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Posts Tagged ‘Explanation of the Divine Service’

Who Left Whom? CoWo Isn’t a Practice of Walking Together

May 2nd, 2014 87 comments

One thing I don’t understand about this whole affair of CoWo at CUNE and in LC-MS congregations (please read this thread and the comments for some examples and context) is why those introducing this recent innovation into the LC-MS have done so knowing that they are changing the liturgy from practice that was common to most congregations in the LC-MS for decades? For all the talk of brotherly love coming from those demanding that the “traditionalists” stop blocking change in the LC-MS towards CoWo, where was that brotherly love when these innovators began introducing CoWo (and accompanying Church Growth theology)   More…

Adolescent Ecclesiology

October 2nd, 2013 12 comments

In The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene Peterson makes the observation that  our culture is “unwell in a new way.”  In contrast to previous generations, where older generations passed their values and wisdom down to younger ones, it appears that in our generation the direction of influence has been reversed.  Peterson writes, “There was a time when idea and living styles were initiated in the adult world and filtered down to youth.  Now the movement goes the other way: lifestyles are generated at the youth level and pushed upward.  Dress fashions, hair styles, music, and moral that are adopted by youth are   More…

The Kyrie: Simple Words, Profound Comfort

August 18th, 2013 10 comments

(Luther, “The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector”) Sometimes the most simple and obvious things are also the most profound.  We often go to great lengths to find comfort, to improve our situation in life, to find peace.  With God, this is not necessary.  We don’t have to ascend to heaven or go off on some elaborate spirituality quest to find His comfort.  He brings it to you, simply and plainly (Jeremiah 23:23).  In Exodus 34:6, God describes Himself as “merciful and gracious.”  This simple, yet profoundly comforting truth finds its expression in the Church’s Kyrie: “Lord, have   More…

The Divine Service Can Be Like Going to Mars

August 12th, 2013 37 comments

Have you ever been to a foreign country where the language and customs of its people were utterly strange to you? Visiting some countries is nearly an extraterrestrial experience and interestingly enough, going to the divine service for the first time can feel like one has traveled to Mars! Understanding what is going on in the divine service can be daunting for the “noobie” Lutheran, to say the least. I know something about this, since I am not a lifelong Lutheran and my first divine service was somewhat puzzling to me. Prior to becoming a Lutheran, I was an atheist.   More…

What Struggles Do Former Evangelicals Have With The Lutheran Liturgy?

The journey from American Evangelicalism into Confessional Lutheranism is a long, difficult, and sometimes scary road. The journey is neither something that just happens overnight, nor is it an easy shift. The shift has linguistic, emotional, worldview, and epistemological challenges that accompany it, thus producing a great deal of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty for the individual. Not only does one experience this shift ideologically, but one also experiences misunderstandings, hesitations, and struggles with the changes from non-liturgical worship settings to the worship practices of the Lutheran liturgy. In order explore this subject more thoroughly I conducted a survey several weeks   More…

Steadfast in Society: Liturgics and the Young

March 17th, 2013 8 comments

At this past Lenten Wednesday service we (Divine Savior Lutheran Church, Shepherdsville, KY) had an opportunity to introduce a couple of young men into the service of our Lord. Many parishes often times have struggles with getting the young to want to participate in the service. It may be serving as an Acolyte or a Crucifer. But we have to ask the question why are so many of our young people unwilling or not wanting to serve the Pastor in delivering the Gospel? There is an innumerable amount of publications that teach us how to raise our youth so that   More…

Great Stuff — Why liturgy? Thoughts about its form and function in the Lutheran Church

February 23rd, 2013 No comments

Another great post found over on Pr. Mark Surburg’s Blog:   A. Theology of the Divine Service Every Sunday we gather for worship at church.  As we consider what happens on Sunday morning, it is essential that we think about the service in the way of the Gospel.  The focus of Sunday morning is not on what we do (Law).  Instead, the focus is on what God is doing for us (Gospel). God comes to us with His gifts of the Means of Grace by which He delivers forgiveness and strengthens us in the faith.  The first move is from God to us.  Then in turn, as we   More…

Great Stuff — Religion = doctrine or experience?

July 1st, 2012 25 comments

Another great post by Pastor Peters over on Pastoral Meanderings:   Again, First Things has a good piece on liturgical renewal and the return of one raised in the liturgy to that very liturgy that gave him life.  It is a good read and I urge you to take a look.  I appreciated his personal take on the journey back to his beginnings and Leroy Huizengais a good writer.  I stole a quote from his article: In recent years, however, while continuing to play in worship bands, I began to become increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of “contemporary worship.” As   More…

Liturgical Boot Camp

May 15th, 2012 6 comments

When is the last time you saw the word “liturgical,” in the same sentence with “boot camp”? Initially they don’t seem to have anything in common but upon further investigation this belief might change. Yes, the increase of physical endurance and strength is a goal of boot camp. But there is more, much more of even far greater significance. One of the primary purposes of this famed US Military rite of passage is to break down the individual so that a new identification is constructed. These soldiers in training become fellow comrades who are your new family, life, and your   More…

Does your worship prepare you for death?

I had the opportunity to hear an excellent presentation this afternoon from a neighboring pastor (Rev. Shawn Kumm of Zion, Laramie) on Lutheran worship.  One of the best points that he made was related to how worship is meant to prepare the Christian for death. I have often found that all theology finds its best expression on the deathbed.  It is there that Lutheran teachings become so distinct from others that one can really see the pure Gospel versus impure ones.  What struck me about this worship leading to death thing is the difference between liturgical and “contemporary” services. Liturgical   More…

Higher Things — Top Ten Reason Why We Use the Liturgy

August 25th, 2011 306 comments

by The Rev. William Cwirla ((Found by a friend’s facebook posting on higherthings.org)) Why the Liturgy? First a definition and a disclaimer. By “liturgy” I mean the western catholic mass form as it has been handed down by way of the Lutheran Reformation consisting of the five fixed canticles – Kyrie, Gloria in Excelsis, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. Pardon the Greek and Latin, but it sounds cool and we still use ‘em. “Liturgy” also includes the assigned Scripture texts for the Sundays, feast days, and seasons. Most of what I will say about the liturgy of the Divine Service   More…

Blessed Easter – The Vigil from Chicago, by Pr. Rossow

April 24th, 2011 6 comments

Each year our parish (Bethany – Naperville, Illinois) marks the Easter Vigil. It is an abbreviated service, about an hour and a half, not the entire night in vigil. It starts with a procession from a bonfire outside the church and into the dark sanctuary with each member and the men’s choir carrying candles. We also initiate the new paschal candle and as is traditional, confirm the adult catechumens. We offer this example in support of BJS’s goal of promoting the historic liturgy. You may want to look into adding this to your Holy Week spiritual exercise. (We have several other video   More…

the Lutheran Clarion – An Apologia for the Historic Liturgy, by Rev. William Weedon

October 8th, 2009 2 comments

(LCA just released the November issue of the Lutheran Clarion. We are pleased to post articles on the BJS website from one of the longest operating confessional groups in the LCMS – The Lutheran Concerns Association – LCA. We will be posting the LCA newsletters on their page on this site: http://steadfastlutherans.org/lca and posting selected articles from those newsletters here on our site. We recommend you join the LCA and subscribe to The Clarion.) Why do I support the historic liturgy? Is it because I am drawn to the music? to the pageantry? to the “style”? That I enjoy the   More…