Archive for the ‘General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Confederate States of America’ Tag

Guide to Posts Regarding the Southern Lutherans (1863-1918)   Leave a comment

Lutherrose.svg

Above:  Luther Rose

Image Source = Daniel Csorfoly, Budapest, Hungary

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lutherrose.svg)

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Truly Meet, Right, and Salutary:  The Common Service in The United Lutheran Church in America and The American Lutheran Church, 1918-1930:

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/

The Missing Canon:  The Common Service, 1888:

https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/the-missing-canon-the-common-service-1888/

Muhlenberg’s Dream:  The Road to the Common Service, 1748-1888:

https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/muhlenbergs-dream-the-road-to-the-common-service-1748-1888/

The Doddridge Count:

https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/the-doddridge-count/

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Truly Meet, Right, and Salutary: The Common Service in The United Lutheran Church in America and The American Lutheran Church, 1918-1930   16 comments

142605pv

Above:  Detail of the Pulpit and the Altar, St. James German Evangelical Lutheran Church, Altoona, Pennsylvania

Image Created by the Historic American Buildings Survey

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/pa2541.photos.142605p/)

Reproduction Number = HABS PA,7-ALTO,78–2

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U.S. LUTHERAN LITURGY, PART III

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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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It is truly meet, right, and salutary, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty Everlasting God.

–The Common Service (1888)

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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.  Now, in Part III, I write about it in The United Lutheran Church in America (1918-1962) and The American Lutheran Church (1930-1060).

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.  THE UNITED LUTHERAN CHURCH (1918-1962) AND ITS PREDECESSORS

Dr. Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door at Wittenberg in 1517.  1917 being the 400th anniversary of that event, many U.S. Lutherans focused on the occasion to reduce factionalism and to establish a measure of organic unity.  That year three Norwegian synods merged to form the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America, which renamed itself The Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1946.  (I will write about this branch of U.S. Lutheranism in a subsequent post.)  And, in 1917, the General Synod (1820), the United Synod of the South (immediate roots back to 1863), and the General Council (1867) agreed to reunite the following year as The United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA).

The ULCA’s hymnal and service book was the Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917) (CSB), prepared by the denomination’s three predecessor bodies and modeled after the General Synod’s Church Book, itself a towering liturgical achievement.  The CSB followed the Table of Contents of the Church Book closely, down to the CSB‘s Occasional Services, which resemble the Church Book‘s Orders for Ministerial Acts.

Fixed feasts interest me.  So I note that the General Synod’s Liturgy for the Evangelical Lutheran Church (1881) (http://archive.org/details/liturgyofevangel00gene) had only four such feasts:

  • Christmas Day (December 25),
  • the Circumcision of Jesus (January 1),
  • the Epiphany (January 6), and
  • Reformation Day (October 31).

The General Council’s Church Book had those also and added the feast days for St. Stephen, St. Michael the Archangel, the Conversion of St. Paul, the Presentation of Jesus, the Annunciation, the Visitation, and the Apostles (including St. Matthias).  The Southern Book of Worship had all of these except the Feast of All Saints.  The CSB followed the lead of the Southern Book of Worship.  And none of these volumes recognized the Holy Innocents or the Confession of St. Peter.  As for the latter omission, I suppose that “…upon this rock…” was too hot a potato for people who did not want to call the Church “Catholic” as late as 1917.

The Icelandic Evangelical Lutheran Synod of America (formed in 1885) merged into the historically German-American ULCA in 1942.  Thus the ULCA became more heterogeneous.

The ULCA merged into the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) in 1962.  The LCA, in turn, helped to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1987.

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III.  THE AMERICAN LUTHERAN CHURCH (1930-1960) AND ITS PREDECESSORS

On August 11, 1930, three historically German-American denominations merged to form The American Lutheran Church.  The Buffalo Synod had formed in 1845.  The Iowa Synod had broken away from the Missouri Synod in 1854.  And the Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States had broken away from the Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Other States in 1818 ahead of the creation of the General Synod in 1820.  The American Lutheran Church was an ecumenically active denomination more conservative than The United Lutheran Church in America and more liberal than the Missouri Synod.

