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                     The Journal of Lutheran Liturgy

Gottesdienst towerThat's a German word.

But we speak English here.

The word means "worship" in German, and this journal goes by that name, because we are unabashedly dedicated to the traditional, historic, liturgy of the Christian Church especially as preserved and employed by the Churches of the German Reformation of the 16th century

(read: we're Lutherans with an attitude).

We don't feel the need to tread lightly around bureaucrats or synodocrats.  We're confessional, traditional, and evangelical.  
All in all, you might say we're sort of, well, in a way, in short,                         disestablishmentarian.

Gottesdienst is the insightful, witty, evangelical, liturgical journal of record (if we do say so ourselves).  Gottesdienst is for you if

·       You want to know more about the liturgy

·       Or if you want some great seasonal sermons and Biblical insights

·       Or if you want liturgical observations that are truthful, insightful, and unafraid

·       Or if you want encouragement to stand firm in the faith

·       Or if you’re a pastor who hasn’t yet taken the step of ordering a bulk subscription for your congregation.  You know, if they read something you’re already trying to tell them, they might be easier to convince. 

Michaelmas 2008In Gottesdienst, you may expect to find

  Sermons old and new preaching Christ and Him Crucified.   

  Meditations on the Mysteries of the Gospel.

  Liturgical observations  concerning 21st century Christendom. 

  Answers to your liturgical questions. 

  Commentary on the good and the bad in worship.   

  Clear explanations of the liturgy. 

Unique and entertaining analysis of all these things.      


The German word Gottesdienst (literally, "God's service") may be defined as both "divine service" and "public worship." The first and fundamental definition has to do with God's sacramental service toward man in the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments. The subordinate definition portrays man's sacrificial service toward God in the offering of hymns, prayers, etc. We propose that the historic Divine Service of the Western Christian Church is more than the cobwebs of antiquity. It is a theological treasure, which is most needed in today's Christian Church. The slogan Leitourgia Divina adiaphora non est (lit., "The Divine Liturgy is not adiaphora [indifferent things]") reflects this conviction.  

Trinity 2008On that slogan: Leitourgia Divina adiaphora non est:  the literal translation is "The Divine Liturgy is not adiaphora (indifferent things)." This expression has raised an interesting discussion among various theologians and pastors among us: Some say we have our grammar wrong.  Leitourgia Divina, they say, is in the singular, as is the verb est,  and therefore the predicate adiaphora should match case, which should then be adiaphoron. Others say adiaphora could be taken as an adjective, then translating: "The Divine Liturgy is not adiaphorous." Still others say that if we mean to say "The Divine Liturgy is not a matter of indifferent things," we should then have it Leitourgia Divina res adiaphora non est. Thus far, we have maintained the slogan as is, with the reply: the verb must agree with its subject in number, but not with its predicate.

The principle expressed here is that the historic Divine Service of the Western Christian Church is more than Christian antiquity.  It is a theological treasure which can and should be used in today's Christian Church.  It has well served our Mother Church and our fathers in the faith for the past centuries and there is no reason to believe that it will not continue to do so in the future.  Moreover, to say that liturgy is something not commanded by God is to reject the clear words of our Lord, who indeed has given specific commands which are quite liturgical in nature; for example, This do, pertaining to the Sacrament, and When ye pray, say, pertaining to the Our Father.

Our story: Gottesdienst was established in 1992 and had been responsible for providing outstanding liturgical material ever since. This journal is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the historic Lutheran liturgy. We pledge to maintain the high level of confessional integrity and expectations for which this journal has always been known. To that end, we routinely publish sermons new and old, and fine articles pertaining to the historic liturgy and its rubrics, with an aim to fostering a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the Divine Service in which our Holy and Triune God enlightens us with His gifts, sanctifies, and keeps us in the true faith. We are encouraged by the continued growth we have enjoyed, as Gottesdienst continues to make strides in having an impact on current liturgical practices, and would be pleased to add your name to our growing list of subscribers.

Last updated on September 11, 2008
© 2008 Evangelical-Lutheran Liturgical Press of St. Paul's
Ev. Lutheran Church, Kewanee, Illinois