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Messages - Pr. Luke Zimmerman

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Your Turn / Re: Eucharistic Prayers
« on: March 02, 2008, 04:47:16 PM »
Oh, and yes, I do not think the EP is appropriate for the Lutheran Gottesdienst. LSB Setting Five is as far as I would be willing to see things go. I'm ok with EPs that are not EPs, but not with EPs that are. I'm with Olson on this one.

I find this a statement worth exploring a little bit. Apologies if it takes the discussion in a slightly different direction.

The questions that come to my mind are: What makes a Eucharistic Prayer a Eucharistic Prayer? What makes a "non-Eucharistic Prayer Eucharistic Prayer" (sorry) less objectionable; or conversely, what phrases/elements make a Eucharistic Prayer objectionable?

Questions for discussion could include:
(a) How do you define a Eucharistic Prayer? What are the essential phrases/elements?
(b) For those using the Lutheran Service Book, how is what is found on pp. 177-180 (left hand column) not a Eucharistic Prayer?
(c) Is there an essential difference compared to the eight options of a Eucharistic Prayer that people could find in the modern Church of Sweden?  (Scroll down a little to find them.)
(d) Is the objection to using a Eucharistic Prayer wrapped up in having the Verba included in a relative clause in the prayer; in surrounding the Verba with other texts; or not having the Sanctus immediately followed by the Verba immediately followed by the Lord's Prayer; or something else?

If this is worth a separate thread, one of the moderators can let me know, and we can make it so.


Your Turn / Re: Eucharistic Prayers
« on: February 29, 2008, 07:11:38 PM »
Is there any way someone could post the Swedish Eucharist Prayer of Olavus Petri here? I woud just love to read it and persue it. The more I study about Petri and his work, the greater I am impressed by him.  Sounds like he did the Swedish Church a world of good.

Pr. Weedon printed the copy of Olavus Petri's Eucharistic Prayer from Reed's The Lutheran Liturgy. Reed is quoting from Eric E. Yelverton's work The Mass in Sweden, which can be found in its entirety via Google Books. That volume includes a translation of King John III's mass order, as well.

Here is a link to Yelverton's work, which is an interesting read, from Google Books:

Yelverton's other work An Archbishop of the Reformation on Laurentius Petri is an enlightening read, as well, even in its relatively short length. I believe an appendix includes the order of mass that Laurentius Petri developed.


Luke, I suspect that if you had not sung "A Mighty Fortress" nor mentioned Reformation the "thrill" of celebrating two apostles would have been considerably muted.

: )

Yeah, no doubt. Honestly, I think it was the total combination (lectionary, baptisms, hymns) that made it work.

Point to McCain. :-)

At our congregation I opted for SS Simon & Jude.  Which seemed only proper, it being the day.  I couldn't see transferring another day of equal rank.  Actually the Simon & Jude texts served a reformation theme well.  Together with the 95 Theses in the copies of the Lutheran also distributed today.  We did two prayers of the day, Apostles followed by Reformation.

Pr. Krauser:

Glad to hear that I wasn't the only one who commemorated SS Simon & Jude. The texts indeed serve well the Reformation theme. Even more so, the Gospel text served well the event of having baptisms in each of my parishes yesterday: "You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world-- therefore the world hates you. (John 15:16-19)" Plenty to comment about, for the newest and oldest disciples of Christ in the parishes.

We also had the SS Simon & Jude Collect, followed by the Collect for the Reformation. We did sing "A Mighty Fortress," "O Lord, We Praise Thee," and "Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word." And even out here in Iowa, in the heart of LCMS territory, the commemoration of the two apostles (who would have been forgotten, and, unfortunately, likely were among most Lutheran parishes) was received quite well; in my opinion, better than previous years' Reformation Sundays. Besides, two of the Twelve probably should receive the weight of the day (since my reading indicated that an Apostle's Day is of greater rank than Reformation Day [transferred]).


Your Turn / Re: Eucharistic Approach/Avoidance
« on: October 09, 2007, 10:41:36 PM »
A topic of conversation at the LCMS Council of Presidents recently has had to do with Eucharistic approach/avoidance by pastors.  Circuit "winkels" or conferences which have begun or concluded through long years of practice with the Eucharistic meal have become loci for aggreived feelings, as some pastors forsake the fellowship with or without explanation. 

The stated issues could have to do with anything from worship practice differences to prayer and fellowship differences to, well, the list goes on and on.  But these issues are viewed by those avoiding the Meal as divisive of Eucharistic fellowship.

Rev. Pres. Benke:

As a midwestern minister, I'm pleased that our COP is grappling with the issue. Hopefully, there will be progress made.