The Buffalo Synod used German liturgies initially.  Its first English-language hymnal and service book, produced with the Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States, was The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1880) (http://archive.org/details/evangelicalluthe00evan).  The Sunday morning service in the 1880 edition resembled that of the Southern Book of Worship, but the same sort of material in the 1908 version (http://archive.org/details/evangelicalluthe08van) looked very much like the Pennsylvania Liturgy of 1860 (http://archive.org/details/liturgyforuseofe00np).  The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal also offered various forms for evening worship and provided an afternoon service.

The Iowa Synod published the Wartburg Hymnal for Church, School, and Home (1918) (http://archive.org/details/wartburghymnalfo00hard).  The Common Service formed the basis for the Communion and the Vespers liturgies there.

The American Lutheran Hymnal (1930), less stately and artsy than the Common Service Book (which came with calligraphy on some pages) offered fewer services than the CSB yet duplicated much material (such as the Common Service) from it.  Other liturgical material came from the 1908 and 1918 hymnals.

The American Lutheran Church (1930-1960) merged into The American Lutheran Church (TALC) in 1960.  TALC, in turn, helped to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1987.

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IV.  CONCLUSION

The three main predecessor bodies of The United Lutheran Church in America had prepared the Common Service.  They had been using it for decades when the Common Service Book (1917) debuted.  Adoption of the Common Service in the denominations which formed The American Lutheran Church in 1930 was gradual, however.  Immigrant patterns were giving way to a dominant American liturgy.

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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

As much as possible I prefer to work with primary sources, although secondary sources frequently prove invaluable in making the best sense of those primary sources.  And I prefer to work with actual bound volumes as much as possible.  For this post, however, some of my sources has been electronic, and I have provided links to them.  So I consider those linked ones cited properly.  I did find certain bound volumes invaluable.  Those credits follow:

Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church.  Philadelphia, PA:  The Board of Publication of The United Lutheran Church in America, 1917, 1918.

Lutheran Intersynodical Hymnal Committee.  American Lutheran Hymnal.  Music Edition.  Columbus, OH:  The Lutheran Book Concern, 1930.

Pfatteicher, Philip H., and Carlos R. Messerli.  Manual on the Liturgy:  Lutheran Book of Worship.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Publishing House, 1979.

Reed, Luther D.  The Lutheran Liturgy:  A Study in the Common Service of the Lutheran Church in America.  Philadelphia, PA:  Muhlenberg Press, 1947.

__________.  The Lutheran Liturgy:  A Study in the Common Liturgy of the Lutheran Church in America.  2d. Ed.  Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1959.

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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The Missing Canon: The Common Service, 1888   17 comments

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Above:  St. John’s Lutheran Church, Charleston, South Carolina

Image Created by the Historic American Buildings Survey

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/sc0169.photos.148684p/)

Reproduction Number = HABS SC,10-CHAR,42–11

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U.S. LUTHERAN LITURGY, PART II

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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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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 and I perceived that starting this post with such analysis would be better from the perspective of readers.  Thus I will do so.  And since, during my continuing process of writing about the period of adoption of the Common Service has become so verbose and detailed, I have decided to devote one post to the Common Service itself.

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II.  THE COMMON SERVICE

The Common Service (1888), as contained in the General Synod’s Church Book (1891) (http://archive.org/details/churchbookforus00gene) and the United Synod of the South’s Book of Worship (1888) (http://archive.org/details/bookofworshi00unit), for example, sets forth an order of Sunday morning worship.  Before the worship service proper begins there is the INVOCATION, followed by the CONFESSION OF SINS and the ABSOLUTION.  The Invocation is a Lutheran feature of liturgy.  It is neither historically Anglican or Roman Catholic, although the text of the Invocation:

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

is historic to both of those duly revered communions.

Then the service proper begins.  The order of worship follows:

  • INVOCATION
  • GLORIA PATRI
  • KYRIE
  • GLORIA IN EXCELSIS
  • SALUTATION
  • COLLECT OF THE DAY
  • EPISTLE READING
  • GRADUAL (CHORAL)
  • GOSPEL READING
  • NICENE CREED OR APOSTLES’ CREED.

