Monday, December 01, 2008

Liturgical Question (LSB)

Sometimes the most annoying things are the smallest - like paper cuts.

Does anyone know why the following language was changed in the Te Deum Laudamus from The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH 1941) - which is actually the 17th century Book of Common Prayer (BCP) translation - to the following Lutheran Service Book (LSB 2006) version?

TLH (p. 37):

And we worship Thy name ever, / world with- / out / end.

LSB (p. 225):

And we worship Your name for- / ever and / ev- / er.

I do understand the rest of the revisions: the modernization of words like "vouchsafe" becoming "grant" and the antiquated Elizabethan pronouns (e.g. "Thy") being replaced by contemporary English (e.g. "Your"). Not that I'm a big fan, but I find in singing or speaking the Te Deum, these changes are relatively easy and unobtrusive.

But this "world without end" being changed to "ever and ever" is terribly awkward. First of all, the TLH and LSB versions are sung to the same tune. The pointing is identical - except this line. To those familiar with the traditional chant, this change is glaring. The final four notes of the line fit well with "world-with-out-end" - especially after ending the first chanted note logically with a comma (ever,). It is broken up naturally, and flows off the tongue. But by contrast, the "new and improved" version ends the first chanted note awkwardly in the middle of a word (for- / ever) and causes three syllables to have to be chanted over two notes (ev-er / and) - requiring the word "ever" to be underlined. It is clunky, unnatural, and (worst of all) entirely unecessary.

English speaking Christians have been chanting the Te Deum basically the same way for nearly five centuries. Is there some newfound doctrinal issue of translating the "in saeculum saeculi" of the Latin original as "forever and ever" instead of the traditional "world without end"? Even the less-than accurate translation of "non horruisti virginis uterum" as "You humbled Yourself to be born of a virgin" is retained (albeit with a footnote indicating a more accurate traslation: "You did not spurn the virgin's womb").

What gives?


Aaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron said...

On the same topic, why were the same words ("world without end") omitted from the Gloria Patri in LSB? I believe they were omitted in LW as well, but I'm still not sure as to why.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Aaron:

That's an interesting point.

In our collects, the similar wording "in saecula saeculorum" is translated as "forever." Sometimes our prayers (from the COW) use alternative ways of saying the same thing, such as "unto the ages of ages."

The Doxology of the Lord's Prayer, which we translate as "forever and ever" froms from Didache 8:2 (εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας) - compare to the end of the Gloria Patri in Greek (εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων).

It's still a mystery why the editors of LSB felt the change in the Te Deum worth making. They didn't reword the Lord's Prayer, nor, once again, tighten up the loose translation of "You humbled Yourself to be born of a virgin").

Paul McCain said...

OK, if we are making a list of things that grate....

Why did we have to drop in the Absolution, "In the stead of..." which is a key and powerfully comforting statement when the pastor pronounces the Absolution.


Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Where in LSB is "in the stead of" missing from the Absolution? I find it in Setting Three, in the order of Individual Confession, and in the order of Corporate Confession. I see that it is not included in Settings One and Two, but was that not already the case in LW?

On aversion to "world without end," I don't understand that, either, but it wasn't a new issue with the LSB. In my archival research, I've found criticisms of that expression going back decades (including, as I recall, at the time when TLH was being developed). The gist of the criticisms, so far as I have been able to tell, is that the phrase supposedly refers to an eternal existence of this earth. But that is certainly not the sense that I have ever taken from the phrase.

I, too, wish the Te Deum had not been "updated" and "corrected" in the LSB.

Christopher D. Hall said...

I remember being confused by "world without end" as a child. I remember standing in church, Sunday after Sunday wondering how we could say that, knowing full well the readings, the Creed and everything else we confessed clearly stated that the world would end.

To my 5? 6? 10? year-old mind, I realized that it must mean something different, something about God especially since the only time we used it was in glorifying Him. No kidding. I really do recall thinking about this that young.

To this day, I'm confident it means that *God* is without beginning or end, but not sure what in saeculum saeculi exactly meant, and why those words.

Larry, can you tell us what the Latin is doing here?

William Weedon said...

Put me also in the camp of those who wish that LSB Matins had followed the path of LSB DS 3 (where, by the way, world without end is still in the Gloria Patri) and had left the sung portions untouched. But to me the more awkward wording in the updated Te Deum is that "grant" phrase: "grant, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin" is still quite awkward.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Christopher:

The Latin (the most common of which is "saecula saeculorum") seems to be just a direct translation of the Greek (αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων) - "ages of (the) ages" - and when it begins with "eis" (the Greek, that is) it seems to have the sense of "(un)to the ages of (the) ages" (of course, I'm just bumbling my way through a couple of Lexicons, I'm no expert by any means - not even close).

The construction does seem a lot like the way Hebrew forms the superlative (e.g. "holy of holies").

The way it is sometimes rendered "unto ages of ages" might be the most literal, but since it is an expression, the real meaning can get lost. The expression seems to be a really poetic way of saying "forever" or "eternally" or even "without beginning or end" according to one lexicon entry.

My guess is that the English "world without end" is related to the translation of the plural of the Latin "saeculum" - which means "generation, lifetime, century, spirit of the age, fashion" - which is the basis of our word "secular" - which we sometimes understand as "worldly."

The expression on the dollar bill "novus ordo seclorum" means "a new order of the ages" but is sometimes translated as "a new world order" - which in today's political climate means something different than it did at the time of the founding of the country.

I guess "forever" is a simpler translation according to meaning, but less accurate in a word-for-word sense. "Forever" might be an NIV way of translating it, whereas "unto ages of ages" might be the NASB way of doing it. So, maybe the LCMS question would be WW-ESV-D? And we should also factor in what we have traditionally done as well.

Though the present earth will pass away, we are promised a new heaven *and* a new earth - an entire new cosmic (kosmos = world) order. I think we often use the word "world" not to mean the physical globe we all live on, but in a more anthropologolical sense, in the sense that the Lamb dies for the sin of the "world" (not for the sin of the actual globe comprised of land and sea, but rather for all the people living on it).

Maybe this confusion contributed to the LW decision to truncate the Te Deum at its more ancient termination and avoid the confusion altogether? ;-)

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Paul:

This is certainly the case in DS1 (which at my congregation, we rotate with DS3 seasonally). The old LW liturgy did remove the "stead" - and I'm not really sure why, unless the word "stead" itself was seen as antiquated.

I'm puzzled why "servant of the Word" (LW) was changed to "servant of Christ" (LSB). I really think we need to "Keep the Logos in Christ" (though I don't think that will make a catchy bumper sticker).

