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

On School Chapel

This product, advertised at the LCMS main page, has got me to thinking about school chapel. Back in my wasted youth at Concordia - Seward there was a momentary tempest in a teapot about who could lead chapel. Profs of the XY variety were so allowed and some profettes of the XX variety got some dis in their gruntle over this perceived injustice. In my infinite 20 year old wisdom, I wrote a letter to the student newspaper encouraging the administration (who literally may have known of my existence since they periodically sent me bills) to fish or cut bait. Either chapel is worship, in which case, pastors should preside: End Of Line. Or chapel is "family devotions" in which case any Tom, Dick, or Harriet should get a slot on the rotation.

At the time, I was probably confused enough to take that "or" seriously. Chapel is worship. It happens in a church (or at least a "worship space"). The Bible is read and expounded publicly. Hymns are sung and liturgies (admittedly: often epically made up liturgies) are spoken, etc. It's worship. Really, it is.

And thus you don't need "chapel talks." You need sermons, or "catechetical instruction," given by the man who is called to that parish to "instruct both young and old" in Christian doctrine.

I'm sure these talks for sale at are very good theologically (though I must confess to not being willing to pay $25 to test my supposition). Indeed, I'm sure they are much, much better than the stereotypical "chapel talk" every Lutheran grade school alum can recall (ping pong balls and rice, eggs and Erlenmeyer flasks, chocolate sundaes and "it is finished," sins on paper burned in a jar, Jesus erases our sins, free donuts purchased by a third party's push ups...etc.). But why not go whole hog? Why not encourage our pastors to get back in the chancel? Why not encourage our teachers to realize that chapel is a time for them to receive the gifts just as much as the children are to receive them there?

Pr. H. R.6 Comments