The Church is “Christian,” not “Catholic,” in the Creeds here, although Luther D. Reed, in The Lutheran Liturgy (1947), page 285, mentions that the Church is “Catholic” in Lutheran liturgies from France, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

Then follow:

  • HYMN
  • SERMON
  • OFFERTORY
  • OFFERING
  • GENERAL PRAYER
  • LORD’S PRAYER (Except on a Communion Sunday)
  • HYMN
  • COMMUNION (When celebrated)
  • BENEDICTION.

The order of Communion follows:

  • PREFACE
  • SANCTUS

The CANON, or EUCHARISTIC PRAYER, or in Lutheran terminology, the PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING, is notably absent, for Martin Luther had removed it from the Lutheran Communion service in the 1500s.  There were at least three reasons for this:

  1. Luther opposed the doctrine of Transubstantiation.
  2. Thus he wanted to emphasize the reception of the elements, not the transformation thereof.
  3. He wanted to emphasize the actions of God, not the words of people.

Liturgically the absence of the Prayer of Thanksgiving is awkward.  The Service Book and Hymnal (1958) restored this part of the liturgy.  Most subsequent U.S. Lutheran service books have followed suit.  Even the ultra-conservative Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod did so in 2008.

The Communion rite continues:

  • WORDS OF INSTITUTION
  • PEACE
  • AGNUS DEI
  • NUNC DIMITTIS
  • THANKSGIVING
  • BENEDICTION (Aaronic Blessing).

The Common Service also encompasses Matins and Vespers, services included in the earliest European Lutheran service books yet lost after the Thirty Years’ War (ended in 1648).

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III.  CONCLUSION

Liturgy is an extension of theology.  When theology is more responsive than reactive, more considered than reflexive, and more affirmative than negative, the resulting liturgy is better.  How can it be otherwise?

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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

As much as possible I prefer to work with primary sources, although secondary sources frequently prove invaluable in making the best sense of those primary sources.  And I prefer to work with actual bound volumes as much as possible.  For this post, however, some of my sources has been electronic, and I have provided links to them.  So I consider those linked ones cited properly.  I did find certain bound volumes invaluable.  Those credits follow:

Ambassador Hymnal for Lutheran Worship.  Minneapolis, MN:  Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, 1994.

Christian Worship:  A Lutheran Hymnal.  Milwaukee, WI:  Northwestern Publishing House, 1993.

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

Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church.  Philadelphia, PA:  The Board of Publication of The United Lutheran Church in America, 1917, 1918.

Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary.  St. Louis, MO:  MorningStar Music Publishers, Inc., 1996.

Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America, The.  The Lutheran Hymnal.  St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1941.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Fortress, 2006.

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

Hymnal Supplement 98.  St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1998.

Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship.  Lutheran Book of Worship.  Pew Edition.  Philadelphia, PA:  Board of Publication, Lutheran Church in America, 1978.

Lutheran Hymnary Including the Symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, The.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Publishing House, 1935.

Lutheran Intersynodical Hymnal Committee.  American Lutheran Hymnal.  Music Edition.  Columbus, OH:  The Lutheran Book Concern, 1930.

Lutheran Service Book.  St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 2006.

Lutheran Worship.  St. Louis, MO:  Concordia Publishing House, 1982.

Pfatteicher, Phiip H.  Commentary on the Lutheran Book of Worship:  Lutheran Liturgy in Its Ecumenical Context.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Fortress, 1990.

Pfatteicher, Philip H., and Carlos R. Messerli.  Manual on the Liturgy:  Lutheran Book of Worship.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Publishing House, 1979.

Reed, Luther D.  The Lutheran Liturgy:  A Study in the Common Service of the Lutheran Church in America.  Philadelphia, PA:  Muhlenberg Press, 1947.

__________.  The Lutheran Liturgy:  A Study in the Common Liturgy of the Lutheran Church in America.  2d. Ed.  Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1959.

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.

With One Voice:  A Lutheran Resource for Worship.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Fortress, 1995.

I also found some PDFs helpful:

Christian Worship:  Supplement Introductory Resources.  Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 2008.

DeGarmeaux, Bruce.  “O Come, Let Us Worship!  A Study of Lutheran Liturgy and Hymnody.”  1995.

