Volumes I-VII.

Published by the Association Pittsburgh, Pa., 1906.

Copyright, 1906,

by The Lutheran Liturgical Association.

[These volumes have been scanned and proofread, but may still contain errors. Original pagination has been indicated throughout.]


Volume IV


IV 1 The Liturgical Influence of the Lesser Reformers (C. T. Benze)

IV 17 The Ecclesiastical Calendar (N. R. Melhorn)

IV 29 Luther’s Liturgical Writings (E. A. Trabert)

IV 47 The Pericopes (A. Spaeth)

IV 63 Liturgical Development in the Period of the Reformation (E. T. Horn)

IV 67 The Liturgical Deterioration of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (J. F. Ohl)

IV 79 Liturgy and Doctrine (D. H. Geissinger)

IV 85 Early American Lutheran Liturgies (D. M. Kemerer)

IV 95 The Liturgy of the Icelandic Church (F. J. Bergmann)




WHEN one studies the formative period of the doctrines and forms of worship that constitute the exclusive property of the Lutheran Church, he cannot fail to be impressed with the fact that so many influences were at work at the same time, that it is almost impossible to ascribe a greater or less effect to one cause or the other. While even the development of a doctrinal system depended on the workings of many and varied historical causes, it is found in the tracing of liturgical practices that they depend fully as much (if not more) upon the history of given conditions, as they do upon specific theories or decided views concerning their propriety. So powerful are the claims of the past, that they had to be considered and respected even in the formulating of ecclesiastical laws, and an examination of the Kirchenordnungen reveals numerous examples of the firm, stiff grasp in which the dead hand of the past clasped the issues of the present. Thus we find that exceptions from prescribed orders are made in favor of certain churches within the same sphere of jurisdiction, prescribing e. g. the robe in one church and permitting its disuse in another, ordering certain forms of Service for the whole district and exempting from it certain congregations in the same territory. Or, also we find the Reformers laying down certain rules in one Kirchenordnung and themselves departing widely from them in the composition of another. And to go further, we see instances of a complete change of view at certain periods of life, not only in the case of Luther, but notably so also in the case of Melanchthon and Brenz. Some of these changes of view were such truly speaking, others again, especially those of Melanchthon and Brenz, were enforced accommodations to existing conditions. These changes of view, according to the custom of the times, when men lived their intellectual life in the public gaze,


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as much as their outward life, were always promulgated, always published and always had a certain effect and made a distinct impression upon the views of the contemporaries. It was an age of argumentation and public discussion, the utmost consequence of the scholastic spirit; but withal, the fairest flower that sprung like a white water-lily from those dark and murky waters. Owing to these views promulgated, changed, reiterated, embodied in doctrines and made active in regulations, producing ecclesiastical laws through their ethical inspirations, and voicing the devotions of the believer through their religious aspirations, the different KOO took their origin in all Europe among Lutherans and Reformed alike. Those of the one side frequently had a reflex influence upon those of the other, frequently the Lutheran adopted the hue of Reformed, frequently the latter shone in the borrowed glories of the former. Sometimes one master-mind made a contribution which for the time was made use of and sought after as a treasure, and then it was lost and buried, either to remain forever unused among all the rummage in the storied attics of the past, or to be brought to light and use again, by the descendants, who in the present age are inquiring into the possessions of their fathers. For these reasons it is almost impossible to give a true estimate of the influence of any given Reformer, if the problem be to state what effect he had upon the liturgical observances of the present day, though one might, with propriety, follow him through his works and discover what he advocated and for what he strove. The most abiding work of all these great ones of that great time was transmitted to us in the KOO, but even they have not yet been adequately treated, as Rietschel tells us, though much excellent work has so far been done upon them.

Among these KOO we can find various types, some (and we deal here only with those that are Lutheran) correct in their doctrinal position, but conservative in their treatment of Roman forms; some genuinely Lutheran, based upon the Formula Missae (1523) and Lutheran in regard to doctrine and forms; some which are more radical in their treatment of forms of worship and mediate between the Lutheran type and the Reformed. Among the first type we find the Brandenburg KO prepared by Stratner and Buchholtzer, the Pfalz-Neuburg KO, 1543, the Austrian Agenda of Chytraeus, 1571. The second type, called the Saxo-Lutheran, represented as stated, by the Formula Missae, which became authori-

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tative for Prussia under Duke Albrecht, 1525; for the Electorate of Saxony, for all the KOO by Bugenhagen, viz., Brunswick 1528, Hamburg 1529, Minden and Göttingen 1530, Lübeck 1531, Saest 1532, Bremen 1534, Pommerania 1535; for that of Brandenburg-Nuremberg 1533 by Osiander and Brenz; for Hanover 1536 by Urbanus Regius; for Naumburg 1537; for the KO of Duke Henry of Saxony by Justus Jonas 1539; for Mecklenburg 1540 and 1552 by Aurifaber, Riebling, Melanchthon and later Chytraeus; for Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel 1543 and 1569 by Chemnitz and Andreae; for Riga 1531; for Courland 1570; for the Hessian Agenda of 1566 and 1573 with the exception of the act of Communion. Of the third or mediating type the regulations at Strassburg, the Württemberg KOO among which less than the others that by Brenz for Schwäbisch-Hall 1526, the KO of Duke Ulrich 1536 and of Duke Christopher 1533; the Palatine KO 1554, the Badensian 1556, the Wormsian 1560.* Those among the above that have become most fundamental or basic for others are the Braunschweig KO of Bugenhagen and the Brandenburg-Nuremberg KO of Osiander. It is upon the consensus of the orders of the second type that the forms of Service of our Common Service are based, and it is with them and the men who produced them that the present inquiry is chiefly concerned. As has been indicated all of these KOO are partly based upon the Formula Missae issued by Luther in 1523, partly derive their spirit and impetus from it and partly develop in the direction indicated by it. Thus even in this inquiry Luther’s name deserves especial mention, for he is the Prometheus who brought the fire from Heaven and taught his knowledge to the sons of men. His giant form overtowers every other of the mighty men of the period of the Reformation, but beside him, near him, reaching toward him and approaching his stature in conspicuous measure are the persons of Melanchthon and Bugenhagen How much the prophet of the Reformation was indebted to its grammarian and to its pastor will perhaps never be known; but he refers to them so constantly, and describes their labors and influence so lovingly, that one is compelled to ascribe to these two, Melanchthon and Bugenhagen, no mean share in the outcome of that momentous upheaval of the sixteenth century. It was a time of, tearing down and of building up. Luther, the genius,

Footnote: * For this classification see Zoeckler, Vol. IV, p. 456.


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did both, Melanchthon and Bugenhagen mainly built up. Luther was the greater for he was more versatile, more many-sided; he was equal to the destruction that his work implied, and equal to the construction that it necessitated; but in his constructive abilities he was ably assisted and almost matched by the other two of this great triumvirate. But if we give due credit to the labors of the grammarian and the pastor, we cannot pass by lesser men who influenced them and whose labors in the common cause were similar to theirs and whose influence in certain directions as great as theirs. And so upon a plane but little lower, acting and acted upon mutually and reciprocally with them appear Brenz and Osiander, Justus Jonas and others whose names have been mentioned above.

To Philip Melanchthon, the Praeceptor Germaniae, is usually ascribed the place of honor directly after Luther. His life is too well known to be described here, but it may be well to recall certain details of it which explain the part he played. Born Feb. 6, 1497 the son of a man standing in high favor with the Palatine Elector Philip, and of a woman the niece of one of the greatest humanists, Reuchlin, his opportunities for learning and advancement were the very best. His learning was such that as a mere stripling, he could easily win in debate with the wandering bachantes, that he was soon distinguished for his knowledge of Greek and the elegance of his Latin and was ready to take the master’s degree at the University of Heidelberg before his age made him eligible. He distinguished himself at the University of Tübingen, took an active part in Reuchlin’s controversy, published a Greek grammar before he was twenty-five and received the most enthusiastic praise of Erasmus. In the meantime he devoted himself to the study of theology, law and medicine. Such was the man who in 1518 was installed as professor of Greek in the University of Wittenberg and who, with his address on the “Improvement of the Studies of Youth” attracted Luther’s attention, which grew into admiration, then to esteem and lastly to love. And this grammarian soon entered so heartily into theology that while he never received a doctor’s degree, he became the master of many doctors. Entering into active participation in theological questions by his interest in Luther’s dispute with Eck, he soon obtained the honor of a baccalaureus biblicus, and as early as 1519 began to lecture on the Epistle to the Romans and

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the Gospel of Matthew. Out of these studies grew his Loci Communes which was first published in 1519, the first dogmatical treatise of the Lutheran Church, reprinted more than eighty times during his life.

When Luther was sent at Worms and then at the Wartburg, the care for the University and the condition of the work of the Gospel began to rest more heavily upon Melanchthon’s shoulders. When Luther returned he brought with him the dawn of an era of work mutually borne. This literary and theological partnership, of more import to the world’s welfare than any described in the purely literary annals of the race, comprised particularly the work of the translation of the Bible and the visitation of the churches of Saxony. It was out of this visitation that the work originated, which most directly influenced the composition of the various KOO. This work is known as the Saxon Visitation Articles and appeared in 1528, the same year as Bugenhagen’s Brunswick KO. Then followed in rapid succession, the protestation at Spires in 1529, and the Marburg colloquy in the same year. Early in 1530 we find Melanchthon indicating the basis of the Torgau articles, collaborating the Schwabach articles, practically writing the Augsburg Confession, and himself producing the Apology of the Augsburg Confession. In the next sixteen years he is busy in assisting the establishment of the Reformation in Saxony and Brandenburg, giving his counsels in Cologne, at Smalcald, and at Ratisbon, and producing the Wittenberg Concordia. The remaining years of his life were spent in endless doctrinal controversies, in which his position was not always appreciated and which brought him many sorrows.

As has been well said, he was the Preceptor of Germany by reason of his reforms in the management of the schools, from the University down to the boys in the Latin schools. He would be the Preceptor of the Church if he had left us nothing but the Augsburg Confession and its Apology. But these two so far outshine his other productions that his work as a theologian as shown in his other writings need not even be counted, to make him glorious. That he was preeminently the schoolmaster of the Church is not only evident in the lasting and imperishable instruction which he bequeathed to her in his theological writings but in the rules for her management and guidance which he left in the Saxon Articles of Visitation and which scattered broad-


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cast even through his doctrinal works. Besides he does not deny a schoolmaster’s noblest aim, the education of the young, in the very regulations which he gives for the ordering of public Services. To him Church and school were one, always inseparable; and while in the school he trains the youth for the Church he does not forget, even in such matters as the singing of Latin hymns and the chanting of the psalms in Latin to impress the Church with the sense of her duties in the training of the young. It seems as if this pedagogical principle for which he stood, can not be left out of consideration when one estimates the work he did in the Church. Without a just appreciation of this principle much in Melanchthon’s regulations appears incongruous, and, so far as modern liturgical views go, even out of place.

