Saturday, March 3, 2012
What will never happen in Lutheranism... but maybe something like it should. . .
Why? Because he doesn't agree that a priest should be restricted to the exact words of the Missal (especially the changes in the Mass introduced with Advent 2011). It is a radical story not of a few ad libs here and there but a whole history of paraphrasing and altering the text of the Mass. He was warned over and over again but to no avail. Some will claim that this heavy handed discipline is over reaching. For us Lutherans it may seem extreme, indeed, but it does point to a significant problem within our own liturgical practices and the text of the Divine Service.
If the priest is free to change what he does not like about the doctrine expressed in the liturgical texts of the Church, why should the people in the pew not be afforded the same opportunity to reshape the liturgical tradition to better reflect their perspective, the cultural moment, and the modern bias for political correctness?
Read the whole story here.
Now I am not advocating for liturgical police but noting the contrast here with the freedom of Lutherans to do whatever they darn please -- all the while claiming to be Lutheran -- and the rigid uniformity required of Rome. We do not need to follow them but perhaps we need to find some place in the middle in which we can expect of Lutheran congregations that what happens on Sunday morning will be identifiably Lutheran in content and practice.
Surely it is not too much to expect that the preaching and teaching of pulpit and catechism class by Lutheran Pastors will honor the Confessions (and their claim of evangelical catholicity) and that the liturgy and practices of Lutheran parishes will likewise honor those Confessions. Apart from this, we hold to a unity of spirit in which the real words of our Confession and the liturgical practice that is shaped by that Confession is so nebulous and vague as to be meaningless. Undoubtedly someone will comment "but it is all adiaphora" and therefore prove my point that we Lutherans are so attached to our freedom and diversity that we will instinctively resist what common sense tells us is true!