churches...
It can happen, it really can....

William Weedon said...

Dear Unknown,

You'd definitely be interested in Fr. Fritz' whole article - he is NOT advocating the abandonment of the Churches of the Augsburg Confession. : )

The Unknown Lutheran said...

I'm sure he's not, I'm sure he is pushing for us to wake up and realize what we have. We don't even need to do anything, weekly communion, a return to confession and absolution, the traditional liturgy - all these treasures of the church, we are so rich but we think we need to do something and the Father gives it all for free!

I'm always thinking that it is really possible that there can be a type of restoration of true confessional lutheranism.

I'm foolish enough to think it is possible.

Schütz said...

Ah, dear Pastor, you will not like this, but... here goes anyway.

Why do Lutherans who stay put in Wittenberg (rather than swim the Tiber, the Thames, or the Aegean Sea) get so caustic about those who don't? Why the need to dismiss those who seriously and earnestly take to heart St Ignatius' statement that "Where the bishop is, there is the church"? Is it so implausible that they would seek the true Church by seeking the valid bishop?

Why put down our earnest search by saying that we are looking for someone who "looks and acts" like a bishop, or a church that "looks and acts" like a church? I don't want a church or a bishop that simply "looks and acts" like one. I had that in the Lutheran Church of Australia. I want the Church and the Bishop who really is THE Church and THE Bishop. More important to me than appearance is the reality.

I will be the first to acknowledge that, sadly, the real Church and the real Bishops are often well hidden behind the failure to "look and act" like what they truly are. But I will take the reality any day over the mere pretence of the "look and act".

What is missing in the Lutheran churches is not the "look and act". It is the reality.

Sorry to put it so bluntly. I said you wouldn't like it.

William Weedon said...

Dear Schütz,

No offense taken. Shoot, if you didn't believe the way you do, then there would have been no excuse for you leaving. I think you are quite wrong, but you knew that. :)

The Gottesdienst article, though, wasn't an attack on those who swam the Tiber, but a self-reflection for those of us who have not swum. The snippet I gave was merely that, a snippet. Fr. Eckardt provides much fodder for thought in the rest of the article.

Fr. Hank said...

For those of us olde folk who are income challanged, is there any way to post the article ?

William Weedon said...

Fr. Hank,

Sadly, nay. It wouldn't be fair to Gottesdienst, and if it would be fair, it is too long to type out. You might want to email Fr. Eckardt and ask him if you can get a copy of the article by itself. Just google Gottesblog. Pax!

Christine said...

Well, I'll try very hard not to be caustic but having just come away from ten years in the Roman Catholic Church how I wish I had used my head more when I left the ELCA to look for a Confessional Lutheran congregation instead of heading to Rome. Panic had set in at the confessional deconstruction that was setting in the ELCA and I had these misty-eyed, ephereal memories of my Catholic Dad taking me to Mass as a very young girl. That, of course, would have been the Tridentine rite complete with all the smells and bells.

Bishops there are, but the LCMS church I recently found looks, sounds and appears more authentically catholic than the RC parish I had been attending with its banal music, awful homilies and barn-like atmosphere.

In the end, the sonorous words of Ignatius that "where the bishop is there is the Church" wasn't enough anymore.

I am now in the painstaking process of re-learning the Lutheran Confessions and reconnecting with the Lutheran doctrines and ethos that I loved as a child and am finding that here, indeed, is the Church.

No offense here is intended to those Lutherans who continue to head for Rome, Canterbury or Constantinople but having been raised in both traditions, my heart never found the peace as a Catholic that has now returned to me in coming home to the LCMS.

William Weedon said...


Welcome home!!!

Christine said...

Thanks, Pastor Weedon! I am greatly looking forward to celebrating Easter this year in our Lutheran tradition.

And may I say it's great to find so many fine LCMS blogs in the cybersphere!