Usually, I use the formulae as they appear in the book, but I do say "servant of the Word" - mostly out of habit. I don't remember if there was an explanation for this change or not.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

I believe that "Servant of Christ" was used, instead of "Servant of the Word," with the good intention of emphasizing the christological character of the Office of the Holy Ministry. I applaud that good intention, but I would have prefered the older wording in this case. Since we primarily use Setting Three, it doesn't bother me that often; nor does it bother me that much when I do use it.

I'd have to go back to my notes on the development of LBW and LW, but I do know there was a lot of debate and negotiating involved in the forms of the confession and "absolutions." It is also possible that the "in stead of" was omitted as an oversight in the process of putting LW together. The time constraints and other pressures those men were under were rather tremendous.

wmc said...

My recollection from the Liturgy Committee: No one could explain what in the world "world without end" meant. It does not translate either the Latin in saecula saeculorum or the Greek εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. I recall some guy threatening us with charges if we didn't change it forthwith. He also threatened us with charges if we changed anything else from TLH. I think he just liked to threaten people with charges.

In my opinion, the best translation would be "unto the ages of ages" showing both the continuity and discontinuity of the new creation with the old, but that would just encourage more Lutheran pastors to jump ship to the Orthodox.

The reason the phrase "You humbled Yourself to be born of a virgin" was retained was that the more accurate alternative did not fit the music well and it was felt that any more changes to the sacrosanct Te Deum of TLH would result in a boycott of LSB, as many TLH supporters threatened.

One thing that greatly impressed me while serving for seven years on the Liturgy Committee was the role of threats and intimidation in the making of a hymnal. Not to mention excessive whining.

wmc said...

I should mention that even I was not above pushing a personal agenda.

I made a huge push to retain "hath holpen" in the Magnificat, but it just wasn't meant to be.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear William:

Ah, the squeaky wheel. Nothing shuts them up faster than a few blasts of WD40... to the face - preferably after "flicking the bic."

From a musical point of view, the traditional wording of the musical portions of the liturgies (as was the convention for DS3) makes the most sense, as that opens the possibility to use things like Healy Willan's Te Deum (which CPH owns) and Vaughn Williams' Magnificat (which was recorded by the Ft. Wayne Kantorei) without having different words.

The school children at Zion - Fort Wayne sang the Willan Te Deum every morning at Matins - which they quickly memorized. I wonder if they are still doing that, given the linguistic changes made by LSB.

By severing ourselves from our own English-speaking liturgical and musical tradition we're losing a great bit of our own heritage. We'll know the job will be complete when the majority of Lutheran pastors think Johann Sebastian Bach was the lead singer of 80s big-hair metal band Skid Row.

At least the 1960s experiment to modernize the Lord's Prayer was a total flop (even though it lingers like a zombie in a George Romero movie and was retained in LSB as an option). Of course, most 1960s experiments resulted in bad trips and vomit - which is typically how I react to liturgical innovation.

With all the pressures the LSB committee was under, the final product is the very best anyone could have hoped for.

wmc said...

Yeah, you really can't beat that faux Jacobian for sounding religious.

You're probably right, though. Given the sorry state of education in America, it's probably asking too much to have the kiddies learn two versions of the Te Deum.

Wir bleiben mit dem Alten.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear William:

All in all, I had a pretty good education. But between the differing words of DS1 and DS3 (after also having used LW, LBW, WS-70, HS-98, and junk from Creative Communications for the Perishing in LCMS churches over the years) - I have to keep my hymnal open while I officiate - unlike my friends in the Anglican Catholic Church who use the 1928 prayer book but never actually have to hold it open at the altar.

Whoever said "diversity is our strength" has never said Mass in the LCMS.

The beauty of the 1928 book used by my Anglical friends is that it doesn't change. If they changed it, it wouldn't be the '28 any more (and the new numbers would be a dead giveaway, unless they try to change it in 2028...).

I hope people on the committee really understood that there is a downside to having 5 divine services, two versions of Matins, two versions of Vespers, and some places where the people respond "And also with you" while other services use either "And with your spirit" (and DS3 says "And with thy spirit" - giving us three responses). I realize there was no other way to get the hymnal adopted, but all of these "choices" have made it next to impossible to even stand and give the benediction without holding the book open - at least for me anyway.

My worst gaffe was omitting the Gospel reading on Reformation Day last year - because of the odd placement of the Hymn of the Day after the Epistle Reading (whose bright idea was THAT?!). Out of habit, I ascended the pulpit on the last stanza of the Hymn of the Day and began preaching. I only realized that I left out the Gospel during my sermon. Was it really so important to put the Sermon hymn before the Gospel? If we're going to have 5 divine services, wouldn't it make sense to standardize things like hymn and creed placement?

I can't even recite the creed without having to stop and think if I'm "living" or "quick", if I worship the "true" God or the "very" God, or if we're going to be "catholic" and loyal to the ecumenical creeds or "Christian" and loyal to a bad 15th century German translation rendered into an equally mistranslated English.

It's so much easier just to read it out of the book.

The only time I can pray without either holding the book open or stuttering because I don't know the words is when I pray in Latin. At least so far, the squeaky wheels and meddling bureaucrats haven't found a way to confuse that translation - though I am disappointed in CPH's lack of support for materials in the Vulgate. ;-)

If Paul McCain will give Latif Gaba the green light, maybe we can have a TOQ (Thesaurus Orationis Quotidianae).

wmc said...

I hope people on the committee really understood that there is a downside to having 5 divine services, two versions of Matins, two versions of Vespers, and some places where the people respond "And also with you" while other services use either "And with your spirit" (and DS3 says "And with thy spirit" - giving us three responses).

We sure did. We started out with the idea of a single, unified text. But of course, no one wants to give an inch, much less a TLH or an LW (yes, some people actually used it and got used to it). Besides, we couldn't find the golden plates that fell from heaven in 1941 for TLH since someone at the synodical office building put them in cold storage.

You can thank the CoW for the three-fold response to the salutation among other interesting compromises. We argued for "And with your spirit" figuring that the TLH crowd could handle a slight shift from thy to your without going into post-Jacobian apoplexy, but we turned out to be wrong on all counts.

I realize there was no other way to get the hymnal adopted, but all of these "choices" have made it next to impossible to even stand and give the benediction without holding the book open - at least for me anyway.

Sorry to hear that. We use DS 1,2,3 in seasonal rotation with 4 as a summer option without so much as a hiccup. Yeah, occasionally there is a "countenance" instead of a "face" or vice versa, but I think the blessing still holds either way.

Now if you really want to stir the pot with your liturgical buddies, just bring up the business of "eucharistic prayer."

