Friday, December 04, 2009

All Creatures of our God and King


I just discovered that LSB got rid of the only hymn written by St. Francis of Assisi (a saint recognized as a "holy father" in the Book of Concord) that was included our last hymnal (LW 436: All Creatures of our God and King).

Goodness.

The LCMS doesn't even join the rest of Western Christendom in honoring the October 4 feast day of this pious deacon and evangelical voice for reform and integrity in the Church. I guess that's the price dear Brother Francis pays for not being German, and the price we pay for having room in the hymnal for the kind of hymn that mentions test-tubes and the dreadful Maranatha songs that made the cut instead.

Here is a link to the original hymn, Canticle of the Sun, known in Latin as Laudes Creaturarum, which is actually one of the oldest works of literature to be written in the Italian language.

Oh well, it's nothing that the HP printer and a little Elmer's glue can't fix. In fact, here are the propers for the Feast of St. Francis for observant Lutherans when the Feast of St. Francis comes around next year.

Now I'm going to go off and preach a sermon to my cats...

6 comments:

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

It is highly significant, I think, that Saint Francis is father to a whole religious order, and venerated by Franciscans as their father, even though he was never a father in the sense of priestly dignity. And as you point out, even the Church generally, as our own Symbols witness, see him as a father, a great honor, since he post dates the age of the "Fathers." (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, similarly, is honored with the nickname "last of the fathers," though he lived in the 12th century.)

There are many ways of being a father, and Francis is not only a father in the faith, ie., one that has gone before us, and is among those who have given us a great spiritual inheritance (we are, in other words, his spiritual children if only we will recognize it again), but he is arguably even a quasi-father of the Church, in the more narrow sense.

In terms of his diaconal ministry, I see him as one of the chief models for my own life as a deacon. Thanks for highlighting again this saint of the Church.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Maybe this was done as a thoughtful effort on our part, for Francis' last words to his would be successor at Assisi was "Don't let them make a Saint of me." Surely this was just an attempt to follow Francis' humble wishes. . . .

Or maybe not. . .

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Eric:

Ha! Good point. But then again, Luther also said "don't call yourselves Lutherans." So, we're not very good at honoring the last requests of saints. Heck, we even have churches using grape juice at "communion" even though our Lord's last will and testament was "do this in memory of Me."

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

No, more and more "Lutheran" churches aren't calling themselves Lutheran -- but again, not for the reasons Luther would want.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Eric:

We are the LHS: Laurel and Hardy Synod. We do the right things for the wrong reasons, and the wrong things for no reason.

Past Elder said...

Remove DS I and II and the three-year lectionary from LSB and there'd be plenty of room for it, plus you'd have a service book that resembles something like worship books before the 1960s.

Although as any monk can tell you, friars are always a little suspect.