With this in mind, we can understand Melanchthon’s liturgical position. To him, as to Luther in his earlier views, worship was of the nature of a training. It lies in the nature of things that he demands that all things be done decently and in order and consequently he demands a quiet dignified conduct of the things of public worship. But beyond this, the entire Service has to him a preeminently educative tendency. The public assemblies depend upon Christ’s command to preach the Gospel publicly. The publicity of worship assures the widest spread to the Gospel and prevents ethical and moral aberrations. The individual is to confess himself a member of the congregation publicly and the congregation must publicly separate itself from the sects. He only belongs to God’s people who is called. He only is called, who is a member of the visible congregation and receives its benefits. But as the congregation in its assemblies only presents the means of thus calling to the childhood of God, the idea, consequences, effects and aims of worship are those known, but its real essence is not grasped. Hence Melanchthon’s view implies that the regenerated Christian has no absolute need for this public worship. It is to Melanchthon the means and place for the experienced Christian, to lead to perfection the inexperienced one. As Jakoby says, an outer motive, formally God’s command, materially the consideration for the masses, impels him to Church; it is the Law, not the Gospel, and Melanchthon lacks the worshipping subject, while he looks to the object; in a word, it is a pedagogical institution, exalted and spiritual, educating for the inheritance of the children of light; but no worship.


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In this Luther and Melanchthon thought alike; but while Luther hoped for a future worship of the trained and experienced congregation, Melanchthon regarded this as an illusion. But on the other hand he saw the constitutive factors of Christian worship. The way to perfection here indicated when once entered, led to glories far beyond those aspired to by Melanchthon; but as all worship was to him mandatory in Christ’s command, and as he was on the other hand, confronted by the demands of evangelical liberty, he could not harmonize the tendencies.

As to the object of worship, he, like Luther, contended that it lay in the adoration of God. For this reason he strove to abolish the adoration of the saints, claiming that it limited the adoration of God, and the mediatorial work of the Savior.

His pedagogical views also modify his views of the contents of worship, namely, the sacraments and their application. As to baptism he teaches plainly that it is the implanting into the new life; but he cannot explain the baptism of children in any other way than that thereby they receive access to all that is implied in worship. For this reason the faith of infants is to him, as he admits, unintelligible, but he insists on baptizing them as in accordance with the Divine command. This has a natural bearing upon the form of the act of baptism. In the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper Melanchthon defended Luther’s view. It is but natural therefore, that he contended against the sacrifice of the mass and therefore becomes a powerful protagonist for a purified order of Service. His convictions as to this doctrine also led him to repudiate the Romish celebration sub una and to contend first mildly, then emphatically for the administration sub utraque. As to confession, his views also coincide with those of Luther. We still possess a beautiful prayer for individual confession, composed by him. His formula of absolution however, is replete with doctrinal statements and vindications and was condemned by Luther as being too prolix.

In his views on the means of worship or ceremonies, he occupies the same position as Luther. He is conservative and does not abolish anything except what he finds to be in contradiction to the Word of God; but he contends against the false value given all ceremonies in the Catholic Church. This conservative position as expressed in Article VII of the Augsburg Confession, is due partly to Melanchthon’s pedagogical views, partly to his


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irenical endeavors. On the other hand at Ratisbon in 1541 he presented a memorandum to the Emperor in which he urged that all ceremonies should be sifted and the measure of dignity applied to all. What was accordant with churchly dignity was to remain, what was out of harmony with it was to be cast aside.

In his criticism of Catholic forms of worship he concedes to the bishops the power of oversight limited by the powers and rights of the congregation; but clearly separated the ecclesiastical powers from the civil ones. This removes from them the powers which they wielded and with these powers he takes the authorization of their commands. Thus he looks upon fasting, not as a meritorious deed, but as a useful honoring of festival days and a furtherance of prayer and the consideration of the Gospel. The festivals of an evangelical character he advised to retain. The principle guiding him herein was the abolition of unevangelical abuses. Thus he abolished the Corpus Christi celebrations and contended against all processions, not only those in which the sacrament was carried about, but all others also, because he claimed that they gave occasion to abuses.

An important liturgical consideration is Melanchthon’s view of the language question. He and Luther from a feeling of conservatism were both strongly in favor of retaining the Latin language in the public Services. The sermon of course was to be excepted, as through it the Gospel was to be conveyed to the people. When the Zwickau fanatics appeared in Wittenberg, the question first assumed shape. Melanchthon’s answer was, that Latin should be used for the whole Service with the exception of the sermon and the Communion Service. In a writing to the Senate of Nuremberg in 1525 he declared:—

“Those who do not understand Latin have practice enough even when the singing is in Latin for they hear the German sermon and lessons. And even if one sang in German, not all would sing or understand the singing. The Latin singing is good for the boys who are being educated. Besides I do not wish to cast aside figurated singing.” From this incidentally we also learn his views on music in the congregation. As to the use of Latin he ordered later that the lessons should first be sung in Latin and then read in German. What solicitude for the boys that could thus influence his liturgical views!

Intimately connected with these questions is also the one


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concerning the vestments. His position was that they should be continued where they were still in vogue; but he was very indifferent to their introduction where they had fallen into disuse. However he protests against the wearing of those vestments that recall the mass, and favors the wearing of a robe.

Extreme unction, the chrism in baptism, the exorcism and consecration of oil, he opposed; but owing to the many questions to be solved at the time, he resorted to an extreme Fabian policy, by which the discussion of the question of unction was delayed until it was no longer a menace to the peace of the church.

Melanchthon favored the rite of confirmation. It had fallen into disuse as Luther had regarded it as a rite to be suffered only under certain conditions. Melanchthon considered it as an institution which, if filled with the evangelical spirit, would become of the greatest value for the Christian life of the young. He stands therefore as one of the earliest Lutheran champions for confirmation, and its retention among the institutions of the Church is very largely due to him.

In regard to the Service of the Church he gives us an outline in his Reformatio Wittenbergensis (1545). Its constitutive factors are enumerated as Hymns, Prayers, Scripture Lessons, Sermon, Intercession, Communion. In the Repetitio Confessionis Augustanae 1551 he gives the following for the first part of the Service:—Prayers, Hymns, Confession of the Creed, Lessons, Sermon Thanksgiving and Intercession. The second part is the administration of the Lord’s Supper, comprising the words of institution, the self-communion of the minister, then the distribution to the congregation (previously confessed and absolved), then the thanksgiving.

And as Melanchthon urged the necessity for confirmation, establishing the needs and the nature of instruction and providing a form to be used, so he also advocated a dignified conduct of funerals. He provided for the singing of hymns, prayers and lessons. A funeral sermon was not recommended except for persons of distinction.

Such were the principles that actuated the man in the establishment of liturgical practices. On the whole his influence is felt more in the principles he laid down and advocated than in actual forms which he introduced, and this influence can hardly be estimated at its full value because so many others worked in the


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same direction. It has been said (Jakoby) that Melanchthon was more didactic than Luther and had not the same gift of putting statements into concise but pregnant liturgical form. On the other hand he exhibited a tact and dignity that were not always to be found in Luther’s liturgical expressions, (e. g. Luther reminds those to be ordained that their congregations do not consist of geese and cows.) To quote Jakoby: “Both reformers were liturgical architects who drew model plans and gave permanent norms. In this respect their work was basic and typical, a guide for all times. But to execute their plans with equal skill and authority they had not sufficient strength. For this work other men were called.”

Next to Melanchthon in the assistance of Luther came John Bugenhagen, whom Luther usually called Pommer, or Dr. Pommer, from his native land. He was the gifted and richly blessed practician or organizer of the Reformation and has frequently been named the “pastor.” He was born at Wollin, June 24, 1485, the son of a counsellor. In 1502 he entered the University of Greifswald but owing to lack of means he soon after began to teach a children’s school. During this work he continued his studies and in 1505 was called as rector of the Latin school at Treptow. The school flourished and Bugenhagen at the same time busily increased his learning and was at last ordained as priest. Having loved the Scriptures from childhood, he began a series of lectures on biblical books after he was made lector in Belbuck and gathered many hearers. During this time he began his “Passional” and composed a history of Pommerania. Until 1520, Luther’s works seemed to make no impression upon him; but when the tract on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church fell into his hands, he immediately assented to its teachings. He could not stay any longer in Treptow, but hastened to Wittenberg and met Luther just before the latter’s departure to Worms. His first work was a series of private lectures on the psalms; but by the time he reached the sixteenth he had so many hearers that Melanchthon advised him to lecture in public. His explanations won Luther’s unqualified approval and the praise that no other exegete had so entered into the spirit of the psalms. His firmness in dealing with the Anabaptists induced the congregation and the University to call him as pastor of the town church. This office he filled for years with unexcelled fidelity and left his


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post only when important duties temporarily called him away. Even the year 1527, when the pestilence raged in Wittenberg, found him comforting the congregation and lecturing to the few students who had not fled. He was busy also during these years in a literary way, defending the true doctrine of the Lord’s Supper, publishing a tract on “The Christian Faith and true Good Works,” and produced explanations of various biblical books and rendered Luther valuable assistance in the translation of the Bible.

It is, however, as an organizer that he rendered his most valuable service. In 1528 he was called to organize the Church of the Reformation in Braunschweig, in the same year in Hamburg, 1530 in Lübeck, 1534 in Pommerania, 1537 in Denmark where he gained the confidence of the king and enjoyed the honor of performing the coronation, and in 1542 in Braunschweig for the second time and in Hildesheim. The results of his work in these Places were embodied in various KOO, first and most important among which was that of Braunschweig. His object did not consist in formalities; but in the training of true Christian congregations, the raising of an efficient ministry, the founding and management of schools, and the proper financial management of the Church. In 1542 he returned to Wittenberg to stay; but the increasing work, the bitterness of theological strife, the thinning of the ranks about him, and most of all, Luther’s death, visibly broke down his constitution and in 1558 he was called to his reward.

His Braunschweig (or Brunswick) KO is the most lasting monument of his labors, aere perennius. In it he gives directions for the organizing of the Church, the conducting of the Services and the performance of ministerial acts. As Melanchthon in his Loci, so Bugenhagen in this KO establishes the principles upon which his practices are based. Baptism is the first subject to which be attends. He develops the Scriptural and doctrinal statements concerning the sacrament, insists on the baptism of children, and devotes considerable attention to proving their faith. For this reason he can follow the directions of Luther’s Taufbuechlein much more confidently than Melanchthon. He insists on baptism in the vernacular and asserts that its real glory lies in its application to all hearts and not in the adornments of lights, banners, consecrations, and unctions. All these he rejects.


