30 March 2008

Low Sunday

What a joy it was today for the Liturgy to return to what we think of as "normal." Much as I love the great sacrifice of praise that is offered on Pascha, there is something simply sustaining about the return of our regular Divine Service. Well, almost. During the days of Easter the Gradual is omitted and the Alleluia Verse is lengthened. The hymns continued to bring us the bright joy of the Paschal Victory, yet this Sunday that joy was swathed in the familiar.

I've been a pastor for over 20 years, and yet when we come to the liturgical changes during Holy Week and Easter, I find myself nervous, jittery that the old habitual way of doing the service will take over, and I'll distract the people from their worship by my blunder. When Low Sunday arrives, except for the missing Gradual, it's back to the regular ordering of things and the Easter joy still is reigning. I confess it's a relief.

9 comments:

Luke said...

Pr. Weedon:

Normality is a joy in its own right.

Out of curiosity, why is the Gradual omitted during the Paschal Season? Haven't run across that before. Have I missed something in the agenda?

Speaking of Paschal customs, the long alleluia verse followed by "Christ Is Arisen" as Sequence Hymn is a special treat for the season. My parishes are getting used to it, and this year, I think the appreciation has increased. Perhaps the full Victimae Paschali next year.

LTZ

William Weedon said...

Pastor Zimmermann,

It's the historic practice. You can see it in TLH (despite being called "the gradual") - that what you have is lengthen Alleluia Verses. Instead of one, two. I note that the Orthodox Missal (Western Rite) likewise omits the Graduals from Quasimodo through Penteocst.

During Easter we sing the triple alleluia, then, three times, with the two verses between the sets of alleluias. I would imagine that it is the lengthening of the Alleluia that resulted in the dropping of the Gradual verses.

The note in LSB Altar Book for the one year series notes: "During the celebration of Easter and Pentecost, the gradual is omitted and the verse is expanded." (ex. see p. 893)

Anonymous said...

over 20 years...soooo basically, you're saying you're old?

William Weedon said...

Lauren Elizabeth,

Children should be seen and not heard - even if they are married. ;)

Love ya too!

Luke said...

Pr. Weedon:

Hmm. Must have just plain missed that in seminary. Guess that's what I get for being a Three-Year Vatican II Lutheran. (Being "inventive," we use the LSB 3-year propers and Service 2 in Easter at my parishes.)

Your mention about the misnomer of "Gradual" in TLH is on pages 87-89 of "Ceremony and Celebration." Your theory about the origin of the lengthened Alleluias makes sense.

Guess you learn something new everyday.

LTZ

William Weedon said...

Pastor Zimmermann,

Given the paucity of experience folks have with the historic lectionary at our seminaries, it wouldn't be expected for you to run into it. But that is one thing I am VERY grateful for about LSB - the historic series was put back on equal footing with the 3-year, and its own "peculiarities" were generally recognized and included in the rubrics.

So what do you think of the shape of the post-sanctus liturgy in LSB 1 & 2? How do you find it working? Do you use the longer option with the Proclamation of Christ?

Pax!

Luke said...

Pr. Weedon:

Thanks for the graciousness regarding lack of experience with the Historic Lectionary. I agree about your statement about parity between the lectionaries: it is a good change. And keeping the particular customs with the One Year lectionary was even better.

As for the Post-Sanctus Liturgy in LSB 2: I've begun to use the longer option with the Proclamation of Christ this Easter Season, but using the Seasonal Prayer of Thanksgiving from Service 4 after the Sanctus. I find that it works well. (I also did the "LW DS 1 Thing" by inserting the Seasonal Prayer of Thanksgiving from Service 4 after the Sanctus in Service 3 for Lent. It was easy to do using the Service Builder, even if it brings the chagrin of those who want to keep the "integrity" of the Common Service. The Service Builder encourages such "inventiveness," when it seems good to do.)

The only odd part of the longer option is having the east-facing altars; the prayers seem to imply "dialogue" and probably work better facing the people. But other than that, I enjoy using that new option. I think we'll go back to the shorter option for the General Season, when we switch to Service 1.

Personally, I think it was a good step by the Synod to include such an option. I had been looking at English translations of the Swedish Rite for Eucharistic Prayers, and the form of the LSB option is very close to what the Church of Sweden has in their options. (You can find English translations of their 1986 Order at this URL: http://tinyurl.com/3b7fz9)

So all in all, I'm pleased.

Pax Christi tecum.

LTZ

William Weedon said...

Re Swedish rites, you might have noticed that the invariable Preface in DS 4 is actually a redaction of Petri's eucharistic prayer - the historic consecration of the Church of Sweden (fairly constant from Reformation until the middle of the 20th century).

Jimbo said...

on a COMPLETELY different note (pun intended):
I couldn't help noticing that even though we only sing "O Sons and Daughters of the King" once a year, the people know it so well from TLH that they had a hard time with LSB switching the quarter note with the half note in the second and third line.