I'll bring the popcorn.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

It was Luther's idea to have the Hymn of the Day (as we now call it) between the Epistle and the Gospel. The Hymn of the Day, a somewhat uniquely Lutheran contribution, grows out of the Gradual / Sequence Hymns developments of the Medieval Church. So its original place in the order of Service is precisely where it is found in Setting Five.

Practically speaking, having the Hymn of the Day prior to the Gospel means that you don't sing the Hymn of the Day and the Creedal Hymn back-to-back.

Dan Woodring said...

If I may chime in without offense (please keep the WD40 away from me)....

I think that "world without end" and "for ever and ever" fail to capture the whole idea of the Latin in saecula saeculorum, which appears to be nothing more than a rendering of the Greek tou aiwnos twn aiwnwn which is found several times in Scripture, employing various forms. In the NT you have Eph. 3:21, which may be quoting a more ancient text; Rev. 22:5, Heb. 1:8 (a quote from Ps 45)and in the LXX, Ps. 45:6, and Ex. 15:18. And I am sure there are several more.

Perhaps this suggests that one should follow the Bible translation used for other parts of the liturgy, even though I tend to think that well-known prayers and liturgical texts should generally be left alone.

But here you have a phrase which in my mind speaks of more than perpetuality. Any English translation that I've seen fails to adequently capture it. There is an idea of consummation and fulfillment, it points to the age that crowns all others, the final kingdom, the transfigured creation.

I'm not sure we can find an English phrase that will ever be sufficent, which is not an uncommon problem when translating Biblical or Liturgical texts. Sabbaoth, diatheka, oikonomia, imperium, etc.

The best, I suppose, we can do is to know and pass on the richness and depth of meaning with which these words are fraught as we pray them and rejoice in them.

Paul McCain said...

We all know that the Lutheran liturgy reached its zenith in 1941, when we loved to pretend we were Anglicans.

Pr. H. R. said...

Come on guys, pull out the dictionary! I don't have OED in front of me and I still managed to find out what world really means:

ME < OE werold, world, humanity, long time, akin to OHG weralt < early WGmc comp. < *wera-, man (see werewolf) + *alth-, an age, mankind (for IE base see old): basic sense “the age of man”

Wer + old: the age of a man's life, lifespan, a long time.

So "world without end" means. . . age upon ages or forever!

But here's why we all miss it: it sounds churchy. It sounds a bit off the beaten path. It sounds archaic. It sounds not normal: which is the first meaning of "holy."


wmc said...

Hmmm. "Holy" means "not normal." That explains a lot of things, especially among the clergy.

I still miss "hath holpen."

Father Hollywood said...

Dear William:

You baby boomers... ;-)

"Holpen" is indeed a funny word in the Magnificat - just as "sware" is rather quaint in the Benedictus, and "vouchsafe" in the Te Deum.

Then again, it is also pretty antiquated to refer to these canticles by their Latin names.

The "emergent" guys that are all the rage in LCMS bureaucratic circles would also like our liturgy to more closely resemble conversational English (have you heard of the new "Voice" translation of the "Bible"? How long before a convention votes that it has to be used alongside the ESV so we can "reach the youth"?).

But even in LSB (not even counting DS3) we still have words like "Thy" and "Thine" in the Lord's Prayer; and "thence" (who the heck says "thence" these days?) in the Apostles' Creed.

And there are all those hymns and Christmas carols with Elizabethan English - not to mention some that have Latin in them.

The rush in the 1960s to modernize everything led to the Worship Supplement which led to LBW - which gave us LW - which is why we have two distinct wordings of our Masses (1) the now-much-maligned Common Service, which provided us with one standard wording for decades, and (2)the paraphrased LBW/LW liturgies, which failed to replace the Common Service, leaving us with division rather than unity. This opened Pandora's Box to even more "diversity" (which is our "strength" - keep saying it until it becomes true...) - as we now have a hymnal with five DS settings. And the Holy COW will soon be blessing some new "diverse" worship materials. The way birthrates are headed in the LCMS, we will one day have more settings of the Divine Service than actual members of the synod...

In spite of all this pressure to "change," why do English-speaking Christians continue to use the old wording of the Lord's Prayer? Why were attempts to change the Our Father roundly resisted? Maybe it's because not everybody wants new words in the old wineskins.

Personally, I think it was a boneheaded move to rush to "modernize" the language in the 1960s. Just as we have a plethora of modern English Bibles today (and hence no standard version to memorize and teach) - our liturgy has become just as chaotic.

I believe we were better served by having one common translation of the ordinaries of the liturgies - even if it meant an occasional Thee or Thou, or thence or holpen. I think it's better than a multiplicity of translations all sitting side by side, even in one hymnal.

I realize the genie was already out of the toothpaste tube, and the camel's tent was already up his nose when the LSB went into gear, but in retrospect, the 1960s "experts" were obviously high as kites when they dreamed up this tie-dye and bell-bottom idea to embrace every change that came along (unless, of course, it involved getting a job...).

And once again, the word "holpen" never comes up in my preferred translation of the Magnificat (and, as a bonus, it's *really called* the Magnificat). So unless you boomers start learning Latin and tinkering with my Gaba Prayerbook, there is at least one set of wording that isn't subject to squeaky wheels, threats, bureaucratic tinkerers, synodical politics, and the forces of "change."

The response to "Dominus vobiscum" will always be "et cum spiritu tuo". ;-)

Paul McCain said...



Orthodoxy=Jacobian English.


The harder to understand, the more holy.


The more Latin we memorize, the better able we are to ward off modernism.


Past Elder said...

Rats. Been off engaging "Catholics" and missed the party almost.

First, chant is not music, it is a musically heightened form of speech, common in the ancient world but hardly surviving to-day except in hooped sermons in the black church and Blues. For example, Homer is not an epic poem, it is the text that survives of a speech-song performance. "Chant" then is inseparable from the text, and therefore the language, in which it is done. Coming up with English text translations to the chant for the Latin, while a nice historical nod, is false to what chant is. Set the translation in a musical style appropriate to it, either a non-chant altogether such as a four-part hymn or evolve a new heightening proper to the new language and text, or do not translate it at all since the text and the "music" are inseparable. IOW, a chanted Te Deum eg is in Latin no less than it is in the "tune". Thus speaks your doctorate in music theory.

Saecula as a word does not translate as "world" at all. It means age or time, and is the root of our word "secular". FH caught this quite well above. Eccleciastically, clergy are distinguished as secular or regular, secular living "under the age", under the authority of their Ordinary, regular living "under the rule", rule being "regula" in Latin, of their religious order. A diocesan priest as opposed to a Benedictine (you know, we who singlehandedly saved Civilisation itself while your ancestors were running amok, had so much fun saying that on another blog I had to say it again) for example.