KRT

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Muhlenberg’s Dream: The Road to the Common Service, 1748-1888   23 comments

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Above:  St. John’s Lutheran Church, Charleston, South Carolina

Image Created by the Historic American Buildings Survey

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/sc0169.photos.148685p/)

Reproduction Number = HABS SC,10-CHAR,42–12

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U.S. LUTHERAN LITURGY, PART I

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I.  BACKGROUND

European Lutherans began to settle in the colonies successfully (at New Netherland, to be precise) in the 1620s.  Then there was New Sweden, settled beginning in 1638 at the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware.  The first Lutheran church in America dated to 1646 on Tinicum Island in the Delaware River, when about five hundred people lived in the colony.  Peter Stuyvesant, Governor of New Netherland, conquered New Sweden in 1655.  Then New Netherland became New York in 1664.  The Lutherans (many of them Finns, for Sweden used to encompass much of Finland), cut off from Sweden, waned, and many of their leaders returned to the old country.  King Charles XI of Sweden revived the flagging Lutheran churches in the 1690s by sending ministers, catechisms, Bibles, and other books.  The founding of new congregations (many of them now Episcopalian) commenced.

There was initially much resistance in the territories which did, in time, become the United States of America to worship in English.  Many colonists with heritages in countries with languages other than English preferred the foreign language, at least for church purposes.  Many of those who preferred to worship in English became Anglicans, and many English-language Lutheran congregations abandoned the Lutheran identity for The Church of England or (after 1788) The Episcopal Church.  The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of New-York (formed in 1786) favored German initially.  And, although there was an English-language hymnal and service book in that synod in 1795, the Synod’s official position just two years later was to encourage those who wished to worship in English to become Episcopalians.  Yet, as Lutherans moved into various colonies, many of them wished to worship in English and remain Lutherans.

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II.  HENRY MELCHIOR MUHLENBERG AND THE 1748 AND 1786 LITURGIES

The chaos which was American Lutheranism in early colonial times called out for the creation of order.  That task fell to Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and his assistants.  The thirty-one-year-old German arrived in America on November 25, 1742, and began his great and daunting work.  Who was a legitimate Lutheran minister?  Many imposters roamed the landscape, wreaking havoc in their wake.  To make a long story short and a complex story simple, he died in 1787, having done his work faithfully and laid a firm foundation for U.S. Lutheranism.

Muhlenberg and others gathered at St. Michael’s Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1748 to constitute the Ministerium of Pennsylvania.  At that meeting they also approved the first American Lutheran liturgy, one based on German forms and the service at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church, London, England.  Muhlenberg had worked on the service with the help of two other German pastors, Peter Brunnholtz and John Frederick Handschuh.  This was a compromise liturgy, for there was a variety of Lutheran liturgies in America, and the Swedish rites, with their singing of the Collects, was too “Papist” for many Germans.  The Ministerium vowed to use the 1748 liturgy exclusively, but pastors had to copy out the text, which the Ministerium did not have published.

The 1786 revision did go the printing presses, however.  An English translation of it appeared in the Hymn and Prayer-Book For the Ufe of Fuch Churches as Ufe the Englifh Language (1795) (http://archive.org/details/hymnprayerbo00kunz).  The Reverend John C. Kunze, who had organized the Synod of New-York, wanted to encourage those who preferred to worship in English to remain Lutherans.

The form of the Communion Service is, by 2013 standards, quite sparse.  But the Liturgy of the 1795 book does contain prayers for various settings and for congregations, families, and individuals to use.  And one finds there a catechism (or catechifm), pentitential psalms, and documents explaining Christian history, Lutheran history, and the theology of salvation, aw well as forms for funerals, weddings, and baptisms.  The well-developed lectionary is another nice touch.  Also, the Communion service ends with the Aaronic Blessing (from Numbers 6:23-26) and the Trinitarian formula:

The Lord bless thee, and preferve thee.

The Lord enlighten his countenance upon thee,

and be gracious unto thee!

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee,

and give thee peace.  Amen.

In the name of God the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

The liturgy specifies that members are to celebrate Communion at least on Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost.

Muhlenberg wanted Lutherans to think beyond their local and provincial interests and to focus on broader goals.  Thus he dreamed of a unified liturgy–one he never saw.  In a letter he wrote on November 5, 1783, the Lutheran Patriarch said:

It would be a most delightful and advantageous thing if all the Evangelical Lutheran congregations in North America were united with one another, if they all used the same order of service.

