21 May 2008

Of Invitatories

LSB's Altar Book contains a listing of invitatories to be spread across the post-Trinity season in both Matins and Morning Prayer. I never paid much heed to them at first. Now I note to my surprise that the first four of the series have a familiar ring:

Trinity: The Lord has called us by the Gospel.
Trinity 1-8: The Lord has gathered us in the true faith.
Trinity 9-13: The Lord has enlightened us in the true faith.
Trinity 14--20: The Lord has sanctified us in the true faith.
Trinity 20-24: Glorious is God with His angels and saints.
Trinity 25-27: The Lord will come again in glory.

Yup. Right out of the Catechism's explanation to the Third Article. Which makes those four invitatories addressed, rather interestingly, to the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life. He is the Lord who calls us by the Gospel, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies us in the true faith. Note that the fifth invitatory falls generally between St. Michael and All Angels and the feast of All Saints. The last invitatory falls during the time devoted to the second coming of our Lord in the Sunday lectionary.

A unique interplay then of lex orandi and lex credendi here, and we see how they are but two sides of one coin. I think it was Sasse who said something along the lines that a doctrine that cannot be prayed is no doctrine at all.


Jeremy Loesch said...

Thanks for highlighting this! I must admit that I likely wouldn't have noticed. Yet another reason why LSB is such a worthy worship and devotional tool for the Church. Jeremy

Fr John W Fenton said...

Pr Weedon,

It seems to me that the original intent of lex orandi, lex credendi suggests neither a communicative property, nor the notion that the doctrinal content or dogmatic phrasing produces the liturgical text; but rather that the liturgical text gives birth to doctrinal teaching and urges dogmatic clarity. At least, this seems to be the thrust of Kavanaugh's emphasis on "primary theology."

William Weedon said...

I was waiting to see who would comment on this first: Fr. John or my dear friend Christopher Jones. :)

I would simply note that they don't stay where you put them. They flow back and forth and you can see this readily in, say, the propers for Trinity Sunday or the Sequence for Corpus Christi. A communicative property is a good way to describe what happens in actual liturgical history, as the primary theology produces a secondary theology which interacts with the primary which interacts with the secondary on and on. The notion of "pure" primary theology is one that we don't have access too because we all live at the end of a received tradition that has had this interplay at work for centuries. In your case, it was what led to dropping the pleading of the merits of the saints from the Roman canon.