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

Worth a 1000 words

When it comes to teaching my Bible class crowd about Lutheran worship, why we do what we do, instilling in them a love for reverence, etc., I have found two tools to be of great worth. The first is LSB's marginal Scripture references for each line in the services. Of course you can do the same Bible Study with TLH or LW, but for some reason the people react better to the study when they see that the hymnal has, as it were, provided its own footnotes.

But even better than this, in terms of teaching the people, has been the use of historic artwork. Here is an amazing website that will let you zoom in on the Ghent Altarpiece with incredible detail and produce handouts or slides. My Midwestern, died in the wool Lutherans absolutely ate this up when combined with a look at Revelation 4-7.

I'm planning to study Holbein's The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb on Sunday. Read this from the Tate Museum for some more depth on the piece (that's for your background: don't read this out loud to Grandma Schickelgrueber!).

But my favorite art history series for Bible Class is Historische Bilder zum Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gottesdienst by Helmut Schatz. We all owe Fr. Kurt Hering and the saints of God at Trinity in Layton, UT for putting this up online. It's simply amazing. If your German is not very good, don't forget that you can just pop a paragraph of text into Google Translate and probably muddle through just fine. But again, it's not so much the text as the pictures.

You can read Ap. XXIV.1 to your people all day long and perhaps not get a very good response to the changes you would like to make to the Divine Service to increase reverence. But show them what Lutheran worship actually looked like in the 15th and 16th centuries and it seems to sink in. "Wow, this is what Lutherans did!"


A depiction of the first Lutheran Divine Service in Brandenburg, 1539

Pr. H. R.10 Comments