Friday, September 28, 2007

The Preparation & the Introit

The Preparation is actually not a part of the Mass liturgy. If it the custom of the parish to use a separate Confessional Service before Mass, it need not be included.

The Introit is the beginning of the Mass liturgy. According to the historic Western use, the Introit is not begun until the celebrant and ministers have come to the altar. Having made the customary reverence - the celebrant kisses the alter at the midst, and the deacon where he stands at the right of the celebrant - the celebrant (or Kantor, or choir) intones the Introit of the day.

Although local customs may vary, beginning the Introit only after the ministers arrive at the altar is to be preferred, especially if it is customary to incense the altar during the Introit. Everyone will already be in place, able to complete the incensing while the Introit is being sung.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Invocation

The Augsburg Confession states that Lutherans have retained the Mass and the usual ceremonies, insofar as doing so does not compromise the Gospel. Here, then, we begin a step-by-step review of the Mass according to the Lutheran rite. Please note that the ad Orientem position is presupposed in all cases.

The historic rite begins the Mass with this rubric: "The priest, standing at the foot of the alter-steps, and signing himself with the sign of the holy Cross, begins...: In nomine Patris...."

A contemporary usage that has the celebrant facing the congregation and signing them (in the form of a blessing) is contrary to the historic understanding that the priest (and people) are hereby invoking the blessing of the Holy Trinity upon themselves and their participation in the Mass.

(I am curious as to the source and interpretation of this innovation in the Liturgy.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The First Divergence

To paraphrase The Bard, "What's in a word? A word with any other twist would mean the same." (May The Bard forgive me!)

As hymnals have come and gone, we have been bombarded by a constant decaying of the (American) English language. We have equivalent language, politically correct language, theologically neutral language, can't-offend-anyone language, doesn't-say-anything language....and the goes on and on.

This post was published on "The New Liturgical Movement" site, a Roman Catholic site devoted to the historic liturgy, etc. You are encouraged to read it. To do so, click on the title header of this post.

I await your comments.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A New Beginning

Ever since the completion of the Second Vatican Council, the non-Roman churches (e.g. Lutheran) have copied many of the directives established for the Novus Ordo. These include such things as adopting a three-year lectionary, modern (inclusive) languare, revisions of the historic calendar, and departures from the historic ordinary or the Mass.

The Augsburg Confession plainly states that the Lutheran Church has continued to celebrate the Mass, including all usual ceremonies, omitting only those things which would compromise the Gospel. Here, it should be noted, that the historic Mass of the Lutheran Church predates the revisions set forth by the Council of Trent and the Second Vatican Council.

Following this post, this blog will begin a review of the historic form of the Mass as retained by the Augsburg Confession. Innovations will be dismissed. The historic order and ceremony will be clarified, Questions regarding language will be resolve. Conformity to the Confessions will be encouraged.

But be warned, this blog will always be from the Confessional Lutheran perspective. Some sacred cows may be led to the slaughter. Modernism will surely be disparaged. Do-It-Yourself liturgies and Praise Services will be given no quarter. There may be brief divergences to related topics. Your participation in this blog is respectfully requested. Your comments will be welcomed.