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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

A Beautiful Custom of Unity from Russia

By Larry Beane, cross-posted at Father Hollywood.

Here is an expression of "walking together" in the faith (which is what the word "Synod" means) as expressed by the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church from the "unofficial blog of St. Andrew's Congregation" in Novosibirsk.  There are many reasons why such an expression of unity among the clergy would not work in the Missouri Synod:
  • The synodically approved cross would likely be a magenta corporate logo with a registered trademark notification.  
  • The "confessional" types would condemn a cross without a corpus to be Nestorian.
  • No matter what the cross would look like, it would be politicized. 
  • It would become a "Formula X" issue that would bring out the secret desire of every Lutheran pastor to be Martin Luther nailing the theses to the church door and burning papal bulls while shouting "Freedom of the Gospel!" at the top of his lungs.
  • It would have to be made so as to clash neither with traditional clerical garb nor khakis and polo shirts.
  • It would be required for deaconesses, DCEs, DCOs and other "Ministers of Religion - Commissioned" to also be presented with the same synodical pectoral cross, thus ruining it.
  • To work in the U.S., there would have to be a place for decals honoring one's favorite college or NFL team.
But for our brothers in Russia, the priestly pectoral cross works out well, and it is a beautiful traditional expression of both the Holy Office and the unity of the congregations served by these men.