Indifference is not characteristic of the liturgy
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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Expanded rubrics for LSB are coming. . .

. . . from CPH in 2013, maybe. That's the word from the LSB desk at CPH that was recently posted to a pastors' discussion forum. I, and many others, have been looking forward to the release of this volume, LSB: Liturgy Desk Edition, since publication of LSB in 2006. It's disappointing, of course, that the delay has been, and continues to be, so long - but I am happy that they are taking the time to produce a quality product.

The main frustration in not having this volume come out with LSB is best seen in the famously obscure rubric in LSB for how to deal with the consecrated elements after the Lord's Supper: one is to cover them with a veil upon the altar. Period. No other instructions. This, of course, hardly makes it possible to "say the black and do the red" and has done nothing to help clean up the myriad of poor practices in this regard that occur throughout the Synod (treating consecrated hosts like mere bread, dumping a consecrated chalice back into a jug of wine, etc. etc.).

In one sense this is not a bug, but a feature. One of the great strengths built into LSB is its flexibility - the sparse rubrics help make the book accessible to the widest possible range of our fellowship. And this has undoubtedly been a success - never has a hymnal been accepted in our midst so completely so quickly - and this at a time when fealty to Our Beloved Synod has been in general decline.

The great task set before the Liturgy Desk Edition will be to help guide pastors into better practice without merely grinding the axes of the contributors. For example, I am a strong proponent of consuming all the elements consecrated in a celebration at that celebration. I hope that the forthcoming volume will encourage that practice - but it will simply have to also include instructions for the proper reservation of the elements because some pastors are going to continue to do that. It will have to walk a fine line between encouraging better practice and alienating those with weak practice. A good example of how to walk this line is Maxwell's The Altar Guild Manual from CPH (my favorite irony about this excellent work is its CPH published, COW approved statement that the plastic individual cups should never be used - at least the Altar Guild Manual is not advertised on the actual page in the CPH catalogue where the plastic cups are sold. . . ).

In addition I desperately hope that the authors of this volume will include more helpful directions for celebrations that include assistance from more than one pastor (the use of the liturgical deacon and subdeacon).

In the meantime, you do not have to wait until 2013 for intelligent, historical, and insightful commentary on the rubrics of the Lutheran Divine Service. Contact Redeemer Press for copies of Lang's Ceremony and Celebration and the Piepkorn-McClean editon of Conduct of the Service. These volumes formed the basis for the extensive rubrics included right alongside the text of the Common Service included in Daily Divine Service Book and DDSB: Rubrics and Prayers for Celebrant and Deacon.

Pr. H. R.5 Comments