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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Lutheran Propers for St. Augustine

By Larry Beane


Lutheran Service Book (LSB) has given us a lot of possible commemorations, perhaps more so than any previous English language hymnal.

For example, in the Missouri Synod's sanctoral calendar on LSB page xiii, we find that "Augustine of Hippo, Pastor and Theologian" is commemorated on August 28 - which falls on a Sunday this year.  Setting aside for the time being the sectarian terminology ("Augustine of Hippo, Pastor and Theologian"), it is a good development for us to honor whom the rest of western Christendom calls "St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church."

However, LSB does not provide any liturgical propers for the celebration of the feast.  Fortunately, we do have some resources at our fingertips.  Obviously, there are many ways to figure out what propers to use (such as Anglican and Roman Catholic resources), but so that my parish can commemorate St. Augustine per our own synodical calendar, here is what I happen to be using:

  • For the collect, I am using the one in the Treasury of Daily Prayer.
  • For the Introit, Gradual, Epistle, and Gospel, I am using the helpful volume edited by my colleague here at Gottesdienst, the Rev. H. R. Curtis: Daily Divine Service Book: A Lutheran Daily Missal (DDSB).
  • For the Old Testament Reading, I am using the late Rev. Paul W. Nesper's reference called Biblical Texts.  It is in reprint thanks to Concodia Theological Seminary Press.

Most of the legwork has been done by Fr. Curtis.  The Introit comes from Sirach 15:5 (Antiphon) and Psalm 92:1-2.  The Gradual is from Psalm 37:30-31.  The Epistle is 2 Timothy 4:1-8, and the Gospel is Matthew 5:13-19.  Since my congregation uses ESV, I did have to look up these texts in that version as opposed to Fr. Curtis's preferred KJV - which unlike ESV, is in the public domain.

As DDSB follows the tradition of the Common Service and The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH) and does not include Old Testament readings, I used Fr. Nesper's reference work to give me some options.  I looked up both the Gospel and Epistle readings in the index (page 438).  I found that the Epistle is used in one lectionary for the 11th Sunday after Trinity.  In turning to Trinity 11 (pages 380-381), I discovered that the Epistle was used in Lectionary 10 (see page 337).  This happened to have been the old Synodical Conference lectionary.  Back to page 380, it is clear that the Old Testament reading used by the Synodical Conference that matched up to the Epistle Lesson given in DDSB is Micah 2:7-13.

So, I now have a complete set of Lutheran propers to use for the feast of St. Augustine.

This is a little bit of work.  However, it's a lot less work than it could have been, especially to the labors of Fr. Curtis.