Out in my neck of the woods between the Missouri and Mississippi, Circuit Conferences run about 60-40 whether there even is the Eucharist held, so the issue of division of fellowship may not even come up for months in the Circuit. Thankfully, we don't have that problem. I have found that the newer ministers are the ones holding the Eucharist at our Circuit gatherings, including myself. One of my parishes will host a joint circuit conference next month and the Divine Service will be conducted.

At District gatherings, the problem is seen. The reasons listed by District ministers for not communing or not even attending the Divine Service are usually:

(1) Worship practice of the host congregation. Though I haven't absented myself from these services, I'll admit being frustrated at what goes on and even a bit angry, which is not an emotion that should be present in worship. Others who have similar feelings have simply not attended the worship service rather than having anger in the house of the Lord. Having "mood music" during corporate confession and absolution or during the Collect of the Day, or wondering what exactly is the next thing that will pop up on the screen, or having such a truncated and mixed-up "canon of the Mass" is an aggravation. I'm afraid that my little rural parishes exhibit greater liturgical piety than our grand suburban parishes, even with all the musical resources they possess. That is something which should be addressed, even if it should not lead to division.

(2) Public teaching of the host congregation/celebrant. This came to a head after the 2004 Synod Convention's decision on role of women in parish offices. The host congregation of the Fall District Conference immediately implemented having women elders and executive officers. For some of the ministers, this was deemed as unscriptural and led to their not participating in the Eucharist hosted by the congregation. To me, this wasn't a divisive issue, but if one is convinced that such a practice is not right, I can see why it would lead to division. You could substitute other public teachings, but the two most common would be the communion practice of the celebrant and the role of women in the host congregation.

(3) Unresolved conflict between celebrant/brother ministers or brother minister/brother minister. Heeding our Lord's command to leave the sacrifice at the altar, some brother ministers have not communed because of the lack of reconciliation over a conflict with others attending the service. This is an area that the COP really does need to address. Part of the solution would likely include having a refresher in ecclesiastical conduct, especially in areas of receiving members from sister parishes. The problem of "poaching" members from neighboring parishes, as well as admitting transferring individuals into membership without securing their transfer or discussing the moving party with the parish they are departing are incidents that cause conflict. Removing the source of the conflict would make reconciliation less needed, since the offense would have been avoided.

Having given these reasons, there is one comment that needs to be made. The lack of explanation exacerbates the problem. However, I am afraid that ministers who do raise any of these issues are more likely to be looked at as aliens rather than receiving any sort of dialogue. That appears to be the situation in our Synod: anyone who does not agree with you or acts exactly like you is strange and odd and will be avoided, rather than be a catalyst for conversation. We are also running into the danger of full-blown "synod within a synod."

We see it play out in even such minor things as attire, public piety, and intellectual interests. In my midwestern District, those who don clerical garb at conferences; those who conduct sung services, cross themselves, receive the sacrament in their parish by their own hand, or bow/genuflect during worship; those who actually read theological works and want to have deep discussions at District gatherings are looked at as nuisances or "one of those types." And that has a huge chilling effect on me--"one of those types"--and even my desire to want to engage my brother ministers. (Unfortunately, some like-minded ministers, even classmates, have sought greener pastures in other communions outside of The LCMS, and have pointed to their experiences inside the Synod as a driving reason. As an armchair historian, it bears some similarity to the fallout of the 19th Century Oxford Movement in England. )

Hopefully you and our Synod's leaders can glean some insight from such anecdotal ramblings and my $0.02.


Your Turn / Re: Help! Ave Maria Requests
« on: September 10, 2007, 06:28:48 PM »

I'm not sure what well-known Lutheran composer you're referring to.  You may mean the setting known as Bach-Gounod.  Gounod (1818-1893) used Bach's Prelude in C major from the Well-Tempered Clavier and superimoposed the Ave Maria prayer over the prelude to a melody of his own composing.  Bach did of course compose a bang-up setting of Magnificat, but he wasm't exactly a collaborator on the Ave Maria.  Would he approve of it?  He might.

While JS Bach may not have actively set the Ave Maria to music, another well-known Lutheran composer, Felix Mendelssohn did, publishing it in 1830 (just two years before his marriage to CÚcile Jeanrenaud, the daughter of a Protestant clergyman). It is listed as his Opus 23b. And it takes about eight minutes to sing.

The text Mendelssohn uses is:
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum;
Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.

I suppose what would be interesting is whether one could find a musical setting of the first part of the prayer, without the request of the Mother of God's prayers for us sinners, since that last part seems to be where any objections are raised.

I also was surprised that the resolution that was calling to "Make Reaching the Lost THE Top Priority for Church Worker Training" was ammended to "Make Reaching the Lost A Top Priority." I was surprised at the strength of support for that amendment that essentially gutted it. It was adopted by 62.8%!