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In giving his directions for the establishment of the schools, their curricula, their methods of instruction, he pays much attention to the chanting of the psalms in Latin. For the ministers he has explicit directions for the observance of the Church Year, giving the details even for their preaching. He likewise insists on private confession and absolution as well as public, permits giving the sacrament to the dying, orders the visitation of the sick and gives directions what to do. He forbids the blessing of water, fire, light, herbs and fruit as a sacrilege and rejects extreme unction. He gives full directions for extra services, both Matins and Vespers and the so-called catechism services. It is to him that we are principally indebted for the ordering of the minor services, but to him they were mainly acts of devotion prescribed for the schools. In regard to the sacrifice of the mass and the true doctrine of the Lord’s Supper he maintains the same standpoint as Luther and Melanchthon and he devotes much space to the discussion of these subjects. For the Chief Service he orders Luther’s German Mass and does not develop anything new. Thus Bugenhagen stands to us, considered from the viewpoint of liturgical influence, preeminently as the Reformer who has given the Church the minor services. It is true, they are not fully developed in the form in which we possess and use them; but from him we have received the essential outlines.

In the case of John Brenz we see a most varied life and can trace in his works the influence of political and doctrinal differences and especially the influence of the Reformed type of doctrine and life while his doctrinal positions must be regarded as true to the confessions of the Church. He was born in Weil, Württemberg in 1499 and entered Heidelberg University when he was but thirteen years old. Here among others he became acquainted with Melanchthon and Oecolampadius. At the age of fifteen he became Bachelor of Philosophy, at seventeen Master of Arts and from that time on devoted himself to the study of theology. Luther’s Theses first inflamed his soul and he eagerly read everything coming from Luther and Melanchthon. This was of the greatest influence on the views expressed in his lectures, but he suffered himself to be ordained to the priesthood, in 1520. He made no secret of his Lutheran tendencies and in 1521 was put under the ban. In 1522 he was called as pastor to Schwäbisch-Hall and remained there twenty-four years. The


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next seven years were a period of severe tribulations and persecution, but for fourteen years more he labored as provost in Tübingen, where he ended his days in 1570.

He took part in the preparation of five KOO. The first was that of Schwäbisch-Hall, 1526; the next that of Brandenburg-Nuremberg in 1533; the First or Little Württemberg KO appeared in 1536; in 1543 Brenz prepared a new KO for Schwäbisch-Hall and in 1553, that known as the Great Württemberg KO. The KO of Schwäbisch-Hall he prepared with the help of Isenmann and perhaps of others. The Brandenburg-Nuremberg KO is an important one. It is said that it is second in influence only to the Saxon Visitation Articles.* Its authority derives from the fact that it represents the consensus of many theologians, leading and otherwise. The first sketch was prepared by Osiander, but Luther, Melanchthon and Brenz, with the theologians of Brandenburg and Nuremberg, added their judgment and contributed to its final shape. The Little Württemberg KO was written by Schnepf, revised and approved by Brenz. The history of this KO vividly illustrates the manner in which Brenz contrary to his own judgment, was obliged to yield to Reformed influences. When Brenz, however, after the “Interim” during which the first KO of Schwäbisch-Hall was destroyed, found himself before the task to prepare a new KO for this church, he was not hampered by the difficulties that beset him in the preparation of the Little Württemberg KO. He was free to write this himself and in so doing, based it upon the Brandenburg-Nuremberg Order, thus giving the sanction of his authority to this latter. He was equally fortunate when he prepared the Great Württemberg KO. He was now free to correct at least some of the abuses of the Little Württemberg Order and based it upon his second one of Schwäbisch-Hall. This then, is a lineal descendant of the Brandenburg-Nuremberg KO and as it was sanctioned by the authority of Duke Christopher, it became a model for many other Orders. It might be interesting to trace Brenz’s departures from and returns to his own views throughout these Orders, but this would far exceed the scope of the present paper. The student is referred for this to the excellent article of Dr. Horn. For the present purpose suffice it to call attention to the fact, that the Brandenburg-Nuremberg Order is the one with which the litur-

Footnote: * Horn on authority of Richter.


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gical part of our Common Service most nearly agrees. We must, therefore, measure Brenz’s liturgical influence by the part he took in the preparation of this famous Order and the sanction he gave it by its introduction and by the Orders which he based upon it. When we consider that the provisions of this KO are the fullest and simplest for the major and minor services of the Church, and that the ministerial acts are here treated more fully and approximately in the form which our American Church authorizes to-day, we are justified in concluding that this influence was no mean or insignificant one.

Closely associated with the labors of Brenz, but more especially identified with the Reformation at Nuremberg and consequently the production of the just mentioned famous Order, is the name of Osiander. Andrew Osiander was born at Gunzenhausen in 1498 and studied at Leipzig, Altenburg and the University of Ingolstadt. His education and early history have never been traced and he never obtained academic honors. His enemies taunted him with being a self-made theologian. Still he became distinguished in humanistic studies, mathematics and theology and was a master of Hebrew. At Nuremberg he was ordained a priest and made teacher of Hebrew. He soon became the mainspring of reformatory activity in this city and soon became widely known for his bold preaching and his literary activity. He did not meet Luther until 1529 and always strictly maintained his independence of him. He never fully entered into Luther’s view of justification and thereby became the occasion of numerous theological controversies; but he thoroughly agreed with Luther in the main and especially in regard to the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. His name also was soon known everywhere as that of a spirited and uncompromising champion of evangelical truth. It was on this account that he was enabled to take a prominent part in the organization of the Church at Nuremberg, both by aiding in the Brandenburg-Nuremberg Church visitation and also by preparing the first draft of the Brandenburg-Nuremberg KO. It is, perhaps, due to his personality that this Order prevailed so extensively, for during many years he was a power in Nuremberg, of such influence as to be called the Nuremberg Pope. His fearless defence and promulgation of the truth, his unrelenting opposition to everything unevangelical, his uncompromising insistence on the carrying out of the Reforma-


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tion ideas, all these gave the supports and backing that his KO needed to secure its adoption and retention. And having said this, we need say no more to characterize his influence.

One more character deserves mention in this connection. It is Justus Jonas, the intimate friend of Luther. He was born in 1493, studied at Erfurt and took his degree in 1510. He devoted much attention to eloquence and the composition of Latin verses; but soon entered upon the study of law to please his father. While studying at Wittenberg he heard Luther and was converted by him, as he himself says. He soon turned from law after having been licensed, and devoted himself to theology. It was he who translated the Ninety-five Theses, but notwithstanding he was made canon at Erfurt and rector of its Latin school. It was Erasmus who persuaded him to devote himself entirely to theology and in this, his knowledge of languages and history served him admirably. His eloquence soon increased the number of his hearers and he attracted such attention that he was soon called—“another Luther”—to the provostship at Wittenberg. In 1521 he became Doctor of Divinity and in his new position and dignity he began an earnest controversy against all abuses, principally that of the mass, of mariolatry and worship of the saints, and proposed a new Order of Service, which, however, was not adopted until the accession of a new elector. He is preeminently the German translator of the documents of the Reformation, principally of Luther’s “De Servo Arbitrio,” Melanchthon’s “Loci” and the “Apology.” He has left the Church some beautiful hymns which he composed. In 1523 he conducted the second Saxon Church visitation; in 1536 he aided the introduction of the Reformation at Naumburg; in 1539 he was engaged in the same work at Meissen and in 1541 at Halle. At Halle he composed a KO based on the one at Wittenberg. His death occurred in 1555. His direct influence upon the ordering of the Church at Wittenberg is not so directly appreciable on account of the presence and labors there of so many other great minds; but the KOO of Meissen, Naumburg and Halle are enough to entitle him to distinction in this field also.

Upon such men and their labors did the ordering of the Church of the Reformation depend. We can not read a detailed description of this period without thinking of the “helden lobe bæren, und grozzer arebeit” of the Nibelungen, but far greater,


Page 16

far more wonderful are the great labors of these praiseworthy heroes. We are astounded at their condition, we are humbled by their faith, we admire their versatility, we can not comprehend the many and varied causes to which they gave their attention. We can not but think of the great things they accomplished and compare with them the humble following of their footsteps to which we of a latter day, are limited, and we exclaim as Schiller did of Kaut, “Wenn die Könige bauen, haben die Kärrner zu thun. “


Authorities consulted and used:—JAKOBY: Liturgik der Reformatoren; BELLERMANN: Das Leben des Johannes Bugenhagen; HORN: The Liturgical Work of John Brenz, (Church Review, 1882); RIETSCHEL: Lehrbuch der Liturgik; ZÖCKLER: Handbuch der theologischen Wissenshaften; MEUSEL: Kirchliches Handlexikon.



Erie, Pa.


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THE Calendar, (from Calends), is the mode of adjusting the artificial divisions of time, such as months, Lent, Advent and the like to the natural or Solar year. Calendars are devised for civil and religious purposes, each embracing the same period of time as their unit, (365 1/4 days), but differing in accordance with the use for which they are intended. We are concerned with the civil calendar only in so far as the religious is related to it. In the beginning, the Christians simply employed the divisions of time current in the country of which they were citizens. Certain days were marked as anniversaries of great events in the life of Christ; for example the festival days of the early Church. To these were added commemorations of the deaths of the first martyrs. As the Roman wrote on his tablets the obligations he must meet, or the debts he would receive, connecting each with its date in the Julian year, so the Christian marked opposite certain dates, the name or event he thought worthy of special note in his devotional life. Such lists were the earliest Calendars of the Church. A formal and authoritative division of the year for religious use was arranged as early as the middle of the fourth century.

As the religious Calendar was simply an adaptation of the civil year, and grew up from traditional usages by different bodies of believers, many differences are to be found in the various parts of Christendom, by which local conditions of the life of the Church are marked. Nationality, controversy and doctrinal fundamentals have each been factors in the determination of what should be marked by the Church. Almost every day in the year in the Greek Church, is dedicated to some event in the life of Christ, or to the Apostles, or saints, or national heroes. With the Puritans at the other extreme, even the anniversary of our Lord’s nativity was scarcely admitted to form a special day in


Page 18

their year. In general, however, it may be said that there are two great families of Calendars; one from the Eastern, the other from the Western division of Christendom. Through the Roman or Western wing, we derive the Church Year in use by Lutherans.

