Posts from the “Liturgy” Category

Prayers for the Holy Communion

Posted on March 23rd, 2016

I first heard these prayers used at Divine Service at Redeemer, Fort Wayne. I believe they come to us by way of the 1908 Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, but I don’t know a source beyond that. The outline below is where we place them when used (a couple times a year) at Immanuel. I post them here for your Holy Thursday reflection.   PREFACE PROPER PREFACE SANCTUS   GLORY be to Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou almighty and everlasting Son of the Father, that by the sacrifice of Thyself upon the cross, offered up once for all, Thou didst perfect them that are sanctified, and ordain, as a memorial and seal thereof, Thy Holy Supper, in which Thou givest us Thy body to eat, and Thy…

Ritual and true worship

Posted on July 8th, 2014

Bonhoeffer’s journey to Rome as a young man opened his eyes to ritual’s possibility. Ritual helps express the catholicity of the Church, as many different languages, ethnicities, and cultures join in a common ritual. And ritual helps us forget ourselves and enter deep into the mystery of the Faith. Here is Bonhoeffer on the church’s catholicity: The occasion for his epiphany that day was a Mass at St. Peter’s performed by a cardinal, with a boys’ choir whose singing took his breath away. A host of other clergy, including seminarians and monks, was at the altar: “The universality of the church was illustrated in a marvelously effective manner. White, black, yellow members of religious orders— everyone was in clerical robes united under the church. It…

A stable liturgy

Posted on May 19th, 2014

A stable liturgy can be a blessing. But only if it has preserved the truth. If it does not pass on the pure Word of God, such a stable liturgy is not a blessing. It is a curse.

Prayers before the March for Life

Posted on January 22nd, 2014

We come to you Father with praise and thanksgiving, not as we ought, but as we are able. We beg you to accept and bless the prayer we offer you. Do not consider what we truly deserve, but grant us your forgiveness. Lord, in your mercy, R.  Remember, Lord, Your one, holy, Christian and apostolic church. Watch over her and guide her. Grant her peace and unity throughout the whole world. Grant her to speak with one voice and act with unity of purpose upholding Your gift of life, and working for an end to the scourge of legalized murder. We pray especially for Matthew and John, and all the leaders of our Synod; for all pastors, and every servant of the Church. Grant…

Our Lord’s Gifts Are Not Garbage

Posted on August 16th, 2013

While still a seminary student, I was assisting in the distribution of Holy Communion when I heard a little girl say something jarring. “Daddy, can I throw that in the trash?” The church used disposable plastic cups at Communion, and there was a basket near the altar rail to deposit the used cups. It was a natural question for this little girl to ask. Children like to participate in what the adults are doing, and the ritual action of the Sacrament leads to curiosity. I cringed as I saw her eagerly chuck it upon the growing mound of plastic, still dripping with the Sacrament. That Cup was not garbage. It contains the very blood of Christ. In his Lectures on the Christian Sacraments, St. Cyril of Jerusalem…

Praying for women on Mothers Day

Posted on May 11th, 2013

Pastor Michael Schuermann has an excellent piece on pastoral considerations for Mothers Day. You can read it here. Since we are using as the Prayer of the Church the Great Litany of St. John Chrysostom during Eastertide at Immanuel, I will be inserting the following bids: For all mothers, let us pray to the Lord. For all women with child (especially ______), let us pray to the Lord. For all women who long to have children, but cannot, let us pray to the Lord. For all women who have lost a child, let us pray to the Lord.

How do you use the Divine Service settings in Lutheran Service Book?

Posted on April 13th, 2013

A new pastor recently wrote to me asking for advice; his church leadership has asked him to use all the settings, instead of just one. He asked for my brief thoughts on the positives and drawbacks of each setting. Here’s what I wrote to him:   One could write an essay on this question! Let me tell you what I currently do, and why, then talk about your options. Advent: Setting 2 Christmas & Epiphany: Setting 3 Pre-Lent (Gesimas): Setting 1 Lent: Setting 2 Holy Thursday: Setting 3 Good Friday: Chief Service Easter Sunday and Quasimodo Geniti: Setting 3 with “This is the Feast” as post-communion canticle Misericordias Domini through Trinity Sunday: Setting 3 Trinity 1-27: alternate between Settings 1 & 3 (about monthly)…

The Separation of the Lenten Fast from the Paschal Fast

Posted on March 22nd, 2013

Many commentaries have considered the six weeks of Lent to be a still further extension of the paschal fast, but that seems to be a serious oversimplification. In the West we are accustomed today to a six-week lent of which the final week is Holy Week, and our tendency is to see that as only the last and most solemn week of the longer fast season. Such a total of six weeks was urged also at Alexandria in the time of Athanasius, but it is clear from his festal letters, of which we possess a great many, that his church understood the final week of the six to be distinct. Some of those letters, such as the first, announce only the beginning of the…

Petitions for the President’s inauguration and Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

Posted on January 19th, 2013

I didn’t see anything from the LCMS worship office on prayers for Life Sunday or President Obama’s inauguration (if I missed it, please point me in the right direction), so I wrote my own. Perhaps they may be of use to someone:     For the President of the United States, Barack Obama, that his inauguration would be a blessing to the nation, that he would be strengthened in good works, and that he would receive grace to uphold all our liberties, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For an end to abortion and every form of violence, let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy. For an end to war, slavery, human trafficking, genocide, infanticide, euthanasia, torture, wrongful imprisonment,…