Per onmia saecula saeculorum (anyone care to join me in the typical chant heightening for that?, and don't mess up the diphthong with some "Ciceronian" crap) translates "through all ages of ages". "World without end" is thus a dreaded "thought for thought" translation, as is "forever" and the others, an expression for eternity or infinity, but as such, perfectly good. Thus speaks your Tridentine altar boy, who pushed it well beyond its usual bounds until adulthood and the pogroms establishing the novus ordo missae brought same to a screeching halt.

Now to the realm of the blackbirds, fearsome territory indeed for secular doctor and superannuated altar boy, but I shall cast aside the timidity and restraint for which I am known throughout the Lutheran blogoshpere and venture forth.

"World without end" while fine for its kind of translation, besides the difficulties its kind of translation presents, has theological difficulties too, as has been noted. The world will not be without end. However, as my dad, whose field was diagnostic applications of particle physics, used to say, infinity and eternity are not things the human mind really graps. Hence revelation. Aquinas said stuff like that too, but as he has become bloody near on the Index of Prohibited Books, I will not bring that up.

The good news (no pun) is, none of this is rocket science, or particle physics. It is actually quite easily explained. This day, in Omaha, kids in the hood will rather clearly learn that Jesus died for their sins from preachers and teachers using the dreaded King James that we are so sure does not "reach youth". Who told thee thou wast naked -- no-one has told them they can't understand. The shame being, they will learn Jesus died for their sins from preachers and teachers who cannot preach and teach to them about the means of grace this Saviour has given for that purpose.

However, to put forth such relatively simple explanations would violate the two cardinal principles of modern education, the first being no-one shall ever have to make anything resembling effort to learn anything, and the second, even more important to those in charge, no-one shall ever have to make anything resembling effort to actually teach something.

Meanwhile, those who can will be trying to ape their worship instead of so preaching and teaching and pastoring in worship, or presenting a cafeteria of settings, options und so weiter more confusing than a single easily explained Jacobean text.

Bad trips and vomiting were not the only outcome of 1960s trips. Psychiatric hospitalisation was not unknown in serious cases, and perhaps still indicated for those attempting a non drug induced 21st century 1960s churchly trip. Thus speaks your Boomer.

Finally, take heart brother LCMSers. Having survived the pogroms and final solutions that attended the granddaddy of all doctrinal and liturgical revisionism, Vatican II and its novus ordo from its beginnings, a New World Order indeed, now available in Lutheran Edition, the role of threats and intimidation in our beloved synode, whoops, synod, I'll wrap up soon or lapse into German, is but a walk in the park!

With each day, the definite article in the title of TLH shows its truth more and more, and this despite its being beholden to the influence of liturgy from the church that has no reason to be, the Anglican Communion. Put a Marriage Tribunal in the time of Henry VII and poof, no "English Reformation", though that may not have helped my man Robert Barnes.

Chant is not music, it is a form of speech. Chant in Latin. Use TLH. Sing the hymns. If you chant in English, use English chant. There. Well, one more thing, this Augustinian rabble rouser who lived among all kinds of diversity in worship advised picking one text and sticking to it, put it right in the preface of a catechism he wrote to help with stuff like this. Maybe we could do that.

Or, we could chop out Vatican II For Lutherans from LSB (DS I and II and the three year lectionary being the big chunks) for the second edition. And teach you guys how to hoop a sermon, and the organists to accompany same.

Also sprach der Vorsteher,
Terence J Maher (Doktor).

Paul McCain said...

What, frankly, bemuses and amuses me, is how all this pining after, and for, TLH seems willfully to ignore that it was TLH that ushered in the most disastrous liturgical "tradition" that still plagues us: the order of holy communion, without communion.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Paul:

There seems to be something you're sweeping under the rug regarding TLH (for all its faults): it was "The" hymnal (as Past Elder said so tongue in cheek in referring to the "T" in "TLH." It was the last time we had the semblance of a unified liturgical tradition in the LCMS. It was the last time we could use the vast collection of liturgical music out there because we had the standard English texts.

It was a beloved hymnal. Older people in my parish still love that hymnal. I don't think they should be mocked or ridiculed for that. Wouldn't it be nice if there was so much affection for LSB? And maybe there will be in time. And that would be a good thing, I would think. I hope our people's attachment to their hymnal would not be greeted with eye-rolling and snark.

I believe the real benefit of TLH was its use of standard English texts - which is why TLH was so "Anglican" sounding. The Anglicans were the first translators of the Mass into *our* language. The Book of Common Prayer became the liturgical backbone of English texts to the point that even the RC Church picked up much of the English tradition of the BCP. This found its way into TLH, which provided a commonality that even transcended Lutheranism.

The Te Deum, the Magnificat, the Lord's Prayer, the salutation and response, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Gloria Patria etc. were all standardized by traditional usage.

The people who used TLH benefited from that catholicity and standardization.

The 1960s brought not only a fragmentation, but a distinctly anti-traditionalist bent which manifests itself today in mockery. But once again, the LCMS lags behind even as other church bodies are trying to restore lost traditions (such as the English speaking RC Church's mandate for more accurate and traditional translations of texts) we're pushing the envelope for less tradition and more sectarianism.

There will come a time when only Lutherans will say "and also with you" and it will be explained that Luther changed it so that we wouldn't sound so "catholic".

Father Hollywood said...

One more thing about traditionalism vs. "changeism."

I think we would do well to heed Chesterton's quip about tradition being the "democracy of the dead" (especially in the Church, where the vast majority of the members do not, as G.K. put it, "happen to be walking around").

By way of excample, the recent CPH poll about the use of the three-year series vs. the one-year series did not consult the Church Triumphant. I realize that you can't exactly e-mail a poll to the generations of our fathers in the faith, but just because they didn't vote to express a preference for the three-year series, it would be wrong to exclude them entirely from the poll.

That's one problem of using the marketing techniques of the world (which sees the dead as dead) instead of striving to be faithful to what we have received, and then struggling to pass it on with fidelity to those who come behind us in the procession of generations.

Of course, I'm also being a little tongue-in-cheek here, but only a little.

There is value in continuity - a point that seems to be lost. Of course, there is change in the church. Our English Bibles, for instance, will have to be revised as our language shifts over the centuries. Such changes have traditionally been gradual and painstaking. But the 1960s were not a shift, but more like a landslide. What should have been done with the scalpel was done with dynamite.

And the push for rapid change has only exploded exponentially from there. And then we wonder why there is chaos and a "generation gap" in matters of worship.

The "vox populi" has overtaken the "vox Dei."

Dan Woodring said...

What, frankly, bemuses and amuses me, is how all this pining after, and for, TLH seems willfully to ignore that it was TLH that ushered in the most disastrous liturgical "tradition" that still plagues us: the order of holy communion, without communion.