The three great events in the life of Christ, His birth, His resurrection, and the sending of the Holy Ghost have been the nuclei around which all the Calendars have been formed. The latter two of these were marked from the Apostolic period, and in fact, are simply modifications of feasts established by God for the Jews. Instead of the Passover, we have Easter and its associated days, and in the room of the Harvest festival, we celebrate Pentecost as the memorial of the pouring forth of the Holy Ghost. Christmas and the connected festivals of Epiphany and Circumcision arose somewhat later, and are of Gentile origin. These three feasts became the centers of cycles and octaves. As the Church grew older, and its cultus became more complex, various customs were added. Martyriology gave us Saints’ days, asceticism furnished the preparatory seasons of fasting, and now and then the settlement of a great doctrinal battle added a special day to the Calendar. By the time the Reformation occurred, the entire year was occupied with the commemoration of events in the history of the Church. The opposition of the reformers to the worship of the saints and of the Virgin resulted in the removal of many names and customs from the list; or, where they were not officially removed, the spirit of the denomination caused them to fall into desuetude. By us, little not directly connected with the life of our Lord, was retained.

If we should study the seasons of the Church Year in the order of its development, we would begin with Easter, this being the festival earliest observed, and for a long time the beginning of the year. But since we are accustomed to Advent being considered as the first of the Calendar, we will begin with the Christmas cycle, of which Advent is the Preparatory season.

Concerning Advent itself, it may be said, that there is no mention of this season under this title before the seventh century. Essentially however, it had a place in the Calendar at a much earlier time. Jerome has pericopes and collects for “the five Sundays before the Nativity of our Lord.” Like Lent, it was observed as a season of penance and fasting. An ancient canon


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forbids marriages during its continuance. The time over which it extended, varied at different places and dates. In Jerome’s time, and in parts of France at a later date, it covered five Sundays. In the Greek Church to the present day, under the name “Fast of the Nativity” it covers forty days and is one of the four great periods of fasting, set for each year. To Gregory the Great, is ascribed its duration of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. One of its four Sundays was used for each of the four comings of Christ to man; i. e., to mankind in the flesh, to the believer in the hour of death, to Jerusalem at its fall, and on the day of judgment.

Since the sixth century, Advent has been the beginning of the Church Year in the Western Church. The chief cause of the change from the Easter cycle was the desire to have the Christian year begin at a time different from the beginning of the Jewish ecclesiastical year.

The Christmas cycle makes its appearance in the Church under the name of Epiphany. There was a heathen festival widely celebrated among the Greeks, in honor of the manifestation of one of their myths to mankind, under the name of EPIPHANEIA (ejpifavneia); this was replaced in the Oriental Church by the festival in honor of the coming of Christ in the flesh. The date first set for the celebration was the sixth of January, which date is still retained by the Armenian Church for the Christmas festival. The only attempt to explain the choice of this day, so far as we have seen, was an example of Oriental allegory. Since Adam was created on the sixth day of time, the sixth of the year might well be chosen to commemorate the birth of Christ. Meantime, the Western Church had adopted December 25th as the Natal Day. When the controversies of the Grecian Church required more emphasis to be placed on the human birth of the Lord, the Greek Church, retaining Epiphany, added the Festival of the Nativity to their Calendar, using for it the date current among the Roman Christians.

When December 25th was chosen as the date of the anniversary of the birth of Christ, is not known, nor have we any clear reason given, why this time was taken. Chrysostom says in a Christmas homily, that Pope Julius I, (A. D., 337-352), had caused strict inquiry to be made as to the time of Christ’s birth, and confirmed its customary celebration on this day. Some his-


Page 20

torians claim that this date was chosen by the Church to counterbalance a heathen festival occurring December 25th by the Julian calendar. Piper derives the date from March 25th, which the early Church considered as the normal time for the beginning of the world, the resurrection of Christ, and the date of His conception.

Early in the development of the Church Year, it became customary to connect with a festival, its Octave. The events of Easter week probably form the precedent for this habit. With Christmas was thus connected the eighth day after, and from a Gospel basis, this became specifically the Festival of the Circumcision, after the 6th century. Between Christmas and the Festival of the Circumcision, our Church also retains the minor days of St. Stephen and St. John, Dec. 26th and 27th. In the ancient Church, Dec. 28th was also marked as the Festival of the Holy Innocents. The association of Stephen with Christ is in the manner of his death. That of John is probably due to his nearness to Christ during His ministry and the distinctive teaching in his Gospel concerning the Incarnation. The innocency of the child victims of Herod’s jealousy, so similar to Christ’s faultlessness, probably led the Early Church, deeply honoring martyrdom of every kind, to connect their death with the festival of the Master’s birth.

We have already said that Epiphany so far as name is concerned, was earlier in its origin than Christmas. It was less specifically devoted to Christ’s birth, however, than to marking in general His manifestation to men. The baptism by John, and the appearance in the home at Cana of Galilee were themes in its celebration as well as the assuming of the flesh. Only after the fourth century was it coupled with the Visit of the Magi and the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. Theophaneia, Bethpaneia, are early titles showing its first significance. Our Gospel Lessons for the season still show its various applications. The length of the season of Epiphany varies, and first shows the influence of the “Queen of Festivals,” Easter, around which is grouped the second cycle of our year.

We have already said that the celebration of Easter is of Apostolic origin. It would be only natural that the Jewish converts to the faith in the first year of Apostolic preaching, should give a peculiar significance to their great Paschal feast, whenever


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it would occur. They would recall Christ’s teaching concerning Himself as the true Lamb of God, and with the eating of unleavened bread, they would connect the crucifixion, and the resurrection. Of course the date of this commemoration would be that of the Jewish Pascha, i. e., the 14th Nisan. Nisan was a lunar month, beginning with the moon following the Vernal Equinox. With the Gentile converts, however, the Jewish Passover had little or no significance. They had not even adopted the keeping of the Sabbath, but observed instead the first day of the week, distinctively the Lord’s Day. The Resurrection rather, than the Crucifixion was most emphatically preached to the non-Jewish converts, and their whole religious life made only Sunday suitable for the commemoration of the festival of Christ’s coming from the grave. The result was that the Roman Church adopted the custom of making Easter a movable festival, seeking to mark it only on Sunday, and caring only to have a time approximately corresponding to the day of the month on which Christ rose from the dead. By the middle of the second century, the influence of the Italian Church had become sufficient to make a marked conflict between the days on which Easter was celebrated. The first colloquy on the subject was between Polycarp of Smyrna and Anicetus, bishop of Rome. Polycarp declared that it was the custom of John to observe the 14th of Nisan, but Anicetus refused to be convinced. Tradition was invoked that Peter and Paul might offer authority to the Roman party. A bitter controversy was carried on for more than a century, until finally at the Council of Nicea, the matter was settled by passing the rule now in force for determining the date of the celebration of Easter. That rule is, that Easter shall occur on the first Sunday, following the first full moon on, or next after the 21st of March. When this is Sunday, the following Sunday shall be taken.

This Nicean legislation simply compromises by determining that the Sunday nearest to the 14th of Nisan shall be Easter. At least that would be the result if the beginning of Nisan is accurately determined. For this month would begin with the new moon following the Vernal Equinox, i. e., the 21st of March, and the 14th was the day of the full moon. The followers of the Jewish custom had already been contemptuously called Quartodecimanians, and after the Nicean Council, any one holding to the fixed festival, was excommunicated. It is none the less true


Page 22

however, that so far as Apostolic authority is concerned, its weight is in favor of the 14th of Nisan.

Any date fixed in a lunar month would yet be movable in the solar year, and hence in a civil year which corresponded in length with the sun’s annual revolution. The requirement of a certain day in the week would add a second mutation. In the years immediately following the Nicean Council the Bishop of Alexandria was deputed to announce to the other bishops the date on which Easter would occur, and the bishops through their metropolitans would inform the whole Church. This plan was soon found inadequate however, and the mathematicians set themselves to formulate tables by which the date of the moon following the Vernal Equinox could be found, and the day of the week could be determined. The Metonic cycle of nineteen years for determining the date of the moon’s phases had already been in use for centuries. A “solar” cycle for twenty-eight years was also known, by which the succession of the days of the week could be found. Victorinus of Aquitain combined these two numbers as factors in a period of 532 years, to which the name of the Victorian cycle has been applied. The factors in this unit are indicated in our Calendars by the Golden Number and the Dominical or Sunday letter. The first is obtained by dividing the number of the year plus one by 19. If there is no remainder, the Golden Number is 19. Any remainder from the division is the Golden Number for the year divided. The Dominical letter is the capital set opposite Sunday. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th of January are named A, B, C, D, E, F and G. If the 1st of January is Sunday, A is the Dominical letter; if the 3rd is Sunday, the letter is C; and so on. The table of the Victorian Cycle was used for determining the date of Easter until the time of the papal reign of Gregory XIII, without correction, although the Venerable Bede had noted that the Vernal Equinox no longer fell on the 21st of March. Owing to the various errors in the ancient Julian year and in the Victorian cycle, a day was lost every 130 years. In 1582, the actual date of the Vernal Equinox was March 11th. To correct this error, Gregory ordered the 5th of October to be called the 15th. The Catholic countries adopted the revision at once; the Protestant governments later, England making a correction of eleven days in 1752. The Greek Church has not yet adopted the correction, so that


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there is a divergence of twelve days between the dating of their events in their own “Old Style” and our “New Style.” Necessary corrections in the Victorian cycle have made it so complex that it can no longer be generally employed in determining Easter. Hence tables are published giving the actual date of its occurrence during a period of years.* A very good article on the formulae for the Golden number and the Dominical letter can be found in the Encyclopedia Britannica under “Calendar.”

Footnote: * Cf. Church Book.


By the time the Nicean Council had decreed the date of the occurrence of Easter, many of the elements of its cycle had become established in the customs of the Church. The custom of fasting in the days preceding the festival is very early, although it was first practiced only during the forty hours during which Christ’s soul was separated from His body. Yet it was not long until the tendencies toward asceticism led to the extension of this preparatory season over a period of forty days. Origen makes mention of this length of time as proper for the preceding of Easter. This period of course grew out of the time of the Master’s temptation in the wilderness. The number of weeks covered by a fast of forty days was effected by the estimate in which the days of the week were held by various parts of the Church. Sundays were universally, excluded from the list of fast days. Parts of the Church also excluded Saturdays and Thursdays. Such omissions would extend the forty days to the ninth week before Easter, and would account for the cycle beginning with Septuagesima Sunday, although the names of the Sundays before Lent are derived by analogy with Quadragesima. In the Western Church, Gregory the Great brought uniformity by enacting that Lent should consist of the forty-six days preceding Easter, Sundays being excepted from fasting. Thus it takes its beginning on Wednesday of the seventh week before Easter.

Ash Wednesday takes its name from a custom of the Roman Church of burning the palm branches consecrated at the previous Palm Sunday and with the ashes making the sign of the cross on the forehead of those kneeling before the altar on this day. The ancient name is Caput Jejunii. In the Lutheran Church, the day is marked simply as the beginning of the Lenten season.

