Monday, April 12, 2010
What Shall We Do
In talking with some folks about this, I was surprised at the various viewpoints. Some suggested that they owed it to themselves and to the Church to learn some of the other orders in the book in addition to Divine Service, Setting Three, and Vespers. But I am not so sure. There are those who insist that every Missouri Synod Lutheran be on the same page on Sunday morning -- literally. I believe that a little latitude here is not entirely a bad thing. I think it is much more important that we all be in the same book than we all are on the same page. And that is, I think, the perspective of the Confessions on the matter, too.
Lutherans have not only tolerated but allowed a certain amount of diversity within the ordo. Some think that people like me want to take that away. They are wrong. But this diversity has always been within the hymnals and liturgies that the Church has identified as her own and not the kind of diversity of a pastor's own creative genius (which I am definitely against). When we admit to a diversity of ceremonies and practices that do not cause a fissure in our unity, we are speaking from within the context of the historic mass (ordo) and that mass is certainly preserved within the books that were the predecessors of LSB as well as the gift of this "new" hymnal (we seem to be unable to shake the idea of a hymnal being new even when it ends up being 24 years old - as in the case of LW).