Ushered in? Perhaps. Or perhaps that liturgical tradition would have been much, much worse without it.

If one really wants to be bemused or amused at terrible hymnals and deplorable translations of liturgical texts, you should come over to this side of the Tiber. [sigh]. You might just be convinced that TLH and LSB did fall from heaven on tablets of gold. You got us beat every day of the week, and twice on Sundays (at both the early and late services).

wmc said...

And there are all those hymns and Christmas carols with Elizabethan English - not to mention some that have Latin in them.

Don't discount the nostalgia factor here. Nostalgia plays a strong role in religious experience, especially in times of rapid change and uncertainty. Unfortunately, this is often overlooked by the ant-traditionalists who are then surprised when people are angry at the loss of archaic language. There is great comfort in all those Thees and Thous. Much like the smell of Grandma's Christmas snickerdoodles.

Rev.Fr.Burnell F Eckardt said...

And yet, as Fr Woodrung noted, "world without end" is in the KJV itself more than once.

(how do you like that, my entering the discussion at this late stage with "and yet" . . .)

I have serious doubts about whether anyone, excepting perhaps four or five unthinking peasants in Harlow or some other obscure village outside of London, really thought "world without end" as it occurred in the Bible meant that this world as we know it was to go on without end.

So too, in the Te Deum, the only folks troubled about "world without end" were those who worried what someone else was going to think about those words.

That comes close to being a bit condescending toward our venerable visitors, don't you think?

Let me rephrase: I don't think you can find a single soul who actually thinks "world without end" means that the earth in its current fallen state will go on as is eternally.

Fr. Hollywood, I like the way you think.

wmc said...

I know you like to paint your straw men with fat brushes, but a little precision might help your rhetoric.

Most sociologists divide the "Baby Boom" generation in two. Those of us born after 1955 are the conservative side. We saw our older brothers and sisters screw up and get in trouble, so we avoided their path. We generally did not do drugs, did not drop out, never had to register for the draft to get killed, and leaned to the political right. We're the ones who rallied behind Ronald Reagan.

wmc said...

The response to "Dominus vobiscum" will always be "et cum spiritu tuo". ;-

Seriously, I would welcome and embrace a return to the Latin ordinary. It would instantly solve our language difficulties in multi-lingual settings.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear William:

"I know you like to paint your straw men with fat brushes, but a little precision might help your rhetoric."

Well, if the statistics are to be believed, we Americans *need* to be painted with fat brushes... ;-)

Technically, I'm a boomer too (born 1964), but the way the cultural paradigm has shaken out, most of my contemporaries have more in common with the "Gen X" than with the Clintons.

Of course, nobody wants that albatross (the name "baby boomer").

It's like the term "Yankee". To much of the world, all Americans are Yankees. But we indignant Southerners say the Northerners are the Yankees. The folks in the Midwest don't want the label any more than we do, and point to New Englanders. People in New England likewise point the finger at Massachusetts, and people in Massachusetts say it's just those people in Boston. (I believe this phenomenon was first observed by Mark Twain).

I would not be surprised to find out that there really is only one Yankee living in only one neighborhood in Boston - and he dare not use the term during baseball season.

Maybe the same is true for the Baby Boomers - that there are so many ways to chip-chop the demographic so there really aren't any that exist at all.

But *somebody* is responsible for those creepy Cialis ads and the annoying commercials for whatever brokerage company it is that gushes over "that" generation, playing the 1960s music with flashbacks of glassy-eyed gyrating hippies carrying signs interspersed with footage of them now as silly-looking silver-haired men trying to go rock-climbing with their new 25-year old "squeezes" in tow - lest they be seen in trousers hiked up too high, playing shuffleboard, listening to Sinatra, and driving a station wagon (which is what a "woody" was to the pre-Viagra generation).

This is the culture that gave us the liturgical experiments that led to the current Frankengottesdienst Monster (which is not, contrary to what Paul McCain is thinking right now (grin) that this is just a nickname for Fritz Eckardt). Should we be surprised that some of the peasants are sporting pitchforks?

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Dan:

Oramus pro vobis, et pro nobis. Kyrie eleison. Marana tha.

(and who says nobody speaks in tongues anymore).

Your comment that the English translations fail to carry the idea of consummation is a really helpful point. It is similar to translating "tetelestai" (John 19:30) as "it is finished." "Finished" fails to carry the sense of fulfillment. It is actually a military term, the equivalent of our "mission accomplished" - but I suppose translating it that way would sound overly colloquial.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Past Elder:

Eloquent, funny, and informative as always. Thank you!

So, what is it to be a past-elder? Does one cease being old in post-elderdom? Have you found the fountain of youth? If so, mon ami, please hide it from that crowd that started bringing guitars and the St. Louis Jesuits into RC Masses. While I don't believe in euthanasia, there is nothing wrong with their ranks thinning through "natural rejection."

The world will have indeed reached a cultural benchmark when the last refrain of "Be Not Afraid" is strummed on acoustic guitars while the cafeteria line winds its way to Megan for the host and Britney for the ceramic cup.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Fritz:

I think you may be onto something that the complaints that "somebody" would misinterpret this traditional text or that are always made by someone else.

I do think most people understand "world without end" is a figure of speech (and those are the hardest to translate from one language to the next).

We translate kosmos as "world" - and sing it that way in the entire "pentheon" of Divina Servicia (not a real word...) in LSB - and yet nobody seems to be confused and concerned that "somebody" out there (not themselves, of course) might misunderstand the wording and think that it means Jesus is taking away the sins of the Rocky Mountain range, the Amazon River, and the polar ice caps.

I can't be sure, but I would bet that the majority of the guys who take the you-know-what out of TLH for its "Jacobean" language are themselves teaching their children to pray: "Our Father who art in heaven..."). Physician, heal thyself/yourself!

I would imagine that the up and coming ueber-hip emergent guys with Starbuck's cup in hand (whose every utterance is treated as holy writ by the LCMS hierarchy) will soon be telling us that "Our Father who art in heaven" isn't "missional" enough and is a turnoff to the youth - which means, of course, that we have to change it.

Pretty soon, most of the young people will be attending church via text message anyway.

Let me be the first to predict that in the next hymnal, Divine Service 28 will have the words "dude" and "LOL" in it, and LSB will be mocked as a relic, condemned with appropriate eye-rolling as being "so Barack Obama."

Paul McCain said...

Fritz is right: there is not a single person who thinks "world without end" is a reference to the world going on without end. Nobody thinks that.

Except those that do, but otherwise, nobody does.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Paul:

Was this really a problem? I know the LSB committee did a lot of research. Was there a study on that?