The English word Lent is from the old word for Spring, this season of the Church Year being distinguished as the Lenten


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Fast. The names of the first five Sundays are taken from the initial words of the Latin Introits for each day; i. e., Invocavit, Reminiscere, Oculi, Laetare and Judica. Palm Sunday takes its name from the custom of bearing branches in the processionals. By Gregory it is called Dominica in ramis palmarum, by Ambrose, Dominica in ramis olivarum. By St. Jerome it is entitled Indulgence Day from the custom of the Emperors of setting free prisoners and closing the courts of justice during the week beginning with this Sunday. Very early in the history of the Church, this week received the name of the Great Week or the Holy Week, and was marked by special religious observances and by the closing of places of business.

Maundy Thursday has its popular name either from a corruption of the Latin title “Dies Mandati”or from the custom of delivering gifts to the poor in baskets (maunds). The Lord’s command, “Do this” of course led to the name Mandati. Other titles, arising from the Lord’s teaching in the Upper Room are, Feria mysteriorum, Lavipedium and Megalhv Revnta".

It has already been noted that the marking of the day of the Lord’s death by a suitable memorial is one of the earliest customs of Christendom. The Jewish converts in selecting the 14th of Nisan as their Easter, gave the crucifixion the first place as compared with the resurrection. At first in the Western Church, both the crucifixion and the resurrection were connected with the Sunday celebration of the Pascha, but after the time of Leo I, the two events are definitely separated, and Friday marked as the Paraskeue or Dies Dominicae passionis. Saturday following, called by the Jews, An high Day, is known to the Christians as The Great Sabbath. It has been marked only by the Easter vigils.

The name Easter is derived by Venerable Bede from the name of a Pagan goddess Eostre or Ostera, whose festival occurred about the time of the Vernal Equinox. Later philologists derive the name from the Saxon “urstan,” to rise, “urstand,” the resurrection. The ancient name was “Pascha Dominica resurrectionis,” and later simply “Dies Paschae.” From the purely Church standpoint, it is and always has been the greatest of the Church festivals.

The forty days following Easter belong to the Easter cycle and are characterized by the prolongation of the Easter festivi-


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ties. Fasting was not permitted, and the most joyous celebrations of the Church and family were set for this period. The Sundays take their names from the Introits.

Thursday, the fortieth day after Easter is set apart for the marking of the Lord’s ascension. Holy Thursday is the name usually applied to it in the old Calendars, though it is not shown to be very early marked by the Church. Chrysostom is the first authority for its observance, he having a homily for the day. Augustine and Gregory of Nyssa mark it in a similar manner.

Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter, is one of the earliest festivals, being probably contemporary with Easter in its first observance. Its Christian observance is simply a transformation of the Jewish Harvest Feast, with a new significance due to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on this day. Pentecost is of course the earliest name. Our English title of Whit-Sunday is usually derived from the custom of the catechumens appearing in white robes on this day, their baptism having occurred at the vigil immediately preceding. Other derivations are “Whitsun Day” from the German “Pfingsten Tag,” and Wit Sunday, the day of the pouring forth of wisdom, from the old English word for wisdom, Wit. In the early Church, the remaining Sundays of the year were attached to Pentecost, and this custom still obtains in the Greek Church, where Trinity Sunday is not observed.

Trinity Sunday is the latest of the great festivals to be placed in the Calendar. There was no occasion for its observance until after the Arian controversy, the Sunday following Pentecost being simply the octave of that feast, and specially set apart as the Day of all the Martyrs. In some parts of the Church, the Sunday before Advent was connected with the Trinity. The Synod of Arles, 1260, officially gave it its present place in the Calendar, choosing the Sunday following Pentecost, because after the sending of the Holy Ghost, man had for the first time full knowledge of the Trinity.

Our custom of naming the remaining Sundays of the year “Sundays after Trinity” is not so much the forming of a long Trinity cycle, as it is the making of a second principal division of the Church Year. The first division with its three great feasts and their cycles is the Semester Domini, ending with Trinity Sunday. The second half is the Semester Ecclesiae. In the first, we mark the history of the life of Christ from its Advent to the send-


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ing of the Holy Ghost; in the second, we have man’s appropriation of redemption. In this, the lessons mark the Call to the Kingdom of God, the Righteousness of the Kingdom of God, and the Final Consummation of the Christians’ Life. (Spaeth.)

In the Greek Church on the other hand, the entire year is divided into cycles grouped around the great festivals commemorative of the ministry of Christ. Their conception of the Church Year can best be shown by tables. They are quoted from Neale’s Holy Eastern Church.


Festivals are divided into three classes:


1. Easter.

2. The following twelve:

Christmas, Dec. 25th.

Epiphany, Jan. 6th.

Hypapante, Feb. 2nd. (Meeting of our Lord with Simeon and Anna.)

Annunciation, Mar. 25th.

Palm Sunday.


Transfiguration, Aug. 6th.

Repose of the Mother of God, Aug. 15th.

Nativity of the Mother of God, Sept. 8th.

Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Sept. 14th.

Presentation of the Mother of God, Nov. 21st.

3. Festivals Adodekata. (Fewer than 12.)

The Circumcision, Jan. ist.

Nativity of S. John the Baptist.

SS. Peter and Paul.

Decollation of John the Baptist.


1. Festivals in which the office is not entirely of the commemoration, but has the addition of a canon in lauds in honor of the Mother of God; such as Jan. 30, SS. Basil, Gregory, and Chrysostom. May 6th, St. John, the Divine.

2. Those in which the Polyeleos (135th and 136th Psalms) occur in the lauds. For the minor apostles, the God-bearing Fathers, (Simon Stylites), and the more famous Metropolitans.


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1. Those having the Great Doxology.

2. Those without the Great Doxology.

The great Fasts of the Greek Church are as follows:

The Lenten Fast, Monday after Quinquagesima to Easter.

The Fast of the Apostles, Monday after Trinity to June 29.

The Fast of the Mother of God. Aug. 1st to 14th.

The Fast of the Nativity. Nov. 15th to Dec. 25th.

The first of these Fasts, the Lenten, is of exceeding rigor. “Not only is meat forbidden, but fish, cheese, butter, oil, milk, and all preparations of it. The Fast continues on Sunday, though a little oil is permitted. General indulgences are never granted.” “In all 226 days of the year are observed with scrupulous fidelity as Fasts. In the Lenten Fast, poor men throw away their only loaf of bread, if a drop of oil or forbidden food happens to fall upon it.”



Philadelphia, Pa.


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Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee (Year begins)*

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Sunday of Apocreos. Monday of Tyrophagus

Sunday of Tyrophagus. (Tyrophagus a semi-carnival in which cheese is eaten)

Monday after Tyrophagus, fast begins

Orthodoxy Sunday

2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Sundays of Fast

Palm Sunday

Pascha or Bright Sunday

Anti pascha

Sunday of the Ointment Bearers

Sunday of the Paralytic

Sunday of the Samaritan

Sunday of the Blind Man

The Ascension of our Lord

Sunday of the 318 (Nicean Fathers)


All Saints Sunday

2nd Sunday after Pentecost

* * * *



Sundays after Pentecost - - -





27th Sunday after Pentecost

28th Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday of the Holy Forefathers

Sunday before Nativity

Nativity (Dec. 25th Sunday)

Jan. 1st, Sunday before the Lights

Jan. 6th, The Holy Theophany

Sunday after the Lights

29th-32nd Sundays after Pentecost

Sunday of Publican and Pharisee

3rd Sunday after Epiphany










1st Sunday in Lent

Sundays in Lent


Palm Sunday


1st Sunday after Easter

2nd Sunday after Easter


3rd Sunday after Easter

4th Sunday after Easter

5th Sunday after Easter

Ascension or Holy Thursday

Sunday after Ascension


Whit Sunday


1st Sunday after Trinity

* * * *

6th Sunday after Trinity

* * * *

12th Sunday after Trinity

14th Sunday after Trinity


16th Sunday after Trinity

25th Sunday after Trinity

1st Sunday in Advent

2nd Sunday in Advent

3rd Sunday in Advent


4th Sunday in Advent





1st Sunday after Epiphany

Sundays after Epiphany

3rd Sunday after Epiphany

4th Sunday after Epiphany

5th Sunday after Epiphany

6th Sunday after Epiphany







†2nd Sunday in Fast

3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Sunday in Fast

Palm Sunday


New Sunday

Green Sunday


Beautiful Sunday

5th Sunday after Pascha

6th Sunday after Pascha


Sunday after Ascension



1st Sunday after the Descent

2nd Sunday after the Descent

* * * *


* * * *


Invention of the Girdle the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sunday of Holy Cross

1st Sunday of 2nd Pentecost

2nd Sunday of 2nd Pentecost

3rd Sunday of 2nd Pentecost

4th Sunday of 2nd Pentecost


5th Sunday of 2nd Pentecost

6th Sunday of 2nd Pentecost

7th Sunday of 2nd Pentecost


Nativity, Epiphany, Baptism

1st after Epiphany

Sundays after Epiphany

* NOTE.—The above represents a year beginning Jan. 23rd. Easter on Apr. 3rd.

†The Armenians count the Sundays following a feast in a special manner.

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As would be expected, he who, under God’s hand, purified the faith of the Church, also laid down the principles for a purified worship in the reformed Church. The fundamental principles of liturgical reform are found in the writings of Luther, and it is upon these principles that every Evangelical Liturgy is based. There are but three great liturgical writings from the hand of Luther, in fact only two which provide an order of worship, the Formula Missae, 1523, and the Deutsche Messe, 1526; but with these must also be mentioned the tract “Von Ordenung Gottesdienst in der Gemeyne,” of 1523, and his letter to the chapter of All Saint’s Church at Wittenberg, of August 19, 1523

All through his writings from the year 1516 to the year 1545 we find, again and again, reference made to the worship of the Church; some deal with the matter fully and other writings again barely touch it. It is therefore a difficult matter to refer to every reference of liturgical importance. We will content ourselves with the most important.

