Sunday, August 14, 2011

Maybe I Need to Go Back to School...

While spending time at Concordia-Seward this July with Dr. Joe Herl, he showed me his review sheets that detail what he expects of undergrads on the liturgy and worship portion of his church music course.  To put it bluntly, I was blown away!  I had trouble answering some (make that many) of his questions and expect that 90% of Lutheran Pastors would fail his exam.

Let me outline a few of the things he expects from those who wish to pass his course:
  1. What is the First Apology of Justin Martyr?  When and were was it written?  What does it say about worship?  Outline the service it describes...
  2. Who is Pliny the Younger?  Why did he write to the Emporer Trajan?  What does his letter tell us about Christian worship?
  3. What are the three branches of Eastern Christianity?  How do they differ doctrinally?
  4. In the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom how is the sacrament prepared at the proskomide and what does this symbolize?
  5. Who put together Evening Prayer in its current form, when, and from what traditions?
  6. Define temporale and sanctorale.
  7. What did Luther say about the elevation in the mass?
  8. What is a Lutheran Church Order?  What influence do these orders have on Lutheran worship today?
  9. What is the Common Service?  When did it appear?  What was it designed to accomplish?  What conflict arose about the confession in the Common Service?
  10. Define, compare, and contrast revivalism and evangelicalism.... inculturation and emergent worship...
  11. Who was Johann Anastasias Freylinghausen?
  12. Need I continue?????
My point:  It just could be that those students at Concordia-Seward who take Herl's course are better prepared to judge, teach, and prepare the Divine Service on Sunday morning than many (most?) Pastors.  At least as I look back at my college and seminary experience, this just might be true.  So I can do nothing more than express my great appreciation and awe at the great teacher and great teaching of Dr. Joe Herl and the thorough training provided in Church Music at Concordia-Seward.

Truly impressive!!!

BTW Look forward to the Hymnal Companion for LSB which Joe is completing, having received the hand-off from Jon Vieker who is busy in the President's Office....


Matthew said...

I see a blog series in your future answering these questions for us...

Anonymous said...

I can answer one of those questions:

12. Yes, you need to continue!

Would love to see the answers for these.

Anonymous said...

Church Music is not a course at our
Sems in Fort Wayne and St. Louis.
At Seward they are training cantors
and organists, while the Sems are
preparing theologians. Seminarians
need to learn the exegetical part
of preparing Christ-centered and
Biblical-based sermons. They also
need to be grounded in the Lutheran
Confessions in order to have a solid
doctrinal foundation.

Chris Jones said...

three branches of Orthodoxy

What a weird concept, one which has no referent historically. That makes it very difficult to answer the question correctly.

It would seem to refer either to three different ecclesial bodies that are components of a single Church, or to three different Churches that derive from a common historical ancestor. But there clearly is no Church called "Orthodoxy" which has three branches. And if we look for an historical ancestor Church which has broken into branches, we should have to recognize at least five branches: Nestorian, Monophysite, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant. All of these are derived, historically, from the same common ancestor.

Of course, what Prof Herl means is Eastern Orthodox, Monophysite, and Nestorian. But these Churches have no common ancestor other than the ancestor we share with them and nothing in common that we do not share with them. They are not "branches" in any meaningful sense. The only thing they have in common, really, is that they are (from our perspective) "Eastern"; they do not even all have "Orthodox" in their official names.

BrotherBoris said...

The only questions I could not answer were numbers 2 and 10. I certainly know who Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen was: he was the composer of the beloved setting of Psalm 51 "Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God" in the old 1941 Lutheran Hymnal.

Terry Maher said...

1. The Apologia describes a service pretty much the same as Hippolytus, whose canon is the basis for Eucharistic Prayer II in the Roman novus ordo pastiche Mass. Ain't that great? More ways to not pick something and stick to it as Luther advises.

2. It's Pliny the Younger (in English), not Pliney. I'm hoping that was just a typo. His name was actually not Pliny at all, but Gaius Caecilius Cilo. His father died when he was a kid, and he later became close to his Uncle Pliny, who died trying to save people from the famous Vesuvius eruption, and whose will adopted him as his son. Whereupon he changed his name to Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus.