–Quoted in Luther D. Reed, The Lutheran Liturgy:  A Study of the Common Service of the Lutheran Church in America (Philadelphia, PA:  Muhlenberg Press, 1947), page 181

Yet others kept that dream alive.

Negative liturgical developments occurred as early as 1786.  The revised liturgy of that year omitted the Gloria, the Collect of the Day, and the Nicene Creed, for example.  The 1748 order of worship had specified the following order:

  • Hymn
  • Congregational confession of sins
  • Gloria
  • Collect of the Day
  • Epistle reading
  • Hymn
  • Gospel reading
  • Nicene Creed
  • Sermon
  • General Prayer
  • Announcements
  • Peace
  • Hymn
  • Closing Collect
  • Benediction

But the 1786 revision, in making corporate worship minister-focused, left the congregation with little to do.  This tendency became more prominent as time passed, unfortunately.

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III.  MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION AS SINGING KNOTS ON LOGS

In 1814, for example, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of New-York (yes, they hyphenated the name then) published A Collection of Hymns and a Liturgy for the Use of the Evangelical Lutheran Churches; To Which are Added Prayers for Families and Individuals (http://archive.org/details/collectionofhymn00evan and http://archive.org/details/cluthe00evan).  The driving force behind this book and its 1814 liturgy (not 1817, as Abdel Ross Wentz says in The Lutheran Church in American History) was Dr. Frederick H. Quitman, D.D., President of the Synod.  This new liturgy was minister-focused.  And gone was the Aaronic Blessing, replaced with a rubric:

The service is concluded with a hymn and one of the usual benedictions.

Dr. Wentz, in his book on American Lutheran history, criticized the Rationalistic tendencies with which Quitman infused the 1814 liturgy and with which he also influenced the 1818 German-language liturgy of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Luther D. Reed, Lutheran liturgical expert extraordinaire, noted the lack of interactvity in the 1818 rite.

Studying the 1814 New York book has revealed some interesting touches.  There is, for example, a prayer for a servant to say on pages 121 and 122.  That prayer reflected its times and the interests of those who had servants, not those of the servants themselves.  And there was a nice portion of the Eucharistic rite:

How can we ever be sufficiently grateful to thee, for preparing such a table for us in the wilderness of this world!  What good thing can we ever want, whilst we have thee for our Shepherd?  What mercy wilt thou refuse to those, whom thou hast redeemed, not with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ!  What consolation and joy are poured into our hearts, whilst we contemplate him crucified and risen again, triumphing over all his fores and ours, seated at thy right hand, and raising his disciples to his own glory and happiness!

–Page 61 of the Liturgy section, 1814

Various synods–Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia and Maryland–covering more states than those names indicate–joined forces in 1820 to form the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of America.  This national body did not include the Joint Synod of Ohio or the Tennessee Synod, which formed out of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania and the North Carolina Synod respectively.  The General Synod published an enlarged version of the New York 1814 liturgy in an 1837 English-language hymnal.  A 1832 English-language liturgy commissioned by the General Synod and published in a 1834 edition of the New York Collection of Hymns (http://archive.org/details/collectionofhy00evan), was incredible minister-focused, allowing the singing of hymns as the only form of congregational participation.  This restricted role for laypeople continued in the General Synod’s 1842 German-language liturgy (a revision of the 1818 rite) and its 1847 English-language counterpart.  However, the General Synod did publish a revised edition of its 1847 liturgy in 1856, adding the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed to the ritual.  And, in the Creed, the Church was “Catholic.”

In other liturgical news, the Joint Synod of Ohio (1818-1930) published an 1830 English-language liturgy which gave the people little to do.  The Joint Synod worked on the General Synod’s 1847 liturgy.

Frontier conditions made doing proper liturgy difficult.  Thus going to a minister-focused model was practical.  Yet that act constituted bad theology, for “liturgy” means “work of the people.”  The people did not “work” much when all they did was sit, stand, and sing.  To borrow words from  the much-maligned 1814 New York liturgy, Lutherans lived “in the wilderness of this world.”  Breaking away from a frontier mentality was a requirement for doing proper–or at least better–liturgy.

