06 April 2007

Liturgical Reflections

With the publication of Lutheran Service Book, two services are provided for Good Friday: the Chief Service and the Tenebrae Vespers. Today at St. Paul's both were prayed. The Chief Service was prayed at noon; the Tenebrae Vespers at 7:15 p.m. It was not a surprise that the "Chief" Service was more sparsely attended than the Vespers - we've not offered a service at noon before. Between the two services we had an attendance about 237 or so. I cannot commend highly enough the experience of the liturgies just as they are written in the book. I was a tad skeptical about a couple items, but by the time the services of Good Friday had concluded I was shown to have worried needlessly. A big thanks to the Choir of St. Paul's and to our pianist Diane Schrader for bringing us to the Cross in adoration and praise.


Jim Roemke said...

I had the pleasure of attending your noon service and thought it was very nice.

Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

I love the Chief Service. Played through it this afternoon for my own benefit.

The LSB Accompaniment for the Liturgy doesn't seem to have a special "Tenebrae Vespers". How is this different from the normal service?

William Weedon said...


Traditional opening versicles sans Gloria. Four Psalms (22; 2; 27; 51) with candle put out after each. First half of "O Sacred Head" and reading of first part of John 19. Candle put out. Second half of "O Sacred Head" and reading of second part of John 19. Candle put out. Office Hymn: "A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth." Sermon. Canticle. Kyrie. Our Father. Collects. Last candle extinguished. Strepitus.

Dan at Necessary Roughness said...

Sweet, sweet stuff. Thanks!

Christopher Esget said...

Just curious - what parts of the services were you apprehensive about beforehand? You know the one spot that gave me pause :) Thanks for helping me understand that better. I spent some time reading on the 7th Ecumenical Council this week - I appreciated the tip.

Past Elder said...

The Chief Service is magnificent, and given the spirit of the age, not to mention the difficulties among us, its appearance in a new worship book is getting pretty close to a miracle!

I served the Roman version of this service for years as a kid and teenager. The LSB version is just the sort of thing I would see in my mind when reading the Book of Concord on worship as part of my instruction before profession of faith and with each page coming to see I wasn't so much leaving the Catholic Church as finding the catholic church, just as it said!

What a wonderful thing to have both the Chief Service and Tenebrae in one parish! I think I'd take the day off to hit them both -- people used to do that! Call it a convert thing, but I've come to love Tenebrae most of everything we do -- more about that on my own blog. At my parish we had Tenebrae only.

I'm sure the number will grow each year! God just doesn't seem to let this stuff go away!

Past Elder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Past Elder said...

Just removed the double post -- sorry -- dial up and a tired author!

William Weedon said...


What gave me pause at the Chief Service was the amount of song - I think there were something like 22 stanzas of hymn! But they worked - and worked beautifully.

About the Tenebrae, I just wasn't sure how the putting out of the candles would work with six gone and the office hymn, sermon, canticle, and prayers yet before us. We figured out how to handle the lights, though, so the people could still see.

Most of my anxiety came from never having done either service before in this way, and I am always fearful of forgetting where I am and what I'm supposed to do next. But it worked out very, very well, I thought, and the anxiety itself melted away as we adored the Crucified and contemplated His holy burial.

Past Elder,

It was a wonderful service, and I'm sure you're right. The numbers will grow. It's simply too good not to.

Christopher Esget said...

It is a great deal of singing, isn't it? Lovely, though. We did the Chief Service exactly as LSB Altar Book gives it; in all, it took a little over 90 minutes, but I don't think I'll change a thing for next year except perhaps to process with the crucifix at "Behold, the life-giving cross..." I had one person gently complain that we didn't sing ALL the stanzas of "Sing, My Tongue" as we have in the past. I had a version where we sang twelve stanzas, although I think it was actually ten or eleven with one or two repeated. That's the kind of "complaint" I can live with!

Susan said...

>>the liturgies just as they are written in the book.<<

I was just looking up something unrelated, but had to be hunting through the lectionary in the front of the pew edition. I noticed that the Good Friday epistle for the 3-yr series is Hebrews 4, and the 1-yr series epistle is 2 Corinthians 5. But the altar book only mentions the Hebrews passage.

As for the amount of singing... 22 stanzas wasn't enough. :)