When Luther, in the year 1517, wrote the sixty-second Thesis, “The real and true treasure of the Church is the most holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God,” he was the David who gave the Goliath of the old order of worship its death wound. The very center of the infamous system of Rome lay in its worship in the Mass. From early infancy all the religious surroundings of the people were bound up in this worship and to destroy it was a herculean task. Luther knew this, and in his treatise on the Babylonian Captivity (1520) declares that the Sacrifice of the Mass is by far the most iniquitous captivity and which has drawn with it an endless chain of further abuses. He knows he has to contend with an evil which has been firmly intrenched for centuries, which has received universal approval and which cannot be overthrown without changing almost the entire


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present organization of the Church and introducing a different mode of conducting worship. At first his entire attention was given to the preaching and teaching of a purified doctrine. But in this teaching he laid down the


In the Sermon von der Messe (1520) Luther says, “If a man is to have any dealings with God and to receive anything from Him, it must come to pass in such a way that the first step is not taken by man but that God alone, without any petition on the part of man, must take the initiative and give to man a promise. This Word of God is the first thing, and upon it are built all the words, works, and thoughts of man.” Here the first principle of worship is laid down. Again and again this principle is repeated. In the Ordnung des Gottesdienstes he declares emphatically, “The Christian congregation should never assemble, except the Word be preached and prayer be offered, even though it be very brief. Therefore when the Word of God is not preached, it were better there should be neither singing, nor reading, nor meeting.” In 1524, in writing against Carlstadt he gives preeminence to the Word. Upon this depends primarily for him the entire genuine process of intercourse between man and God, and thus also distinctively salvation itself, as tendered from above, and not as an achievement to be attained by efforts originating within ourselves.

In 1522 he declares that in everything bearing upon the plan of salvation and the relation of the soul to God, absolutely “nothing dare be added” to the Word of Scripture, and yet the Divine worship appointed by God in His Word has also an external, earthly, local embodiment which is, just because of its unessential character, variable and left to the choice of Christian liberty. Beyond the Scriptures nothing must be appointed, or, if anything be appointed, it must be regarded as voluntary and not necessary; all things which Christ has not appointed are voluntary and unnecessary, and therefore not injurious. Here he lays down the principle of liberty in worship. This principle he follows out again and again in all of his writings.

This principle is treated of more fully in his Address to the Christian Nobility (1520) where he says this liberty must not be abused. Many want to be free, and as Christians only in despis-


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ing ceremonies, traditions and human laws: whereas the opposing party seek to attain salvation only by observance. The Christian must in his conduct concerning outward ceremonies always have in view two different classes of men. One the hardened ceremonialist, the other the weak in faith. To deal with the former we must do just the opposite and the latter we must bear with until they are properly instructed. When Carlstadt in his dictatorial manner sought to enforce certain laws in worship, Luther opposed him forcibly. “We are,” says he, “free and Christian and can therefore elevate the sacrament or not elevate it, however, wherever, whenever and as long as we please.” For the express purpose of opposing Carlstadt he retained the custom at Wittenberg. He took the same stand on other ceremonies. In his sermon Wider die Himmlischen propheten (1524-1525) he says again, “we have Christian liberty to observe the Mosaic laws, but that all this should be accommodated to the people amongst whom we live.”

In his Address to the Christian Nobility he also lays down the principle on which he bases his reasons for not abolishing ceremonies. “We cannot live on earth without them,” he declares. “Hot, impetuous youth requires bonds, every one needs chastisement.” He illustrates this by referring to the fact that Christian poverty incurs danger in the midst of wealth, fidelity and faith in the rush of business, humility in enjoyment of the hour, so also righteousness of faith is endangered in the multiplicity of ceremonies. Nevertheless, we must live and move, as in the midst of wealth, business, etc., so also amid ceremonies, i. e., in constant danger. And now he declares there will be a time when such ceremonies are no longer necessary. They are as the scaffolding which artisans and mechanics use in erecting a building. When the building is completed the scaffolding is laid aside; so when the Christian has reached a perfect faith ceremonies are no longer necessary.

He lays down the principle that worship should be for the sake of helping one another. In the Sermon von der Messe, he says, “We may not be at all times the same; therefore the Mass has been instituted, that we may assemble with one another and together offer this sacrifice.” Here, he says, one stirs up, moves, inflames the other to earnestly press near to God, and we receive the thi ngs for which we ask. The pastor does not utter the ap-


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pointed words by himself, but he is our mouthpiece and we all unitedly speak from the heart with him.




We might mention four reasons for a change in worship necessitated by the change in doctrine.* The first is found in the supreme normative authority of the Word. According to the Roman practice the Sacrifice of the Mass was a good work and justified the sinner. There was therefore no room for the Word, and the Word, of necessity, was crowded out. The Word must have the first place in worship, according to Luther, for it is the faith of the individual that justifies him. As early as 1516 Luther declares that the hearing of the Word is a far greater necessity than hearing the Mass. In his Sermon von der Messe, he says, “The central place of the worship and the sacrament is accorded to the Word. The Word is the principal part of the Mass.” The outward observance without the Word is of no account to Luther, and in all his liturgical writings this is one of the chief reasons for changing the form of worship. The Word must be given the preeminence.

Footnote: * See Christian Worship, Its Principles and Forms. Chap. VI.


The second reason was one growing out of the first. Worship is the approach of the individual soul to God, therefore the basis of worship is not on Divine appointment as Rome held, but on the activity of the worshippers’ faith. The mediation of an officiating priest is not necessary. The individual must go before God himself; he must pray, confess and give thanks for himself. The conclusion from this is inevitable, if the individual must go before God himself, there is no need of a mediating priesthood. In the Sermon von der Messe Luther says, “The Sacrifice of the Mass is effected, not through the priest, but through faith of every Christian believer. All are real parsons who believe Christ is a minister for them before God, and who offer their prayers, their praise, their wants, and themselves, and then receive the sacrament and testament bodily and spiritually. All are priests, man and woman, young and old, learned or laity, there is here no difference, unless it be in the measure of faith.” He declares the same thing in his tract on the Abrogation of the Private Mass.

In the Babylonian Captivity he, says, “The minister differs


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nothing from the laity except in administrating the Word and Sacraments,” and again, “Baptized persons are all priests.” Here, too, he defines the office of the diaconate, which is not for reading the lections, but to distribute the alms of the Church to the poor.

The abrogation of the priesthood is the abrogation of the sacrifices and therefore be would change the worship because of that abomination of Rome, the Sacrifice of the Mass. Worship must be participated in by the people. There can be no proper celebration of the communion except there be communicants who actually receive the sacrament, “for the sacrament is a communion of all saints, hence its name Communio, that is, communion, and in Latin Communicare means to receive the Sacrament, or as we say in German, to go to the Sacrament. It means that Christ and His saints are spiritually, all one body.” “To make a sacrifice out of this is to change the very substance of the sacrament and institution of Christ.”

To purify worship the idea of sacrifice in the Mass had to be overthrown. And the purified Mass to Luther is really a part of the Gospel, in fact, a summary of the latter, and all sermons should be nothing else but the exposition of the Mass. The Mass is more thoroughly Christian under any circumstance the more nearly it resembles the first celebration, which was eminently simple without any pomp and ceremonies.

Luther’s fourth reason for changing the worship is found in the true teaching in regard to the Eucharist. He says it is not an officium of man, but a beneficium for man. Christ is not sacrificed in the Eucharist: He is given and applied. The worshipper is not a donor in the Eucharistic Service, but is the recipient of the Divine gift. The benefits of the Sacrament are not given except through remembrance of Christ and faith in these words, “Given and shed for you and for many for the remission of sins.” This led to a complete change in the entire Communion Service. It was this doctrine that led to the destruction of the Roman Mass and the introduction of an Evangelical Mass.

Thus we see that the root of all the reasons for a change in worship lay in the purified doctrine of the Word, and we might sum up all of Luther’s conclusions by declaring that all changes were absolutely necessary in order to present the Word purely to the hearts and minds of the worshippers.


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Luther, although retaining ceremonies, shows somewhat of a contemptuous indifference to all ordinances. This indifference grows as he grows older, and in his later writings he is very outspoken for the destruction of all outward observances, although he does not in every case deem this advisable on account of the weak.

In 1520 in his sermon “Von Guten Werken,” he says the Christian is free from all external ordinances. Even the outward observance of Sunday, for bodily rest, is for him not expressly commanded. All days are holy days. All days are working days. And here he presents the idea too, that the special observances are only for the sake of the immature laity and working people, in order that they may come and hear the Word of God.

Luther acknowledges the importance of external customs or modes of administrations. But for him they have no sanctifying power and have not been instituted by God, as he says they “are outwardly necessary and useful, are proper and becoming, and produce an orderly discipline and Church economy.” They are the orderly and approved forms in which the dispensing and administration of the means of grace in the congregation, prayer, etc., are to be clothed. He also enumerates the chief external customs as, the appointed order of Divine worship, the celebration of particular days and hours, the use of the altar, priestly vestments, etc., and further, for example, as the observance of fasting, as a religious ceremony, by the congregation at large. But all these are not to be regarded as essential or binding on the congregation.

Often does the Reformer lay particular stress on the fact that freedom is allowed in these questions of priestly robes and ordinances, and in the Babylonian Captivity he affirms that the Church has no right to impose laws and take captive our liberty. Nor has the Church a right to impose fasts, prayers, and ordinances. “Neither Pope nor Bishop, nor any man has the right to impose a single syllable upon a Christian man, unless it be with his consent.”

 The Pastor or Bishop is not allowed to appoint these observances, the Church must. Necessity itself requires that they should be diverse and suited to the different classes of people, but


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once the Church does lay down ordinances, individual believers should submit as long as they are wholesome. And yet, if the weak will not submit, there must be no compulsion to make them do so, for all things which adorn with the ceremonies, as vestments, postures, fasts, festivals-are secular matters, under the supervision of reason.

That ceremonies are useful Luther admits in a letter to John Sutel (1531). He says “Ceremonies are not necessary to salvation but they are useful to move slow minds. Concerning the ceremonies of the Mass which are altars, vestments, candles, etc., if they are not deposed, they are able to be observed, just as we do at Wittenberg. For children and fools they are necessary, for whom they are to be observed.” In 1523 he writes that it is not possible to live in the Church of God without ceremonies, but he makes no plea for uniformity in this. In an earlier letter written to John Sutel (1524) he declares that it is not necessary all should be one in ceremonies, but that they should be one in faith and the Word. Let the ceremonies be varied so the individual subjectivity can speak its own religion. And in 1530 to the Elector John he says in substance the same thing. In 1545 he writes to Prince George of Anhalt, “I am not able to give the advice that every place, everywhere there should be uniform ceremonies.” In this letter he takes a more advanced step and says, “I am impatient of even necessary ceremonies, but hostile to those which are not necessary, for it is easy for ceremonies to grow into laws and once established as laws, they soon become snares for the conscience.”

When we turn to the chief liturgical writings of Luther we find practically the same thoughts expressed there. In his Formula Missae he says, “External rites, even though we cannot do without them, as we cannot do without food or drink, nevertheless do not commend us to God. … Vestments are permitted to be used in liberty, providing pomp and luxury be absent. For neither are you more acceptable if you consecrate in vestments, nor less acceptable if you consecrate without vestments. For vestments do not commend us to God.”

