I am beginning to understand the sentiment of the author quoted in my first post where it was suggested that "Lutheranism has no actual lex orandi (all in the name of "liberty," of course)."
Many have sung the praises of the newly released Lutheran Service Book. Others have been less kind in their comments. I have followed the development of the LSB; but I have not yet formed a definitive opinion of it.
Traditionalist that I am, the first thing that I look at is the calendar. There is nothing unexpected in the LSB as far as the Sundays and Seasons are concerned, unless you want to quibble about Sundays of or after Easter. I am more interested in the Feasts, Festivals and Commemorations listed in the calendar.
The LSB enumerates 35 Feasts and Festivals; the titles, in several cases, having been modified from their traditional forms:
March 19, "St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary," is now captioned "Joseph, Guardian of Jesus." Was Joseph, as the spouse of the BVM, not de facto the guardian of Our Lord?
The Visitation, historically (and in the 1 year Lectionary) falls on July 2. The 3 year Lectionary moves it to May 31. Why should the version of the Lectionary take precedence over the traditional date of this feast?
August 29 has traditionally been titled "The Beheading of John the Baptist." Have we become so squeamish that "Martyrdom" must be used to sanitize "Beheading"?
October 23, "St. James of Jerusalem, Brother of Jesus and Martyr," is assigned an individual commemoration in addition to being traditionally paired with St. Philip on May 1. Why?
When LSB lists Commemorations; I have even more questions.
Historically, the Western (Latin) Rite commemorates saints of the Old Testament only by exception; and then, usually only in particular calendars of religious orders. The primary exception to this rule is the commemoration in the universal calendar of the Holy Machabees, Martyrs, on August 1.
Understanding that it is beneficial to remember the saints, the LSB presents a mixed message. In the listing of Feasts and Festivals, the saints celebrated are accorded the title of "St." before their names. This honorific is omitted in the listing of Commemorations of those whom the Church has always recognized as saints. Then, too, the LSB does not place 19 commemorations on their traditional dates; and in three cases combines several saints, each of whom have their own assigned date in the historic calendar, into one unified commemoration.
With the exception of Fr. Martin Luther, fittingly commemorated on February 18; it would seem more appropriate to commemorate all of the Reformation fathers collectively on the Festival of the Reformation.
But what I find to the most curious is the inclusion of Emperors (Christian Rulers), Artists, Kantors, Father Confessors, Ecumenical Councils, latter day Pastors, Faithful Women and others not commonly commemorated. With "so great a cloud of witnesses," why is there a need to improve upon the wisdom of the past?