3. As Chris notes, there are no branches of Orthodoxy. three or otherwise. If "Orthodoxy" is being used (incorrectly) as a reference to Eastern Christianity, there are four branches that differ doctrinally: the Orthodox Churches; the Miaphysite Churches aka Oriental Orthodox; the Assyrian CHurch; the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Needs a bit of tightening up I'd say.

BrotherBoris said...

Chris and Terry are right. There are no branches of Orthodoxy. However, there is a great deal of goodwill these days between the Coptic Orthodox(Oriental Orthodox) and the Russian and Greek Orthodox (Eastern Orthodox). We are not in communion with each other yet, but we do dialogue with and greatly respect one another. Many of us in the Eastern Orthodox Church think that the Coptics were grossly mistreated Constantinople and were condemned for something that they really never taught. Language differences had a lot to do with it. Today there is much more of a willingness to hear the other side and many of us are hopeful that communion can be restored between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox churches.

Michael L. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D said...

The letter of Governor Pliny (the Younger)to Emperor Trajan is neatly summarized in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius (3.33). Eusebius, in turn, cites Tertullian's Apology as a source for his recounting of the correspondence.

Eusebius indicates that Plinius Secundus was "moved (Tertullian himself appears to use the term "confounded") by the number of martyrs" generated by the latest Roman inquisition, and so he fired off a note to ask the boss what to do. Things are getting out of hand. So do we secure more firewood and wild beasts (and tax), or build more prisons (and tax), or exactly what (and tax)?

Pliny's description of contemporary Christian worship ... according to Eusebius ... is pithy, if not pithey. It is on the order of "they rise with the morning sun, and sing a hymn to Christ as to a god." I guess there was plenty of time, then, to catch the kick-off at the Coliseum, upon the sun-dial's attainment of half-past the sixth hour.

Pliny is quite complimentary to the Christians, as to their conduct as citizens within the Left Kingdom. Pliny assured the Emperor that, although the Christians were quite unwilling to sacrifice to the political T-Pontiff, behavioral things like adultery, murder, over-reaching, fraud, and criminal excesses in general were abhorrent to the religionists.

Trajan's reply was something of the standard "good news, bad news" variety. The Emperor's expressed his inclination not to have the Christians hunted down; but should the latter ever "present themselves" to the courts, mind you, they were to be thoroughly punished.

Eusebius wryly notes that, in consequence of Pliny's importunings, "the persecution in some measure seemed abated in its extreme violence, but there were no less pretexts left for those who wished to harass us." There was no shortage of martyrs, in other words.


Joe Herl said...

I read this blog occasionally and happened to catch it today. It looks as though Pastor Peters has paraphrased several of my exam review questions: my original question refers to "branches of eastern Christianity," not Orthodoxy. Thanks for pointing out that "branches" isn't quite right; would "divisions" be a better choice?

Here's another question for the group: in your opinion, how important is it to mention the Byzantine Rite Catholics? Keep in mind that this is an undergraduate course, and I don't want to include so much detail that students will be overwhelmed.

Question 10 is actually a mixture of several questions:

What is the relationship between revivalism and evangelicalism?
What does inculturation (or indigenization) mean? Give some examples from churches in Africa.
What is the "emerging church"? What are its characteristics? What does its worship tend to be like?

Most of the posted questions are from my liturgy course, but number 11 is from my hymnody course. My goal in both courses is for students to be familiar with church history and theology as reflected in her liturgy and hymns. Both are 2-hour courses, although I'd like to make the liturgy course 3 hours, as it's really a full course with additional field trips.

I was surprised and pleased this year when our graduating music majors told our departmental interviewer that these two courses ought to be required for all Concordia students. Of course that won't happen, but it's a nice thought.

Terry Maher said...

I'd say it's REAL important to cover the "Byzantine Rite Catholics". If one understands who they are, and who they are not, one ought to thereby understand much else -- what the Catholic Church, as distinct from the catholic church, is, as distinct from the Latin Rite of it which is 99.9% if not more of most people's understanding; that the Byzantine Rite is not exclusive to them; what Eastern Rite Catholics are who follow Eastern rites other than Byzantine; what the Orthodox Church is; the Lutheran churches which use a Lutheran version of the St John Chrysostom liturgy; and more.

