It's about time I lived up to the title of this blog. ;-) So here you are, in no particular order, my [somewhat disjointed] ramblings, unedited, straight from my mind to the paper. Keep in mind that it's quite late right now, and don't throw too many rocks.
- One of these days, while the congregation is happily singing for Jesus to Shine and the River to Flow, I'm going to scream. Especially if it's during communion. I simply fail to understand how that piece of drivel can be played in the same service as good old hits such as Gaudeamus Pariter
. Don't even get me started on the things I'm likely to hear once the blessed reprieve of the Paschal season is over.
- I will admit it, I'm somewhat of an Orthophile. I study while listening to Byzantine and Znameny chant. I have had periods where I have seriously considered converting. When I think about it, I don't know why, because I'm uncomfortable with several of their hymns. However, I have come to somewhat of a conclusion.Lex orandi, lex credendi.
We can confess the Confessions until we're blue in the face, but does it really matter if we then turn around and sing songs not fit to be heard within 1 mile of a good Lutheran church? If it sings like an evanjellyfish...
What really drove my conversion to the Church of the Augsburg Confession was not the theology as an abstract confessional concept, though that certainly played a role in it, but the hymnody as an expression of that theology. A great deal of my organ study has consisted of the music of Bach, and it was my teacher who introduced me to the Lutheran church.
There is great beauty and a true focus on Christ in the historic liturgy and hymnody of the Lutheran church. Why anyone would want to replace it with pop-evanjelly fluff is beyond me. Fix the hymns, and you will have gone a long way toward fixing the church.
There are a few other subsets of this thought, not having to do with hymnody. These are two inventions. One being the movable liturgy. Let's change the liturgy a bit with every change in church season to keep people from getting bored. We wouldn't want people so simply memorize the liturgy now, would we? Printed orders of service are SO much more fun. Another being the skeletal liturgy. How much can we cut out while still calling it a liturgy? Creed, confession, sermon, prayers, throw in a few hymns and communion every few weeks. We certainly don't want the service to go over one hour.
Christian freedom does not mean you need to change for the sake of change. If the older version says it better...
The sermons I hear at my parish are excellent, and the teachings are for the most part doctrinally sound. Am I asking too much when I want the service to feel like we really are in the presence of the angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven? And I'm not talking about style, but about words.