I admit that my knowledge of all things Anglican is not what it ought to be. That said, I thought I knew quite a bit about things Anglican. So when a friend mentioned the Commination traditional to the First Sunday in Lent. Alas, I did not know what he was talking about -- sometimes a more frequent problem for me than I care to admit! Anyway I did some looking up (thanks to the internet) and found that on the first Day of Lent and at other times, after Morning Prayer, from reading pew or pulpit, the priest shall lead the people of God denouncing His anger and judgment against sinners (especially unrepentant ones, I presume).
I find it most interesting since we love to spend our time musing about how although God hates sin, He loves sinners (the neat and tidy separation of people from their sins which we struggle with here on earth, He handles easily). The truth is that the nice, neat separation we love to talk about is neither nice nor neat. God hates sins and because of sins, God hates the sinners who do them. We are not redeemed because God makes a separation between sins and sinners but because He became incarnate in His Son so that He might die for unworthy, undeserving, guilty sinners. Sinners don't even get a bye because they repent. Repentance does not merit salvation. Only the blood of Christ pleading for sinners, covering them with righteousness, and marking them as Christ's own can redeem the sinner from his sins of thought, word, deed, either evil committed or good omitted. Nope, the anger and judgment of God was not placed against an idea nor was it theoretical. If you eat, you will surely die. Because of sin all men die and death has passed to all as the just payment for their unrighteous sin.
I have a great deal of trouble seeing someone like Bp Jefforts-Schori leading this service. In fact, it draws a wicked smile to my lips in something that is most serious indeed. It is a sign of how far Anglicanism has fallen from its origin and how what was once a noble religion became a parody of itself. Now I do not expect I will restore such Anglican usage to this LCMS parish but it would probably not be a bad idea. We live in a culture which trivializes sin and so makes the cross a joke. Something worth pondering in this week we call Holy....
or Denouncing of God's Anger and Judgements against Sinners,With certain Prayers, to be used on the first Day of Lent, and at other times, as the Ordinary shall appoint.
RETHREN, in the Primitive Church there was a godly discipline, that, at the beginning of Lent, such persons as stood convicted of notorious sin were put to open penance, and punished in this world, that their souls might be saved in the day of the Lord; and that others, admonished by their example, might be the more afraid to offend.
Instead whereof, until the said discipline may be restored again, (which is much to be wished,) it is thought good, that at this time (in the presence of you all) should be read the general sentences of God's cursing against impenitent sinners, gathered out of the seven and twentieth Chapter of Deuteronomy, and other places of Scripture; and that ye should answer to every Sentence, Amen: To the intent that, being admonished of the great indignation of God against sinners, ye may the rather be moved to earnest and true repentance; and may walk more warily in these dangerous days; fleeing from such vices, for which ye affirm with your own mouths the curse of God to be due. URSED is the man that maketh any carved or molten image, to worship it.
Minister. Cursed is he that removeth his neighbour's landmark.
Minister. Cursed is he that maketh the blind to go out of his way.
Minister. Cursed is he that perverteth the judgement of the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.
Minister. Cursed is he that smiteth his neighbour secretly.
Minister. Cursed is he that lieth with his neighbour's wife.
Minister. Cursed is he that taketh reward to slay the innocent.
Minister. Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, and taketh man for his defence, and in his heart goeth from the Lord.
Minister. Cursed are the unmerciful, fornicators, and adulterers, covetous persons, idolaters, slanderers, drunkards, and extortioners.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness: and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified in thy saying, and clear when thou art judged.
Behold, I was shapen in wickedness: and in sin hath my mother conceived me.
But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts: and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.
Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness: that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Turn thy face away from my sins: and put out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence: and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
O give me the comfort of thy help again: and stablish me with thy free Spirit.
Then shall I teach thy ways unto the wicked: and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou that art the God of my health: and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness.
Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord: and my mouth shall shew thy praise.
For thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it thee: but thou delightest not in burnt-offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise.
O be favourable and gracious unto Sion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness, with the burnt-offerings and ablations: then shall they offer young bullocks upon thine attar.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
UR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen.
Minister. O Lord, save thy servants;
Answer. That put their trust in thee.
Minister. Send unto them help from above.
Answer. And evermore mightily defend them.
Minister. Help us, O God our Saviour.
Answer. And for the glory of thy Name deliver us; be merciful to us sinners, for thy Name's sake.
Minister. O Lord, hear our prayer.
Answer. And let our cry come unto thee.