Archive for the ‘Apostolic Lutherans’ Tag

All Glory Be To Thee, Most High: Finnish-American Lutherans, 1872-1963   9 comments

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Above:  Finnish School, Hancock, Michigan, Between 1900 and 1906

Publisher = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/det1994011778/PP/)

Reproduction Number = LC-D4-19054

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U.S. LUTHERAN LITURGY, PART V

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We would gladly behold the day when the One, Holy, Catholic, Christian Church shall use one Order of Service, and unite in one Confession of Faith.

–From the Preface to the Common Service (1888); Quoted in Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917), page 308

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All glory be to Thee, Most High,

To Thee all adoration!

In grace and truth Thou drawest nigh

To offer us salvation.

Thou showest Thy good will to men,

And peace shall reign on earth again;

We praise Thy Name forever.

The Hymnal and Order of Service (1925), page 589

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I.  INTRODUCTION

In U.S. Lutheran Liturgy, Part I (https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/muhlenbergs-dream-the-road-to-the-common-service-1748-1888/), I wrote about the process which culminated in the unveiling of the Common Service in 1888.  I chose not to write about that liturgy because I had already entered twenty-four pages of writing from a composition book.  In U.S. Liturgy, Part II (https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/the-missing-canon-the-common-service-1888/), I focused on the Common Service.  In U.S. Liturgy, Part III (https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/truly-meet-right-and-salutary-the-common-service-in-the-united-lutheran-church-in-america-and-the-american-lutheran-church-1918-1930/), I wrote about it in The United Lutheran Church in America (1918-1962) and The American Lutheran Church (1930-1060).   In U.S. Lutheran Liturgy, Part IV (https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/the-lord-is-in-his-holy-temple-liturgy-in-the-augustana-evangelical-lutheran-church-1860-1928/), I focused on The Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church (1860-1962).  Now, in Part V, I write about Finns.

I have been studying this material closely, trying to record information accurately as I have reviewed primary and secondary sources.  This has required a commitment of much time, for there are so many synods about which to read.  And, since I grew up United Methodist in southern Georgia, U.S.A., in the Baptist Belt, Lutherans were scarce, if present at all, when I was quite young.  My spiritual journey has taken me into The Episcopal Church.  Anglicanism and Lutheranism have many theological and liturgical similarities and considerable theological overlap, but my adopted vantage point is still one outside of Lutheranism.  If I have misstated anything, I can correct it.

The material is, by its nature, complicated.  I have tried to organize and format it for maximum ease of reading and learning, however.  So, without further ado, I invite you, O reader, to follow the proverbial bouncing balls with me.  Breaking up content into a series of posts should help in the process of digesting the material intelligently; that is my purpose and hope.

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II.  FINNISH-AMERICAN SYNODS

Finnish-American Lutherans came in three main varieties, two of which I will spend some time on here.  The third, the Apostolic Lutherans, in their bevy of small denominations (the oldest formed in 1872), many of which broke away from each other, join the ranks of small U.S. Lutheran bodies I will not analyze in any of the posts in this series.  I leave such tasks to people with more knowledge of them than I possess.

The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, or the Suomi Synod, organized in 1890.  It used an English-language translation of the Church of Finland service before and after it adopted the Augustana Hymnal of 1925 in 1930.  Over time, however, many congregations began to use the services in that book.  The Suomi Synod participated in the Service Book and Hymnal (1958) project and merged into the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) in 1962.  So its legacy lives on in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), constituted in 1987.

The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran National Church organized in 1898.  Eventually it renamed itself the National Evangelical Lutheran Church (NELC).  NELC entered into fellowship with the Missouri Synod in 1923, training its clergy and Missouri Synod seminaries.  And, in 1963, NELC merged into the Missouri Synod.  So one might surmise logically that the small NELC used English-language Missouri Synod worship resources.

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III.  CONCLUSION

The main two Finnish-American Lutheran synods were small.  And each one fell into orbit of one of the major U.S. Lutheran centers of gravity.  The tale of The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (Suomi Synod) and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran National Church/National Evangelical Lutheran Church is one which other small immigrant Lutheran bodies could tell:  redrawing the map of Europe on U.S. soil, remaining divided from each other for a while for various reasons, then merging into a multi-ethnic denomination.

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KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 17, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF BENNETT J. SIMS, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ATLANTA

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF COMPEIGNE

THE FEAST OF THE RIGHTEOUS GENTILES

THE FEAST OF WALTER CRONKITE, JOURNALIST

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Commission on the Liturgy and Hymnal, The.  Service Book and Hymnal.  Music Edition.  Philadelphia, PA:  United Lutheran Publication House, 1958.

Hymnal and Order of Service, The.  Lectionary Edition.  Rock Island, IL:  Augustana Book Concern, 1925.

Melton, J. Gordon.  Encyclopedia of American Religions.  4h. Ed.  Washington, DC:  Gale Research, Inc., 1993.

Stulken, Marilyn Kay.  Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship.  Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1981.

Wentz, Abdel Ross.  The Lutheran Church in American History.  2d. Ed.  Philadelphia, PA:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1933.

KRT

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