Priorities grow out of what we value. It is what we put our time, money and energy toward. They are the things we do. If all the unchurched were to disappear, the church would still have a reason to exist because of the call to worship God and have fellowship with one another. As the Westminister Confession puts it: "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever." So, while I voted against the amendment, I can understand why most of the delegates voted for it.

One speaker in favor of the substitute motion, a professor from Concordia in River Forest, argued that our vocations in life are not the same thing as Jesus' vocation to seek and save the lost. If I understand him correctly, his point was that in our vocations we glorify God, but that need not make us put the highest priority on outreach.  If he had argued for the primacy of worship or fellowship, I could see his point. But, in making outreach "a" priority, instead of "the" priority for the training of church workers it really begs the question: Just what are the priorities we should have for training church workers?

Personally, I was glad to see the amendment and voted for it. Though bronchitis and a sore throat kept me from doing so, I would have spoken against the original resolution's wording/purpose.

Determining priorities for church workers would vary from vocation, whether pastor, deaconess, Lutheran school teacher, parish music director, etc. For a pastor, I would argue that the priority in training would be knowledge of the Scriptures and the teachings of the Church. Without such, there is no possibility of reaching the lost, regardless of how many evangelism techniques we learn. Additionally, I would argue that the priority of my work as a pastor is to deliver the forgiveness of sins to sinners who need it, whether they be "lost" or active members of my parish. That what I am called to do, thus the priority in training should be mastering the way forgiveness of sins is delivered, e.g. understanding the Gospel and being able to proclaim it and administer it in visible ways.

For teachers, obviously, the priority should be learning pedagogy, so that they can serve in their vocation of teaching. Of course, as Lutheran school teachers, that would include classes in religious education and catechetics. Unless they have these skills, how can they serve as teacher?

For deaconesses, the priority should be in gaining the aptitude to do works of mercy. (Which, by the way, I wonder if training at seminaries is actually equipping them with. A question asked by some of us at seminary was: How does an isagogics class translate into acts of mercy? But that is for another thread.)

This type of determining priorities needs to be done for all vocations. The question that should be asked is, Why are we calling this person into this office and what do we expect the officeholder to do? The answer will lead you to what priorities in education/training future officeholders should receive. Certainly "reaching the lost" would be a priority or something instilled, since the men and women will be officeholders in the Church. But it appears that the actual training/instruction in the skills needed to fulfill their particular vocation must obviously be THE priority.

From my viewpoint, and apparently 62.8% of the delegates, that type of analysis seemed to be lacking by the Floor Committee and authors of the resolution. It seems like the River Forest professor hit it squarely on the head, and I was glad someone spoke up with what I believed to be an obvious point and flaw in the original resolution.


Your Turn / Re: Textual History of Confessional Documents and the BoC
« on: April 16, 2007, 08:36:44 PM »

To me "using" other forms or versions of the Lutheran Confessions that are not in the Book of Concord, like the Octavo edition of the Apology, would mean that we would have it available in a supplemental volume and be able to refer to it and use it to shed additional light on the Book of Concord. But we are not be pledged to it as part of our ordination vows simply because it is not in the Book of Concord. It does not bear the same normative doctrinal authority among us as the texts as they appear in the BOC and therefore should not be treated, or regarded, as being of equal weight and value as the texts that are actually in the Book of Concord.

Rev. McCain:

That is a good point for those who utilized the LW Agenda Ordination Rite. But what would you say to those Lutheran ministers who were not ordained according to that rite. It appears that even the 1856 Missouri Synod Agenda did not include a definitive statement of which "version" of the Apology would be used, nor any of the Confessions, save for the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, in the rite.

According to Rev. Cwirla's translation of the 1856 rite, the ordinator asks the ordinand:
"Do you also acknowledge that God's Word and will, according to which you should conduct your Office, are explained and set forth purely and without adulteration in the three chief symbols of the church, the Apostolic, Nicene and Athanasian, also in the unaltered Augsburg Confession, its Apology, the Smalcald Articles, the two Catechisms of Luther and the Formula of Concord? And do you intend to execute and accomplish your Office according to these confessions of our holy church until your end?"

As you can see, there is no mention of Book of Concord, let alone what edition of Book of Concord. That sort of contradicts the point that the Octavo edition was not subscribed to because "we are not pledged to it as part of our ordination vows simply because it is not in the Book of Concord." I would be curious what your response would be to someone who was ordained according to the 1856 rite or other Lutheran ordination rites that did not pledge them to the "1580 Book of Concord." Also, it would be interesting to see how many of the Missouri Synod Agendas (or those of other quia subscribing Synods) failed to include such a mention of the Book of Concord.