And to your earlier point about page 5 - I agree with you that the "dry Mass" is an abomination - but I don't think TLH "ushered" that practice in. I don't believe American Lutherans were having the Holy Eucharist every Sunday until 1941 after infrequent communion was "ushered" in.

TLH needed a reformation, but what we got from the 1960s until LW was just too much change - maybe even revolutionary. And I know hindsight is 20-20, and there were good intentions - but rather than rolling our eyes at those annoying elderly shut-ins and blue-haired LWML types, the cassock-wearing liturgical nazis with their gold plates that fell from heaven, and hyper-Anglo chancel prancers who just get their jollies by saying "holpen" - why not find out *why* TLH was so beloved? Why not learn from past mistakes?

Again, shouldn't we hope to have a hymnal that one day becomes as large and as beloved a part of our collective piety as TLH did? Is that really something to gainsay (I daresay). ;-)

Rev.Fr.Burnell F Eckardt said...

Hey, wait.

Couldn't I be the Frankengottesdienst Monster? I sort of like that.

Especially since everything I post seems to get a rise out of McCain, haven't I earned it?

Past Elder said...

The worst and most ironic part of this whole mess is, the Common Service as found in LSB as DSIII is a magnificent accomplishment, and a near miracle to have been accomplished in our age, whose elders so zu sagen come from my generation who made adolescence an adult life style.

Yet it has no chance of becoming our common service, sitting in the middle of four alternatives, some of them in novus ordo for Lutherans style having their interior alternatives.

This convert loves the Common Service. As I understand it, in its time it led us out of a liturgical mess exacerbated by pining after the "evangelical" modes of worship of the day. Would that it would do so again!

Speaking of what nobody does, I have yet to hear anyone say I'm so glad for the three year lectionary, I swear to God if I had to hear that same Gospel passage again one more year I'd go nuts from the boredom.

Dan's right about the Romans though. The only thing worse than the novus ordo are the English translations of it (which may not be excatly what he meant re the original). But we're catching up fast.

Hell, I'm looking for another job anyway, so here's what I'm gonna do. Go to St Louis, find the nearest commercial property to PTM's house and rent a space, and open an academy. First morning period, you learn modes and respective chant formula via Guido. After break, second morning period will be counterpoint via Fux. (Judas, doing stuff like that cost me my academic career, well that and being willing to give grades lower than B.) Then lunch, which you will eat in silence while I read you your lectio divina. Hooping 101 follows, then free time for study or Wii as you are so inclined, PS2 also allowed but no Xbox as we fight all evil empires zusammen.

On the application, as important as putting the date you got saved on an app to Jimmy Swaggart's place, will be your age and whether you believe you know what the people want. All those about to save the people from misunderatndings they themselves of course are far above will be sent packing; all those about to make us mission minded so we can reach the unchurched and young people though they themselves sport greying Chamber of Commerce haircuts where once a pony tail flowed will be immediately escorted off the premises.

There. Now to relax with my guitar. Maybe instead of jamming along with Luther Allison I'll see if I can pick out "And I Will Raise Them Up" for the praise service at this totally happening church in Gretna LA.

And some older Boomers got right behind Ron, like me. Course I admire El Che too but you Anglos probably will misunderstand that.

Father Hollywood said...

A few more thoughts:

I'm just thinking aloud here, but I believe the reason the Common Service with its formal vocabulary and grammar has become the red-headed step-child is not so much because folks couldn't understand it, but rather because it is dignified.

Dignity implies a hierarchy. Something that is dignified is "better than" something that is undignified. Therefore, it is "judgmental" and "elitist."

The spirit of the age of the 1960s was one of egalitarianism: women's lib, civil rights, etc. The unintended consequence of egalitarianism is a lowering of the bar to the perceived least common denominator.

I think the egalitarianism and anti-hierarchicalism bled over into how man relates to God.

Just look at church architecture of the period. Post-Vatican II churches are not more, but less dignified. They are not more grand and decorous, but smaller and ruder. They do not emphasize God's immensity, but his smallness.

Of course, one could argue that this is a confession of the incarnation. And maybe it is - to an extent. I think it's hard to argue that the egalitarianism has gone way too far - like the "buddy Jesus" spoof from the movie Dogma.

Instead of God the Incarnate, these churches seem to confess a God the Slovenly. Instead of an icon or a statue or a mosaic, it seems the preference became a sloppily-drawn stick figure or a plain wall. Michael Rose's book "Ugly as Sin" delves into this phenomenon in church architecture.

I think we're seeing a reaction against this kind of uglification of our faith by a return to traditionalism. Young Catholics are flocking to Latin Masses (to the horror of blue-jean clad priests and pro-abortion feminist nuns of a certain age demographic whose initials are BB). In the LCMS, there is a small but very real backlash that is pushing for traditionalism and dignity in worship - especially in the face of what is being promoted as the ideal.

There seems to be a stirring among Christians across denominational lines that has had it with fads, consumerism, and cafeteria Christianity. Our synod's strategy to go deeper and deeper into fads and marketing is, I believe, one reason why we're seeing some of our brightest and best clergy and laypeople jumping ship for other historic communions of the Church.

I do think we need to be concerned with dignity and beauty - as these are constituent parts of reverence - which is not an adiaphoron - when it comes to worship in our churches. I think the bias against the Common Service is at least in part reflective of our culture's disdain for beauty - especially in the 1960s when the Common Service really came under attack.

The second law of thermodynamics seems to be at work when it comes to liturgical revision: almost always we see a degradation in the direction of the lowest common denominator instead of an elevation to the beautiful and noble - and it is usually couched in the fallacy that if something is beautiful and edifying, that it will be rejected by Joe Sixpack and the iPod-equipped kids in the youth group.

Of course, there were some excellent churchmen working to create LSB - men who truly appreciate decorum, reverence, and tradition as a structure by which God's Word is proclaimed. And what they were able to achieve swimming up the cultural stream is nothing short of commendable. I'm grateful that DS3 made it into the LSB - retaining as much of the Common Service as it does. I'm sure there were plenty who wanted to squash it entirely - even as there are voices among us that advocate the abolition of the liturgy.

But I can certainly understand a parish deciding to stay with TLH and not go to LSB. My own congregation changed from LW to LSB - and I consider that a very good move. Overall, I'm really impressed with LSB - though there are a few hymns we opt to use TLH melodies for, and other "hymns" that will never see the light of day in our parish.

Anonymous said...

I think the bias against the Common Service is at least in part reflective of our culture's disdain for beauty - especially in the 1960s when the Common Service really came under attack.