In his German Mass he speaks very particularly of the reason for having a form of worship, and also for all having one form. “We should in love, as Paul teaches, endeavor to be of one mind, and in the best way possible to be of like forms and


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ceremonies, just as all Christians have one baptism, one sacrament, and to no person is given of God a special one. … Yet I will not ask those who already have their good order of Service, or who through God’s grace can make a better one, to let it go and yield to us. … It would be excellent if in every principality Divine Service were conducted in the same form, and the surrounding towns and villages directly shared with a city.”

“We institute such Orders not for the sake of those who already are Christians, for they need none of these things, for which also one does not live; but they only live for the sake of us, who are not Christians, that they may make us Christians… We must have such Orders for the sake of those who are yet to become Christians or to become stronger. … But most of all it is done on account of the simple and the young, who are to be and must be exercised daily and educated in the Scriptures and God’s Word for the sake of such we must read, write, sing, preach, and poetize, and, if it would be helpful and advantageous thereto, I would let all the bells ring, and all the organs play and everything sound that can sound.”

In this connexion let us also see what Luther thought of the Church Festivals which also belong to the outward observances. In his Von Ordnung Gottesdienst he would abolish the festivals of all the saints—in fact, all but five festivals are abolished; the Purification of the Virgin, the Annunciation, the Nativity of our Lord, and the Festivals of John the Baptist and Paul remain. On account of the idolatrous worship he wished “that every festival be abolished, and that the Sabbath alone be retained.”

In the Formula Missae he adds to this list the Circumcision of Christ, Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost. In the German Mass he adds Michaelmas, and allows the fasts of Palm Sunday and Holy Week to remain, and also observes Good Friday as a holy-day. Therefore we have retained the following festivals: The Nativity, Circumcision of Christ, Epiphany, Conversion of Paul, Purification of the Virgin, the Annunciation, Day of John the Baptist, Easter, Holy Week, Good Friday, Pentecost and Michaelmas.



We have now reached the point where we can consider the Order of worship as it was arranged and prepared by Luther.


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These Orders give a concensus of all his liturgical writings and are the practical embodiment of all his principles of worship.

In his letter to the chapter of All Saints at Wittenberg (1523) he gives his first outline of a renovated Service. In this writing he demands, in the first place, that all who are not fit persons to conduct the Mass be excluded, for the Mass is not a sacrifice or work. In the second place all mercenary Masses and vigils are to be abolished and no consideration is to be taken of the weak in this. In the third place, the morning and evening hours as the Completorium are to remain, but are to be purged. And in the place of the Masses at the morning hours, while using the old form of worship, a lesson is to be read after the Te Deum Laudamus from the Old Testament, with an exhortation and interpretation. In the evening this lesson is to be from the New Testament before the Magnificat. In the fourth place, presents, which were given to those present at Masses and vigils, may now be given to those present at the lections. In the fifth place, the minor chorus is to be abolished as it leads to idolatrous worship.

“The letter contains Luther’s entire system in epitome. It expresses with distinctness, and seeks to make a practical application of each of the great evangelical principles which has come to him through years of devout study of the Divine Word, and had been tested by his own experience.”*

Footnote: * Christian Worship, p. 154.


The first distinctively liturgical writing in which Luther provides forms for conducting worship was the tract “Von der Ordnung des Gottesdienst in der Gemeine” (1523). As Jakoby says, “This writing prepares the way for the Formula Missae and is the forerunner of that.” It provides especially for the daily worship and makes little change in the Sunday Services.



The principle on which he bases his right to prepare such a tract is stated in the preface. Divine worship has a noble Christian origin, so has the office of preaching. But as the office of preaching has been corrupted, so has the worship. Therefore as the office of preaching is being brought again to its true position, so also must be Divine worship. We will briefly sketch this writing. There are three great abuses in Divine worship. The first that the Word of God has


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been silenced. The second, that many unchristian fables and lies came in in consequence. The third that such service is to be performed as a work with which to secure God’s grace and salvation.

To reform these abuses the first thing to know (and here is the keystone to Luther’s idea of worship) is that “the Christian congregation should never assemble except the Word of God is preached … for where God’s Word is not preached it were better neither to sing, nor to read, nor to assemble.”

As for the worship itself. Christians should assemble every morning, when a lesson, is to be read. Then follows an explanation. This lesson should be from the Old Testament, one book at a time. After the reading and explanation have lasted a half an hour or longer then come prayers and praise, for which a Psalm or Responsory or Antiphon may be used. In the evening the people should assemble again when the same order is to be observed, but the lesson should be from the New Testament. Another service may be held after dinner.

On Sunday the Mass and Vespers are sung as formerly but at both Services the Word must be preached, on the Gospel in the morning, and upon the Epistle or some Book, in the evening. The daily Masses are abolished, but if some one desires the Sacrament a Mass may be held. The singing of the Sunday Masses remains, but the pastor shall regulate it and see to it that the Word is read and explained. The Antiphons, Responsories and Collects, the legends of saints and the cross are to be omitted until they are purified. The chief thing in all is that the Word may be preached—“It were better all be abandoned rather than the Word, and there is nothing better than the Word.”

In this writing Luther does not take the advanced step which we would expect him to do. He makes haste slowly and lays the foundation for greater changes in the future. Jakoby draws the following conclusions from the study of all parts of this Order as a summary of its teachings: 1.) “The Service is to be purified, not abolished. 2.) The Word of God is the central point of the Service. 3.) The true understanding is received through the medium of the expounded Scriptures. 4.) He distinguishes what the objective norm of the Word opposes. 5.) The appropriation of the Word demands a multiplicity of necessary services, to prepare for the Sunday and weekly Ser-


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vices. 6.) These last show only a small number of Churchly Orders for they are devoted to the Service of God’s Word and worship and continually draw from them. 7.) The celebration of the Lord’s Supper is limited to Sunday, if there is not a particular wish to cause its celebration on another day. 8.) Saints days are not permitted.*

Footnote: * Liturgik der Reformatoren. p. 275.


It was in December, 1523, when the greatest of Luther’s liturgical writings appeared addressed to Nicholas Hausman, Pastor of the people of Zwickau at the Church of the Swan. It was entitled


et communionis pro ecclesia Wittenbergensi. This writing provides for a Latin Evangelical Mass, as the time was not ripe for a Mass in the vernacular.

That Luther was a Reformer and not an innovator appears very manifest in this writing. The changes he made were very gradual for, as he says in the introduction to the Formula Missae “I always hesitated and feared on account of persons weak in faith, from whom the old and familiar mode of addressing God cannot suddenly be taken away in favor of a new and untried mode.” But now many minds have been prepared by an evangelical Gospel for an evangelical Service, the time has come to “treat of a godly form for saying Mass (as they call it) and for administrating Communion.” His work is only to purify what is in use and not to abolish it.

Following this introduction Luther gives an interesting study of the development and growth of the Service in the ancient Church. He traces the corruptions which have entered the Service, culminating in the sacrifice of the Mass. As this writing is not a doctrinal treatise he avoids all reference to the Mass as a good work treating it only as a sacrament, and indicating the rite according to which he thinks it ought to be used.


First. The Introits are allowed to remain, although the entire Psalm is preferred. Second. The Kyrie Eleison remains, with the Gloria in Excelsis following it. These may be omitted as the pastor desires. Third. The Collect remains, but only


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one, and after that follows the Epistle. He hopes to see the Epistles changed for there is too little faith in them. Fourth. The Gradual of two verses together with the Hallelujah, or either may be sung. And here Luther makes the statement that “it is not right to distinguish Lent and Holy Week or Good Friday by rites which differ from other festivals.” Fifth. Sequences and Proses are abolished. Those about the Holy Spirit: Sancti Spiritus and Veni Sancte Spiritus may be used. Sixth. The Gospel, in which candles and incense are permitted. Seventh. The Nicene Creed may be used after which comes preaching in the vernacular. It makes no difference whether preaching comes here or before the introduction of the Mass. Eighth. All offertories which sound of oblation, together with the entire Canon are abolished.

The Communion. 1.) During the Creed or after the sermon the bread and wine are prepared for the blessing by the accustomed rite. Pure, unmixed wine is recommended. 2.) The Preface. After the preparation of the elements the following is the order: The Lord be with you. Response: And with thy spirit. Lift up your hearts. Response: We lift them up unto the Lord. Let us give thanks to our Lord God. Response: “It is meet and just. It is truly meet and just, right and salutary that we always and everywhere give thanks unto Thee, Holy God, Father Omnipotent, Eternal God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 3.) The Consecration is preceded by a brief pause. Then the words of Christ used in the institution are repeated. 4.) The Sanctus follows, and during the Benedictus the bread and cup are elevated on account of the weak and with an evangelical significance. 5.) The Lord’s Prayer follows, and immediately after it comes the Pax Domini with the pastor facing the people. 6.) During the distribution the Agnus Dei is sung. 7.) It is permitted to chant the Communion, but the closing prayer is changed. The Benedicamus Domino together with the Alleluia follows. 8.) The Benediction, either the Aaronic or the 96th Psalm concludes the Service. The administration of the elements is left to the option of the pastor. He may bless both consecutively, or bless the bread and after its distribution the cup.

Other directions follow in reference to the examination of communicants so that the unworthy are not admitted. Luther advises that all should stand in one place, for on this account the


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altar and chancel were devised. Private confessions are allowed also, and the Communion is to be in both forms. Hymns in the vernacular are to be used and as many as possible, as there is a lack in spiritual hymns, he suggests two or three.



remain for other festival days, but the Mass is left for Sunday. The only revision would be to limit the number of Psalms to three for each Service and but one or two Responsories. The lessons are from the entire Scriptures divided into parts. In addition to this, daily lessons, one for the morning in the New or Old Testament, and another for the evening in the Old Testament, are appointed.

This Formula Missae is nothing more than a revision of the Roman Mass ritual. Jakoby* characterizes it as follows: “It is not a liturgical construction that here holds our attention, much more a liturgical rebuilding, which proceeds from the criticism of given materials. In this Luther lays down the rule of Evangelical belief. He distinguishes in the worship of the Roman Church three separate parts: the one he destroys, the second he tolerates, of the third he approves. He destroys that which hung together with the sacrifice, which appears to him as an abomination; he tolerates that which has not sprung from an evangelical spirit, but in its ground-thought does not antagonize it; he tolerates the abuses, which dangers can be overcome by the pastor; he approves the venerable traditions, which represented the Christian consciousness when the spirit of the Apostles was very little estranged. He laid down three principles, of which the one was the ethical, the second the psychologic-aesthetic, the last the political side of the worship. He moves for the freedom of worship, he will not have it as a godly decree, but he looks upon it as the outcome of the Christian knowledge; he censures the overloading of the worship with prayers and songs, which cause weariness and satiety; he laid down, finally, the remaining constituent parts of the worship, the changing elements, over the insertion or withdrawal of which the bishop is to decide.”