I should not think a basic familiarity with that beyond the capacity of an undergraduate -- I was taught that in high school. Well, except the Lutheran part, it was a Roman Catholic high school with a Greek Orthodox church across the street! And Lutherans everywhere else, being in Minnesota.

Pastor Peters said...

Okay, I got the spelling errors and I did pull this together while typing on a laptop riding down I-70 heading home from Seward and, no, I did not really proofread this as I should... so you caught me... However, none of this affects my point which was that perhaps those who sit class with Dr. Herl have a better understanding of worship, liturgy, and church music than seminarians, which, IS a big problem, contrary to Anonymous, since the bulk of our contact with the bulk of our people is, well, Sunday morning, no?

Chris Jones said...

Prof Herl,

Thanks for chiming in. Referring to "branches of Eastern Christianity" rather than "Orthodoxy" addresses my original criticism quite nicely although yes, "divisions" would be even more accurate. "Branch" leaves open the possibility that the groups in question are still united with one another, while "division" makes it clear that they are not.

I do think that including the Eastern Catholics would be good, particularly since they include not only "Byzantine" Catholics (Churches which were previously Orthodox who are now in communion with Rome), but also Catholic counterparts to all of the other "divisions" of Eastern Christianity. There are Coptic Catholics, Ethiopian Catholics, Chaldean Catholics, and so forth. Each of these follows the liturgical rite of their Monophysite or Nestorian roots but are under the authority of the Pope.

I don't know that I would require students to distinguish between Chaldean, Maronite, and Melkite Catholics on the exam; but it wouldn't hurt for them to be aware that these groups exist.

ShirleyG said...

I find it odd that a place that has the likes of Dr. Herl teaching (thank you!!) can also be awarding a certificate/degree in Contemporary Worship. How can those two exist side-by-side? Will this not cause even further division in our church? See the last Broadcaster for more information on the Contemporary Worship program. From the article, it seems to not have much theological content (imo, how could it?).

Paul said...

Question: how can ordinary pastors take advantage of the wisdom of Dr. Herl and his two (or more) classes? We need to invite him to our district conference asap.

Michael L. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D said...

"I find it odd that a place that has the likes of Dr. Herl teaching (thank you!!) can also be awarding a certificate/degree in Contemporary Worship. How can those two exist side-by-side?"

Perhaps the paradigm offered previously by Chris Jones is applicable to the Concordia-Seward facility: less structured as branches (or departments), than divisions.

That Mr. Jones is quite an honest guy, I must say. We are in a fine mess, but it seems to be universal.


Terry Maher said...

With few exceptions it's all Contemporary Worship -- some a pastiche from the past, some a pastiche from the present "evangelicals", and the mess is indeed universal.

Joe Herl said...

Thanks again for all your help. My exam review question now refers to "divisions of eastern Christianity."

Regarding the Eastern Rite Catholics, when I was studying to be a church musician I figured I should visit as many different churches as possible to get an idea of what their worship was like. I was living in New York at the time, and I would seek out new life and new civilizations; no, that's not right! I would seek out churches I had never heard of before, the wilder and further out, the better. One evening I wandered into a Byzantine Rite Catholic Vespers being chanted in Old Church Slavonic. I entered a pew, and soon the man next to me offered to share his book. I indicated that I didn't understand the language, and he smiled and told me that's okay, and that it was fine if I just sat and listened. I was immediately put at ease, and I stayed for the remainder of the office and asked questions afterward. I use that story with my class to show that people visiting a church for the first time don't really need to understand or participate in everything that goes on in order to feel welcomed and comfortable. It will be a simple matter to incorporate that example into a discussion of Eastern Rite Catholicism. I already mention Byzantine Rite Lutherans in the Ukraine, so that's covered.

Of course the matter goes both ways, as the example of Western Rite Antiochian Orthodox churches shows. To cover the whole topic in a simple way, I've added the following question to my liturgy course:

"Give an example of a western church that uses an eastern rite and an eastern church that uses a western rite. Why does this occur?"