An Explanation of the Divine Liturgy

It has been mentioned several times that Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL has in its pew racks a laminated 9″x14″ (7″ wide folded) pamphlet that describes the Divine Service. This is useful for visitors or those unfamiliar with the … Continue reading

Early Communion

I assume that is is because that most of our parishes have recently celebrated the rite of Confirmation that the BJS editors asked for piece dealing with Holy Communion, in particular early communion. For with Confirmation comes a whole new … Continue reading

Celebrating the Passover Seder

I always find it remarkable how many Christians are drawn to celebrate a ‘Passover Seder’. Around this time of year, I usually start seeing threads popping up on e-mail lists, how this congregation or some neighboring congregation is doing it. … Continue reading

Responding to National Tragedy

 Perhaps the best way to respond to a national tragedy – or any kind of tragedy, is with mourning, repentance, and faith. One especially relevant biblical account is that of Luke 13. Here, Jesus is told of a situation, in … Continue reading

A Belated Reflection on Projection Screens in the Liturgical Context

The use of projection screens in place of printed books or bulletins in the Divine Service has become quite prevalent in some parts of North American Lutheranism.   With this said, I am not aware of any major study that has … Continue reading

The Vocation of Music in the Divine Service

We Lutherans, who are heirs of Johann Sebastian Bach and so many other great composers of sacred music, certainly understand that various instruments can be used faithfully in the liturgical context to God’s glory.   But what are some important considerations … Continue reading

Grape Juice (Communion in One Kind — Part Two)

Having been encouraged to study the Book of Concord (see my previous post), my Wednesday evening adult Bible class turned to Luther’s Small Catechism. Beginning in the Preface, we found quite a bit to provoke discussion. I was surprised at … Continue reading

Minnesota North Encourages Its Congregations to Study the Book of Concord (Communion in One Kind — Part One)

One feature of District and Synodical Conventions is the “mom and apple pie” resolution. These are the kinds of resolutions that no sensible person can really vote against. Cynics suspect that such resolutions are set forward in order to get … Continue reading

Liturgical Colors in Leipzig

Using color to mark times and seasons of the Church Year is nothing new to most of us. The idea of using liturgical colors seems so normal to us, that you can often find people with strong opinions about such … Continue reading

Hurry Up and Give the Benediction Already

When you talk to some people, you might get the impression that they view their attendance at church services simply as an obligation.  They go, because God expects them to go.  Yet, when they go to church for God, they … Continue reading

Steadfast in Worship — Three Words about Worship in the Lutheran Confessions

 I would like to spend a little time with three words mentioned by Pastor Martin Noland in his response (comment #32) to my previous post.  Thank you (and everyone) for your comments! In the Missouri Synod’s latest Rite of Ordination … Continue reading

Steadfast in Worship — Considering all of the Confessions.

When I became a pastor in the Lutheran Church, I said that I would perform the duties of my office in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions. I promised, with the help of God, to preach and teach and administer the … Continue reading