Well said, Father Hollywood. There is definitely a backlash growing across the Christian world. More and more Catholic parishes are raising church buildings that incorporate the best of traditional architecture and yet fitting in our time. The new Mass translations will go back to using poetic language, the language of courtesy and dignity that is appropriate when addressing the Divine. I rejoice that the St. Louis Jesuits have no place at my Catholic parish. They've been bounced by our youngish pastor who loves Bach as much as any Lutheran.

Confessional Lutherans are holding the fort against those who did not receive the best grounding in authentic Lutheran liturgy and piety after the craziness of the 60's, 70's and 80's.

A wise sage once said that Beauty is another name for God. Christians need never apologize for incorporating beauty and reverence in worship.


Father Hollywood said...

Dear Christine:

Good news indeed! We should all be praying for Pope Benedict to be blessed by a long life. Even though we're not in communion, we're definitely in the same "boat."

It's nice to hear good news!

wmc said...

Let me be the first to predict that in the next hymnal, Divine Service 28 will have the words "dude" and "LOL" in it, and LSB will be mocked as a relic, condemned with appropriate eye-rolling as being "so Barack Obama."


You're almost as funny as General Scuttlebutt.

Past Elder said...

I think you're quite right, FH.

It was not without its theological underpinnings, though. (Warning: the following contains theology by anecdote and may not be suitable for all members of the clergy. Pastor discretion advised.) The RC parish in which I grew up replaced its old ornate Gothic type church with a brand new one just before the Revolution, er, Vatican II, in the late 1950s. The lines were quite contemporary -- stark, sparse, angular -- but the pattern for the articulation of the space, and the theology it represented, were precisely the same as in the old church. And likewise, came the Revolution, this modern church had to be overhauled no less than the oldest parish in town that still had its old traditional looking church.

We were told all this stuff we take to be majestic, reverent, other worldly etc were really quite foreign to the early church (why the early church is the ultimate nihil obstat I never understood, as everything I have read about the early church from people IN the early church indicates they thought things were bloody awful, but we continue) and only crept in during the Arian controversy to emphasise what the Arians denied, but we lost therein equally important things, like Christ being present not only in the Eucharist but in each other and in the community, so the priest will no longer face the wall and speak in a foreign language but speak in the language of the people of God as they gather around their presiding minister for their community meal.

Point being, there was a single pattern capable of being done in a variety of styles, and never in the variety of styles was the single pattern lost.

Likewise liturgy. Catholics had missals, Protestants had hymnals. Music for worship for Catholics is published separately. What the Church determines is the text, in no small part to insure that the intent of the Church will always be stated in worship. Even the body of chant which it too publishes is a separate matter from the text, which will always be the same regardless of the musical setting. But never, ever, will there be a The Catholic Hymnal, not even now with a green light on congregational singing, because it's a missal, not a hymnal.

In which regard, Lutheran Service Book stikes me, whether it was intentional or not, as aptly titled. There is no article at all, definite or indefinite, and it is called service book, not hymnal. Yet, there are "settings". Settings of what? The things "set" in DSI are not what is "set" in DSIII zum B, and even within the same "setting" different things are "set".

Judas on a raft, did St John Chrysostom or anyone else before the 1960s come out with two or three different confession and absolutions, a gloria or else this if you like, a couple different Pater nosters, on and on, five different orders (the World Liturgy Entertainment belt goes to the E?CA with ten, I think), Matins which is morning prayer and Morning Prayer usw, and more "diverse" sources promised on the way? Gott hilf uns.

Point being, as with the architecture there is a pattern, and before someone shouts the pattern is still there, adiaphora, Christian Freedom, whatever, a pattern which contains a text, that is standard and idenitifiable as such in any number and variety of musical settings and hymn styles.

So even then when we seek to be confessional and historical, we do so in a manner drawn from the contemporary worship crowd, the historic liturgy on a par with Vatican II for Lutherans, a lectionary dating from St Jerome on a par with a 1960s committee effort from Rome, the only difference being we look there for sources rather than Willow Creek or the like.

Benedict is tradition's worst enemy, enshrining the Catholic Mass and its modernist revision as ordinary and extraordinary forms of the same thing, allowing the former only on condition of accepting the latter. At least we don't need a pope to say that's OK, let alone a pope whose utter mendacity is revealed in that before being pope he stomped on everyone and everything who dared do same before the Roman Imperial pontifex maximus says OK.

wmc said...

And to your earlier point about page 5 - I agree with you that the "dry Mass" is an abomination - but I don't think TLH "ushered" that practice in.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) formalized the "dry Mass" with its novel "The Order of Morning Service" (p. 5), which was flagged immediately as an "innovation," as the personal papers of William Pollack at the CHI indicate. The prior Evangelical Lutheran Hymnbook (1912, etc), from which TLH got the setting of the 1888 Common Service Order, had only "The Order of Morning Service, or The Communion" which had an opt out after the Lord's Prayer "If there be no Communion...." anticipating a service in which no one was prepared to receive the Lord's Supper. (Preparation, of course, entailed at least announcement of intention to commune if not private confession or attendance at the Bechtgottesdienst the night before.)

TLH also surprisingly eliminated the Exhortation to the Communicants from the Divine Service and relegated it to the public confessional service. In ELH, the Exhortation came between the Sanctus and the Lord's Prayer.

TLH was generally well received in 1941, primarily because of the mess generated by at least a dozen editions of ELH which didn't agree in hymn or page numbers. There were, however, complaints voiced regarding its weight (people were accustomed to the small pocket-size text-only hymnals), the large number of non-Lutheran hymns (except for Winkworth translations, Lutheran hymnody in English was rather scarce), and also the lack of "mission hymns," what we would call today "praise songs." Almost immediately after its publication, local collections of "mission hymns" were published by small groups of mission-minded pastors. I have in my collection a little red paperback called "Gospel Songs" published by some LCMS pastors who wanted to sing "In the Garden" and other such delights.

The moral to the story, and what I myself learned from my seven year service on the LSB liturgy subcommittee: Hymnals are simply snapshots of the state of the church body that produced them. They are not a means to reform the churches. LSB is an accurate snapshot of the LCMS, at least those parts that still use a hymnal.

wmc said...


Correction: "Beichtgottesdienst"

Dan Woodring said...

"Hymnals are simply snapshots of the state of the church body that produced them. They are not a means to reform the churches."

But they do cause reform or deform, which ever the case may be.

It's like treating a cough with laxatives. It doesn't cure the coughing, but I promise it will keep the coughing at bay.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Father Hollywood, for your kind comments.

There's no photo available yet but here's a description of an upcoming Catholic church building by Duncan Stroik, who is becoming very well known for his classical work:

Duncan G. Stroik Architect, LLCPortfolio Firm Profile Publications Contact

St. Mark Church

The design for St. Mark Church uses a traditional architectural style and configuration that is reflective of the Catholic faith and heritage. It is modeled on the broad tradition of Catholic architecture in the United States as well as churches dedicated to St. Mark in Venice, Florence and Rome.