That liturgy was on the way, starting with the Pennsylvania Liturgy of 1860.  A new liturgical age was about to dawn.

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IV.  LITURGICAL RENEWAL

In 1860 the Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Other States published A Liturgy for Use of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (http://archive.org/details/liturgyforuseofe00np).  This liturgy, based on Muhlenberg’s 1748 forms and pre-Reformation rituals, laid the foundation for subsequent services in the next few years while appropriating parts of The Book of Common Prayer generously.  One who reads the 1786 and 1860 liturgies carefully then pays close attention to the Common Service of 1888 should recognize the lineage.

Some particulars of the 1860 Liturgy follow:

  • The Nicene Creed is present as an “occasional” substitute for the Apostles’ Creed.  In both Creeds the Church is “Christian,” not “Catholic,” a pattern which repeats for the rest of the century and beyond.
  • The Liturgy keeps the long General Prayer before the sermon not because it works best there but because people have become used to it being there.  Later (by a few years) services move the General Prayer to a spot after the sermon, thereby not interrupting the flow of the service.
  • There is, as in subsequent liturgies influenced by this one, a section of rites for “Ministerial Acts,” such as funerals, weddings, baptisms, and installations.
  • The fixed feasts in the book are Christmas Day (December 25), the Circumcision of Jesus/New Year’s Day (January 1), the Epiphany (January 6), and The Festival of the Reformation (October 31).

The General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of America (1820-1918) divided twice during the 1860s.  First the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Confederate States of America organized in 1863.  It renamed itself the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America in 1866 then merged with the Holston Synod and the Tennessee Synod to create the United Synod of the South, known simply as the United Synod of the South, in 1866.  The General Synod split again in 1867, when the more conservative General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America constituted itself.  By the way, the antecedents of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) (1918-) helped to form the General Council then left it–one in 1869, another in 1871, and the third in 1888.  Also, the General Synod, the United Synod of the South, and the General Council reunited in 1918 to create The United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA), which merged into the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) in 1962.  The LCA helped to create the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1987.

The Southern Church, called the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America in 1867, published The Book of Worship (http://archive.org/details/bookofworshi00gene) that year.  This book, which owed much to the  1860 Pennsylvania Liturgy, constituted a great liturgical advance.  The order of Morning Service set the General Prayer after the sermon, unlike the 1860 rite.  Hints of the Common Service of 1888 began to become prominent , as in the Confession of Sin.  And the presence of rituals for other occasions, as in the Order of Ministerial Acts, indicated that the liturgy was not an afterthought tacked onto a hymnal.

The Church Book (1868) (http://archive.org/details/chuse00gene) was another great liturgical advance and foreshadowing of things to come.  The 1868 Book, revised over the decades to include music (http://archive.org/details/evanluth00gene), Ministerial Acts (http://archive.org/details/congruse00gene), and more options for Introits and Collects (http://archive.org/details/chuluth00gene), was in English.  Its German-language counterpart debuted in 1877.  The Church Book, owing much to The Book of Common Prayer and the 1860 Liturgy, set the pattern for the Common Service Book (1917).  There were no Matins of Vespers yet, but the lectionary, two forms for Morning Worship, and the prayers were impressive.  Also, the General Prayer followed the sermon and the Aaronic Blessing ended the service.  The Church Book gained slightly wider acceptance in 1872, when the Tennessee Synod accepted it in place of that body’s 1840 liturgy.

The General Synod revised its liturgy further in the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s.  The Provisional Liturgy of 1866, never authorized, became the basis of the “Washington Service” of 1869, authorized by the General Synod.  This was the Provisional Liturgy plus the Gloria Patri, the Kyrie, and the Gloria in Excelsis.  It constituted a great advance in recovering a historical Lutheran order of worship.  This Service appeared in the Book of Worship (1871) (http://archive.org/details/bookofworship71gene). an unfortunate volume which consisted mostly of hymns with about twenty pages of services tacked onto the front and prayers, the Augsburg Confession, and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism tucked in at the back.  The Liturgy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (1881) (http://archive.org/details/liturgyofevangel00gene), however, added more material and kept up will and with the Lutheran Joneses–the General Council’s Church Book and the Southern Church’s Book of Worship.

