Author Topic: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars  (Read 7007 times)

FrPeters

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2014, 09:17:47 AM »
Quote
prefer to move slowly with change and then, only one change at a time

Coming out from Sem and before accepting this, my second parish, I told the folks right up front.  This is what we will be doing.  Weekly Eucharist... rich liturgical tradition of Lutheranism... restoration of the chalice... renewed catechesis...  Then I just did it.  I taught for about 6 months in every venue available before the Weekly Eucharist but the rest was done all at once.  Folks told me afterwards that they understood the changes and it was easier for them to become accustomed to them in lump sum than to take it in dribs and drabs.  One guy put it bluntly.  If you don't change it right away and live with it for a while, then why change it later.  If you could live with it then, why can't you live with it now.  I have never forgotten it and have front loaded all the liturgical changes since...
Fr Larry Peters
Grace LCMS, Clarksville, TN
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Weedon

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2014, 09:17:59 AM »
I think that's not too hard to surmise, Bishop. The norm for the time when the practice began was probably once a month communion (or less). So most Sundays, the missal stand stood in the middle bearing the Altar Book. I'd be willing to wager that what was usual (for the p. 5 or 32 Sundays) became thought of as simply the norm even for a p. 15 Sunday. I remember for some time after we had gone to the weekly Eucharist, the elders persisted in moving the missal stand to the center of the Altar after the Divine Service as they assisted with cleaning up afterwards.

Matt Staneck

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2014, 09:25:02 AM »
Fr. Peters, I keep in mind what I heard at the sem, namely that you should not move the baptismal font in your first year. I also took away with me the truth that the Church has all the time in the world. The world acts desperate and needs things, "NOW!" (if not yesterday). The Church can afford to be patient. Not stagnant, but patient. While front loading changes may have worked where you are and have been, I would be tossed into the East River if I front loaded changes. Different strokes.

M. Staneck
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2014, 09:44:10 AM »
Indeed. You might have gotten by with telling folks "This is the way it's going to be," but you are not the pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in West Plains, MO. Pastor Mattsfield is. Responding to his way of handling the teaching and practice there with your personal anecdote, which to me manifests a criticism of his pastoral care, is not helpful.

Furthermore, Dr. Nagel taught us that we might need to preach Jesus into them for 4 or 5 years before making any major changes in the congregation. Now, whether having the communion vessels in the center rather than the right side of the altar is a major change will be different in different congregations. Whether having them on the right side is wrong is yet another question, to which I answer "No." Which is why I questioned the way this thread was initiated.
Don Kirchner

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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2014, 10:26:08 AM »
the last two posts urge long and careful introductions of new things...

two points that speak at odds with what used to be very good counsel...

nothing moves slow today, even in the church.  Contemporary worship, change of liturgies, bulletin formats and worship books happen overnight as well as new models changing yearly in the suburban church parking lot...  cell phones are changed more often...

sometimes slow change never happens, gets sidetracked, pastors move before their goals are ever attained...

if I go in to a church that does not have weekly communion, as a called pastor and even now as an interim, I say... let's talk about this, pray about, do some education and within the year or less go to weekly communion... otherwise I am not the one you want for a pastor...

Pastors change zillions of things on their whims, they get shaking when restoring the historic liturgy, weekly Eucharist, Baptism in the Assembly and such important stuff... wrong

Harvey Mozolak
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #50 on: April 25, 2014, 10:50:08 AM »
My new congregation has a fan shaped arrangement, basically with the chancel in one corner of a large square sanctuary with four sections of pews shaped like, say, two fifths of a pie. The communion rail is rounded like an arc of a big circle, and the free standing altar/ambo (we have no lectern) is curved to match the communion rail. So the reader/presider and sometimes preacher stands behind a smaller arc shaped altar/ambo facing the people. The missal stand is in the middle because if it were off to one side the pastor would be facing only half the congregation or standing slightly away from and at an odd angle to the altar when he was doing the readings or communion liturgy. So the communion vessels are to both sides of the missal stand and the pastors stands in the middle whether he is doing the communion liturgy or the readings. We have communion every Sunday but not every service on Sunday, and even if we move to remedy that in the future I think there is no way to avoid having the missal stand in the middle of the altar with the communion ware on both sides. Not that big a deal to me. 

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #51 on: April 25, 2014, 10:56:58 AM »
No choice...gut the sanctuary and rebuild. Now!   ;)
Don Kirchner

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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #52 on: April 25, 2014, 10:57:04 AM »
Peter, may well be a very artful placement of the vessels.  Of course, everyone today has their own take on art and some are more artless than others (not speaking of your arrangement at all).  Even stranger in some ways than some of the placements mentioned on the topic is the mess that passes for an altar at convention, conclaves, conference gatherings and the like when there has to be (or so it seems) a dozen ciboria, two dozen chalices cause some are for intinction, some for common communing, several containers of gluten free, and the large set that was donated by the Scmilla family for using every year at convention.  Looks like most of our kitchen counters after the family Easter luncheon.  Harvey Mozolak
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2014, 11:51:17 AM »
Of course if the pastor were just to memorize the liturgy, there'd be no need for a missal stand. Just sayin' . . .  8)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #54 on: April 25, 2014, 11:52:56 AM »
Of course if the pastor were just to memorize the liturgy, there'd be no need for a missal stand. Just sayin' . . .  8)
True. I often don't use the missal stand at all for the liturgy, but it is still there. And since we also use it for the Scripture readings, well, that is more memory work than I care to take on.


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Don Kirchner

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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #57 on: April 25, 2014, 12:12:26 PM »
I moved the (marble) Baptismal Font to the front of the center aisle before my first Sunday.  OTOH, though the weekly Eucharist was a topic during my interview, it took 12 years to implement it.

As for the the placement of furnishings, etc., my general rule is, "The architect wins."

Pax, Steven+
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2014, 12:13:40 PM »
the only thing folks about paintings is that painters have a habit of painting what they see also in their minds eye not only what certain photographic representations might admit.   Harvey Mozolak
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FrPeters

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Re: Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2014, 03:26:54 PM »
By all means slow to change things that are not central. . . but the move to weekly Eucharist, the preaching on baptism life and the centrality of the Eucharist to our piety, the start of catechetical renewal, these are not NEW but ANCIENT, not trend but confessional identity and I think we can hasten these along a bit.

I preached on the Eucharist so often and pointed to an empty altar so often that in a couple of months people were saying that if I pointed to the altar and there was nothing on it one more time, they would go crazy.  It was time for the weekly Eucharist.
Fr Larry Peters
Grace LCMS, Clarksville, TN
http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/