The new 1400 seat church, along with the parish center and school, are conceived as a city on a hill. St. Mark Church will incorporate the forms and the symbols that make it unmistakably a Catholic church. As an image of the eternal, it will be constructed out of timeless and low maintenance materials, such as brick, stone, and wood. As a Gate of triumph and a sacred place, it will have a large front portico and vertical proportions. As a liturgical building, the exterior plaza will serve as a site for the Easter fire, for outdoor prayer services, and for processions. As a house of prayer, the exterior and the narthex will be welcoming, ennobling, and exude a sense of reverence. An inscription over the front door and an image of St. Mark will greet all those who enter.

The exterior of the church is located so as to create the St. Mark plaza in the front and a prominent apse and entrance along Stumptown road. The new plaza has a central fountain and will be defined by the Msgr. Kerin center, the new church and an edge of trees. The plaza will become an outdoor gathering space as well adjacent to the majority of new parking along with providing dropoff and handicapped parking. Side entrances will have drop offs and turnarounds on grade.

A future cloister garden will provide an outdoor place of tranquility surrounded by brick arcades with a columbarium built into the walls. The arcade will make a covered connection from the Msgr. Kerin center to the bell tower entrance.

The exterior of the church is predominately constructed of brick and stone with a metal roof. Front stairs and ramp lead up to a raised terrace and a welcoming Doric loggia. Two lions (symbols of St. Mark) and statues of four saints greet the visitor. The generous narthex is a place of preparation with views into the nave and into an octagonal baptistery. The octagonal baptistery will be articulated by ionic columns and will spiral up into a faceted dome with a skylight above. Inscriptions referring to baptism will be placed in the frieze of the baptistery. The St. Mark room will provide a place for ushers, brides, wakes, as well as committee meetings or gatherings.

The narthex will double as a cry room and will also have off of it stairs, bathrooms, and an elevator. Above the narthex is a choir loft with provision for a future organ while below is located storage and the mechanical room.

The nave is a cruciform space in the style of a Roman basilica with ionic arcades, side aisles, stations of the cross and devotional shrines. Confessionals will be placed near the beginning of the aisles symbolic of the process of repentance and forgiveness on our journey toward the Eucharist. Clerestory windows bring light into the vaulted central nave with smaller arched windows in the aisles. In the transepts shrines dedicated to the Sacred Heart and to the Blessed Virgin Mary will be placed with the left transept doubling as a daily mass chapel. Large Corinthian pilasters support the four corners of the shallow saucer dome with images of the four evangelists beneath.

The interior will focus on the altar as the place of sacrifice and communion. A prominent tabernacle will indicate the central mystery of faith and that the church is a Eucharistic house.

A longitudinal nave will exemplify the journey of faith with stations of the cross along the sides. As a transcendent place, the interior will soar upwards, heavenly light will flood the nave from above, and images of the saints and angels will surround the congregation. Devotional areas with a painting or statue, and a place to light a candle and pray will be provided. As a house of God, the sanctuary will be raised and will receive greatest focus and finest materials. A prominent marble ambo for proclaiming and preaching the Word of God will be decorated with symbols of the four evangelists or scriptural narratives. A smaller lectern balances it for the cantor. A triumphal arch, decoration, and steps at the location of reception of the Eucharist will frame the sanctuary. A large marble altar will be framed architecturally by a baldachino. The church will also be seen as a sacramental place with a prominent baptistery, elegant wood confessionals, as well as a generous area near the sanctuary for weddings, confirmation and ordinations.

The semicircular apse is ringed with windows and an ambulatory that will connect the work sacristy and the priest’s sacristy.

Materials in the church will be painted wood and plaster with tile floors in the nave and marble in the sanctuary. The building is to be constructed with a steel frame and concrete masonry infill above a concrete foundation, brick and limestone exterior veneer walls, and steel roof trusses.

The numinous is making a comeback.


Past Elder said...

Dan's right (bookmark this page, I don't say that very often). They do reform or deform.

I do suggest again, not as a Lutheran or Catholic thing, but as a matter of my academic discipline, that what we refer to as "hymnals" are in fact a hybrid of hymnal and missal. To the extent that they are missals, they are prescriptive, not descriptive, or rather, not descriptive only but primarily prescriptive.

Lutheran Lucciola said...

Boy, you guys can go on and on. Man.

Boomers ;-)

So Scuttlebutt is a Boomer. (I guess it's true. Now what do I do....)

A good read, I just need an afternoon.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear William:

The real problem with the "dry Mass" has nothing to do with the Common Service or TLH. The problem is that we have Lutherans (even to this day with LSB) gathering on Sundays and spurning the sacrament - violating both our confessions and our Blessed Lord's injunction to partake "often."

Before page 5, our anti-sacramental forbears were using simply Matins instead of the Mass.

All TLH did was reflect the antisacramental bias of the time. LSB will not fix that in many congregations - rather good solid pastoral care and teaching - which can and is done with all of our hymnals. I believe LSB is more sacramental thanks to some outstanding men on the committee, but I don't understand the TLH-basing done by all the synodical insiders.

Next thing you boomers will be whining about will be that you didn't like the color of the TLH cover or something.

A lot of people loved (and love) TLH. That really hacks you and McCain off for some reason. Why don't you get off their donkeys about it? Sheesh!

As far as humor goes, I'm usually funny when I'm trying not to be. As in "funny looking." But being compared with Herr Scuttle is quite a feather in the cap. But I'm definitely a notch below his likes, and at least two notches below Past Elder - whom I think takes top honors for pure curmudgeonly laughs (and, he knows what he's talking about).

wmc said...

Next thing you boomers will be whining about will be that you didn't like the color of the TLH cover or something.

You're one of us too, so you might as well embrace it. Actually you fit in quite well with the profile of a late inning Boomer - conservative yet anti-authoritarian with a cynical Dennis Milleresque snarkiness. I know it well. Story of my life.

In truth, I love The Lutheran Hymnal, grew up with it, learned to sing 4-part harmony with it, loved the old Te Deum of Matins, communed twice a month with it, loved the red cover (wasn't too fond of the blue, and the brown never really made it in the marketplace). We gladly use DS 3 of LSB during Advent/Christmas/Epiphany-tides and vastly prefer it to that horrible DS 1 in LW.

I don't poke fun at people who worship from TLH; I poke fun at people who worship TLH. Speaking of whining, I would cite simply cite the original post and say "Tu quoque, Boomer Boy!"

By the way, I've noticed that you and Scuttlebutt have much more in common than just a sense of humor.

Father Hollywood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.