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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

"It Is Too Bad..." More from our 1st Synod President

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It is too bad also that such entirely different ceremonies prevail in our Synod, and that no liturgy at all has yet been introduced in many congregations.  The prejudice especially against the responsive chanting of pastor and congregations is of course still very great with many people- this does not, however, alter the fact that it is very foolish.  The pious church father Augustine said: "Qui cantat, bis orat - he who sings prays twice."  This finds its application also in the matter of the liturgy.  Why should congregations or individuals in the congregation want to retain their prejudices?  How foolish that would be!  For first of all it is clear from the words of St. Paul (1 Cor. 14:16) that the congregations of his time had a similar custom.  It has been the custom in the Lutheran Church for 350 years.  It creates a solemn impression on the Christian mind when one is reminded of the solemnity of the divine service that one is in the house of God where the children of God, in childlike love to their heavenly Father, also give expression to their spiritual joy in such a lovely manner. (Walther, Essays for the Church [1992], I:194)

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