20 December 2007

You all know

that I love LSB. I think it is a great Hymnal and Service Book. BUT there are times I get very irritated with it. Christmas Day's collect is one of them.

The Latin original for this beautiful collect contrasts the new birth in the flesh of Christ with our ancient servitude under the yoke of sin - and rejoices that in Christ the newness breaks through the oldness of sin and death to liberate us.

Well, the LSB collect retained the notion of freedom from the bondage of sin, but totally left out "the new" and "the old" and I can't for the life of me figure out why. With the birth of Christ in the flesh all is new ("Behold, I make all things new!" and "the old has passed away, the new has come!") and the old yoke is smashed - a new world opens up.

Hand in hand with that is the way that some translate the "Everlasting Father" of Isaiah 9 as "Father of the Age to Come." In other words, Christ as the new constitutive center of the coming age stepping into the place parallel to Adam in this old age. In Christ's new birth all things can become new again. Sad that it was dropped.


Past Elder said...

This sounds like the Collect from the Third Mass of Christmas, which has as its focus the eternal generation of the Son in the Godhead, which is why the Gospel reading is John 1 and not a nativity narrative, and is celebrated during the day.

"Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the new birth of Thine only begotten Son in the flesh may deliver us who are held by the old bondage under the yoke of sin. Through the same our Lord ... "

The collect for the Second Mass, which has as its focus the birth of Christ in the hearts of believers as first evidenced in the shepherds, and is celebrated at dawn, is:

"Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who are filled with the new light of Thy Incarnate Word, may show forth in our works that which by faith shineth in our minds. Through the same ..."

The Collect for the First Mass, which has as its focus the historical birth of Christ, and is celebrated at midnight, is:

"O God, Who hast made this most sacred night to shine forth with the brightness of the true Light, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may enjoy His happiness in heaven, the mystery of whose light we have known upon earth. Through the same ...".

The LSB is a blessing, but a mixed one. It restores the three liturgies for Christmas, unlike TLH, but at the expense of that which it would restore, unlike TLH, which at least preserves what it preserves.

Then again, since it incorporates Vatican II for Lutherans in the LBW/LW tradition along with the church's liturgy, what else would it be? Then again again, with contemporary worship in either Rome's or the Willow Creek/Saddleback version so prominent among us, it's a miracle it's as good as it is.

Unknown said...

So, Past Elder...

The reason you're not darkening the halls of our seminaries and hobnobing with Brauer or Quill is what, exactly?

Past Elder said...

Ah, Pastor House -- and may I say your blog is one of my daily reads and listed on my blogroll -- they may be counted as reasons or excuses, but among them are:

I am 57 years old. Gott hilf mir, by the time I am ready to contemplate my first call, other men of my age will be in or contemplating their last! And learning Hebrew and Greek for real and not just indirectly from etymologies is a bit daunting at 57. Keeping my altar boy Latin from rust is challenge enough, let alone Spanish and German.

I have 10 and 11 year old sons. Yes, got into the dad thing a bit late. So I don't think there's a retirement career for me, because I don't think there's a retirement at all for me.

Being of the generation that made adolescence into an adult lifestyle, is a congregation really ready for a grey-bearded late middle age pastor who rather than thinking it's still the 1960s says we're going to knock off this Vatican II For Lutherans junk right along with the Willow Creek wannabe junk and take our place in the Word and Sacrament God offers his catholic church in its liturgy? Heck, I'm still steamed that neither seminary calendar offered the "one-year" pericope for 2007 like one of them did in 2006!