Your Turn / Re: The Eve of the Annunciation
« on: March 25, 2007, 02:36:53 PM »
Rev. McCain writes:

Just returned from Divine Service, and was most grateful that our congregation observed the Annunciation, with the historic readings for the day, and several hymns devoted to the subject, and the final hymn being a lyric setting of the Annunciation from Lutheran Service Book. How many other Lutheran congregations observed Annunciation today?

Guess some rules are meant to be broken in St. Louis.........  (Even noticed that the Thrivent wall calendar gave the instructions to transfer the Feast of the Annunciation to tomorrow; apparently Rev. McCain's pastor should consult it.;) 

My congregations here in Iowa followed the tradition of utilizing the Propers for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, since the Sundays in Lent are privileged and take precedence over the First Class Feast of the Annunciation.  The people were confronted with Jesus' parable on the Evil Tenants who murder the Son sent to them: our salvation found in ancient Jerusalem's rejection and crucifixion of Christ. The propers for the Annunciation will be used for Morning Prayer tomorrow.

This does bring up something for CPH: Will the minister's editions of Lutheran Service Book include the rubrics by which such decisions are made, so that ministers and parish worship leaders could make the "proper" decision on which propers should be used when movable feasts fall on privileged Sundays and other such liturgical incidents?

Your Turn / Re: ELW is here!
« on: January 23, 2007, 11:21:28 PM »
Way back upstream someone commented on Stephen Starke.  He has 32 hymns or translations in the LSB, most of which seem quite good at first galance, and none in ELW.  Interesting difference.  I had been only vaguely familiar with his work before now. 

I also noticed that Herman Stuempfle (a good solid LCA name) has about twice as many as in LSB as ELW. 

Jim Wagner

Jim (and others):

Since I haven't purchased an ELW yet, I'm curious as to who are the major contributors of hymns in ELW. Stephen Starke's contribution to LSB is duly noted--and got rolls of eyes by some of us while at seminary. Of course, he was on the LSB Hymnody Committee, which doesn't hurt if you want your material included in the book. Many of his hymns are good, but the number appears a bit unseemly, IMO. (Though nothing compares to Vaughan Williams' influence on the English Hymnal which he edited.)

Are there similar contributors to ELW? Did the ELCA have a similar "in house" author/composer contributing as much material? Who were the members of the Hymnody Committee for ELW? Has anyone compiled a list indicating what hymns are in LSB only, ELW only, or both?


Your Turn / Re: ELW is here!
« on: January 22, 2007, 09:59:59 PM »

I think you may have actually bolstered Scott's point about "truly" not being able to modify human, when "human" is used as a noun. The submodificators modify adjectives, as your provided examples indicate:

*fairly old terraced house* - in this case "fairly" modifies "old"
*a quite interesting film* - in this case "quite" modifies "interesting"

In the case of "truly human", if "truly" is the submodifier of an adjective, as your webquote shows, then "truly" is the submodifier and "human" is the adjective. That is, the phrase still contains the deficiency that Scott points out: "human" being descriptive of a characteristic Jesus had, rather than His being substantively a male person.

Perhaps if "truly" was the word that everyone wants to use, then the phrase "truly became a human" should be found in the Creed, with "truly" modifying the verb "became."

Just my two cents. The conversation has been interesting. But I would still keep "and became man" as my (and my Synod's) favored translation of homo factus est.


ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2005 / Re: Action on Renewing Worship
« on: August 11, 2005, 09:16:11 PM »
Yes,  A very useful tool for parishes.

Over in the LCMS, we have congregations, including one of mine, who still are using the 1941 Lutheran Hymnal.  There seems to be requests in our periodicals from congregations for copies of this hymnal, even though CPH still publishes it.  It appears that there is an endless supply for such churches.

We're about to embark on the LSB era---the new 2007 hymnal, as opposed to the "new" 1982 Lutheran Worship hymnal.  I am certain that there will still be churches that won't purchase this one, but still use the 1941 TLH.  Even my other congregation which adopted LW has about 60 TLH's in storage.  Whether CPH will still publish TLH after 2007 hasn't been declared publicly.

With the widespread proliferation of LBW in the ELCA, I don't see why many parishes could still obtain them from others who adopt the proposed ELW.  That's assuming that the publication of the ELW doesn't cause people to burn the so outdated, so paternalistic, so unenlightened, and so orthodox LBWs in their possession.  It's worked similarly in our synod, I'm sure it will in yours.

Or of course, you can always make Paul McCain happy and contribute to the $x million profit margin of CPH by purchasing the LSB.  ;)

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