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V.  THE SHORT TRAIL TO THE COMMON SERVICE, 1870-1888

In 1870, the Reverend Doctor John Bachman, Pastor of St. John’s Church, Charleston, South Carolina (hence the photograph at the top of this post), wrote the leaders of his denomination, the (Southern) General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America, telling them that greater liturgical uniformity among U.S. Lutherans would increase domestic and foreign respect for U.S. Lutheranism and enable the Lutheran churches to accomplish more good in the world.  That proposal failed in 1870 yet passed six years later.  The General Council agreed to cooperate with its Southern counterpart in 1879.  And the (original) General Synod, parent to the other two bodies, joined the party in 1883.

Work got underway in 1884.  All three denominations worked out their disagreements over the committee’s proposed liturgy and the Common Service debuted in 1888 (http://archive.org/details/congruse00gene).

Analysis of the Common Service will wait until the next post in this series.

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VI.  OTHER LITURGIES

I have focused on the mainstream of Lutheran liturgical development so far.  That has been appropriate.  Yet I would be negligent if I were to ignore other liturgical traditions within U.S. Lutheranism through 1888.

It was commonplace for many Lutheran services in the United States to occur in German or some other foreign language into the twentieth century.  In fact, foreign language Lutheran services continue to occur.  Southwest of my location, in Atlanta, Georgia, the Church of the Redeemer (http://www.redeemer.org/) hosts a German-language service, for example.

Back in the nineteenth century….

It was commonplace for English and foreign-language services to coexist within the same denomination.

  • The Norwegian Synod produced its first English-language hymnal in 1879.  Some members of the Missouri Synod used this volume.
  • The Missouri Synod, which used the Saxon and Loehe Agendas primarily for worship, published the unofficial Lutheran Hymns For the Use of English Lutheran Missions in 1882.
  • The Buffalo Synod (1845-1930), of German origin, produced its first English Language hymnal, The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, in 1880, with the Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (http://archive.org/details/evangelicalluthe00evan).  The music edition appeared in 1908 (http://archive.org/details/evangelicalluthe08van).  The service 1880 service was either the 1867 Southern Lutheran service or a variant thereof, where as the 1908 rite was either the 1860 Pennsylvania Liturgy or a variant thereof.
  • Finnish Lutheran congregations began to form about 1867.  Prior to that date Finnish Lutherans had joined Norwegian or Swedish congregations.
  • The (Swedish) Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church published its first English-language hymnal after 1888.
  • Danish Lutherans in the U.S. published their first English-language hymnal after 1888.

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VII.  CONCLUSION

The Common Service of 1888 did not impose liturgical uniformity upon U.S. Lutheranism.  It has yet to do so, as a review of hymnals and service books in use among U.S. Lutherans confirms.

There is, God willing, more to come.  With these words I conclude this post, the first in a planned series.  Next I will read for and prepare part two.

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KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 14, 2013 COMMON ERA

PROPER 10:  THE EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C

THE FEAST OF SAMUEL OCCUM, PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT CAMILLUS DE LELLIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

As much as possible I prefer to work with primary sources, although secondary sources frequently prove invaluable in making the best sense of those primary sources.  And I prefer to work with actual bound volumes as much as possible.  For this post, however, most of my sources have been electronic, and I have provided links to them.  So I consider those linked ones cited properly.  I did find certain bound volumes invaluable.  Those credits follow:

Pfatteicher, Philip H., and Carlos R. Messerli.  Manual on the Liturgy:  Lutheran Book of Worship.  Minneapolis, MN:  Augsburg Publishing House, 1979.

Reed, Luther D.  The Lutheran Liturgy:  A Study in the Common Service of the Lutheran Church in America.  Philadelphia, PA:  Muhlenberg Press, 1947.

__________.  The Lutheran Liturgy:  A Study in the Common Liturgy of the Lutheran Church in America.  2d. Ed.  Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1959.

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.

I also found some PDFs helpful:

Marggraf, Bruce.  “A History of Hymnal Changeovers in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.”  May 28, 1982.

Schalk, Carl.  “A Brief History of LCMS Hymnals (before LSB).”  Based on a 1997 document; updated to 2006.  Copyrighted by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

KRT

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