Footnote: * Liturgik der Reformatoren. p. 270,



Luther’s last purely liturgical writing appeared in 1526 under the title “Die Deutsche Messe und Ordnung des Gottesdienstes.”


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Its great importance lies in the fact that it states the great principles of evangelical worship more clearly than the Formula Missae and is far more independent of the Roman ritual. This brings the sermon to its proper place as the principal factor in evangelical Divine worship.

In every Lutheran or Evangelical Kirchenordnung, either the Formula Missae or the German Mass was the basis. Where there was the greater attachment to the Roman ritual, the former as used, and where there was the greater independence, the latter. The chief element of the German Mass lies in its liberty. In publishing it Luther had no desire to change the Formula Missae, but he wishes the two to go together hand in hand. The purpose in sending forth another form of Service was to help the uneducated laity who could not understand Latin. He had in view a third form which was only to be used by Christians and not to be celebrated publicly. This form would be very simple, “no need of elaborate singing. Here also baptism and the sacrament might be celebrated in a short, good form, and everything be directed to the Word, and to prayer, and to love.” Luther never published such a form, but following his directions Count Von Zinzendorf set forth a Service for the Moravians.

In the introduction to the German Mass Luther says the first thing necessary in German worship is a good, simple, plain, easy catechism. The purpose of this is to instruct in the Word and properly prepare for Divine Services.



The principal part of worship is Preaching and teaching God’s Word. That it may be preached often on Sundays, the Epistles and Gospels remain, and there are three sermons. Early at six o’clock, mostly for the sake of servants, one preaches on the Epistles. Then an Antiphon, and the Te Deum Laudamus or the Benedictus, with the Lord’s Prayer, Collects and Benedicamus Domino. At the Mass at eight or nine o’clock, one preaches on the Gospel. In the afternoon at Vespers, before the Magnificat, one preaches on the Old Testament in regular order. The Gospels and Epistles are retained, although there is liberty to preach consecutively on the entire Books of the Evangelists.


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Here the laity, if they desire more preaching than the Sunday Services afford, can get it. Mondays and Tuesdays are devoted to the catechism. Wednesday a German lecture on Matthew. Thursday and Friday, the days’ lessons on the Epistles, and Saturday the Evangelist John is studied. All of these services with the exception of Saturday are early services.



Every morning before the lesson for the day some Psalms are sung in Latin. Afterward two or three read a chapter in Latin from the New Testament. Then another reads the same chapter in German. Then, with an Antiphon, they proceed to the German lecture. After this a German song, then the Lord’s Prayer is repeated by one silently. A Collect follows and the service closes with the Benedicamus Domino.

In the evening some Vesper Psalms are sung in Latin with an Antiphon and hymn. Then, as in the morning, the Scriptures are read, but from the Old Testament instead of the New. The Magnificat in the Latin, with an Antiphon or hymn follows, then the Lord’s Prayer silently, and the Collects with the Benedicamus.



Vestments, altars and lights are allowed to remain, but the altar has not the same significance as it had and the priest must always turn himself to the people, as without doubt Christ did at the Last Supper.

A spiritual song or a German Psalm in primo tono opens the Service. Then the Kyrie in the same tone thrice. Then the priest reads a Collect in F of the natural scale, in unisono, with his face to the altar. Then the Epistle in octavo tono, with his face turned to the people. A German Hymn follows. The Gospel in quinto tono is then read with the face toward the people. The Creed follows, sung in German, “Wir glauben all an einen Gott.” Then comes the Sermon on the Gospel for the Sunday. After the sermon follows a paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer, and an Exhortation to those about to partake of the sacrament. This paraphrase and exhortation may be used in the pulpit after the sermon or from the altar as the pastor desires.


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The consecration and administration are as follows: the Words of Institution, “Our Lord Jesus Christ,” etc. Luther here as in the Formula Missae prefers to administer the bread before blessing the cup. While the bread is being administered the congregation sings the German Sanctus or the hymn “Gott sei Gelobt,” or “Jesus Christus unser Heiland.” After this the cup is blessed and the remainder of the above songs or the Agnus Dei is sung. The elevation of the host is retained. Luther never abolished this ceremony but after most of the Churches had given it up, he allowed it to fall into disuse. Then follows the Collect of thanksgiving, and then the Benediction.

The German Mass brings the Word to the front and is the Service for the common people. The sermon is the chief part of the Service and the Communion order is very simple and brief. Placing the Formula Missae and the German Mass side by side we see the fundamental principles are the same, but the execution of the latter is much more free:



Introit                                    Song or German Psalm

Kyrie                                       Kyrie

Gloria in Excelsis                      

Collect                                    Collect

Epistle                                    Epistle

Gradual or Hallelujah               German Hymn

Gospel                                   Gospel

Creed                                     Creed

Sermon                                  Sermon

Preface                                   Paraphrase of Lord’s Prayer

                                                  and Exhortation

Consecration                           Consecration


Elevation—Benedictus                Elevation

Lord’s Prayer                         

Pax Domini                             

Communion—Agnus Dei           German Sanctus, during distribution

                                                  of bread

                                                  Agnus Dei, during distribution of



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Benedicamus Domini                    Collect of Thanksgiving

Benediction                             Benediction



This paper would not be complete without some reference to Luther’s “Tauffifichlein” which takes the highest position among the various orders of baptism.*

Footnote: * Condensed from MEMOIRS. Vol. III, p. 121.


It appeared first in 1523 and was a translation of Romish Liturgies then in use. Luther made selections from various Liturgies and permitted many ceremonies that obscured the simplicity of the Sacrament.

In 1526 his second “Taufbüchlein” appeared in which the distinctively Romish features did not appear. This served as a foundation on which almost all other forms for the administration of the sacrament were built. And, in fact, no Liturgy, since then has been successful which did not take its rise from Luther’s formula. In this he carried out the same principles of conservatism which is seen in his other forms, aiming to reform the order and not to introduce a new order. We will not enter fully into the discussion of this work, for it is beyond the object of this paper.

At the present time when there seems to be a tendency to lay great stress on ceremonials, forms of Service, facing the altar, etc., there can be no more stimulating study than to return to the writings of Luther and learn the principles from which the great Reformer worked. His principle of liberty in the Church is the only principle for an evangelical faith and the only principle which will abide.

When the cry, so often heard in our day, is raised “Back to the faith of the Apostles,” we say “Yea.” But in the worship of God in His sanctuary we say, “Back to Luther who so successfully carried out the principles of the Apostles in all his liturgical writings.”



Uniontown, Pa.


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THE main Service of the Church, (Hatiptgottesdienst,—Communio) is generally divided by liturgical scholars into two distinct groups, that of the Word, (Wortgruppe) and that of the Sacrament. The former culminates in the reading of certain Scripture lessons, the Creed and the exposition of the Word in the sermon that follows it. We do not propose to take up in this paper the homiletical question whether the lessons appointed for public reading on the different Sundays and festivals of the Church Year are to form the regular texts for the sermon. We simply deal with the liturgical aspect of a certain set of lessons to be used in the Service itself.

From the earliest times we can trace the practice of reading the Word of God in the public Service of God’s people. Moses took the book of the covenant and read it in the audience of the people. (Exodus 24: 27). Ezra, the priest, brought the Law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding … and he read therein … and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the Book of the Law. (Nehemiah 8:2ff). The book of the Acts tells us that “the reading of the Law and the Prophets” was the rule in the synagogues of those days, (13:15); that “the voices of the Prophets are read every Sabbath day,” (V. 27); that “Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day,” (15:21). When the Lord, in Nazareth, “went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read, there was delivered to Him the book of the Prophet Esaias.” (Luke 4: 16, 17).

At the time of Christ, then, and His Apostles, the reading of the Law and the Prophets was the universal custom in the Jewish synagogue. The exact time when the reading of the Prophets was added to that of the Law, can hardly be determined.


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Some say, it was at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (died 164 before Christ), when the reading of the Thorah was forbidden. Certain it is, that the reading of prophetical passages was most appropriate in the synagogues where thousands of Jews, scattered abroad, worshipped God far from the Temple Service in Jerusalem. Thus their eyes were directed to the coming of the Messiah who should replace the old Temple Service by its New Testament fulfillment. As the reading of Moses and the Prophets in the synagogue was not continuous, but in sections appointed for the different Sabbath days, we have practically in the service of the synagogue already a system of Pericopes, that is of selected Scripture passages for public reading, called Parashes and Haphthars.

It was in the nature of things that this practice was carried over into the earliest Christian Churches. The reading of the Word of God was first confined to Old Testament readings, as long as there was not yet a canonical literature of the New Testament. Gradually the reading of the Epistles and Gospels was added to the Old Testament passages, and finally the latter were in most cases supplanted by the former. As long as the Old and the New Testament lessons were used side by side, the arrangement was one of a gradual climax from the lower to the higher order: Law, Prophets, Epistles, Gospel. “Ut ex minoribus animus audientium ad majora sentienda proficiat, et gradatim ab imo ad summa contendat.” (Durantus II, 18, 5.) The Apostolic Constitutions appoint the following order of lessons: First, Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. Second, Job, Solomon, the sixteen Prophets. Third, Acts, and Pauline Epistles. Fourth, Gospels.

While the regular reading of the Old Testament lessons was gradually discontinued in most churches, it held its place in the Armenian and some Syriac Liturgies, and in the Western Church in the Ambrosian, the Mozarabic and the Gallican Liturgies. But the general rule was: Two lessons in the Service of the Mass, Apostolus and Evangelium, Epistle and Gospel.

During the first three or four centuries, however, as long as the canon of the New Testament had not been finally established by the Church, we find among the passages for public reading in the Service, also selections from the writings of the Fathers, such as the Pastor Hermae, Apokalypse of Peter, Clem-


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ent of Rome, (First Epistle to the Corinthians), Cyprian, Chrysostom, Origen, and others. The decrees of the Councils of Laodicea, about 362, Hippo, 393, and Carthage, 397, finally determined the Canon of the New Testament, and ordered that “Praeter Scripturas Sacras nihil in Ecclesia legatur sub nomine Divinarum Scripturarum.” (That besides the Holy Scriptures nothing should be read in the Church under the name of Divine Scriptures). The reading of martyrs’ stories, (Martyrum Historia,) was distinctly forbidden by Pope Gelasius, who died in 496, and by the Concilium Trullanum, 680.

In the beginning, the Scripture reading in public Service of the Church was the so-called Lectio Continua, continuous reading. Sometimes the selection of the passage was left to the leader of the Service. From three to four pages were generally considered as the measure of an ordinary lesson. The leader of the Choir would indicate the end of the lesson with the words “Tu autem,” the reader being obliged to continue “Domine miserere nobis,” the Choir responding with “Deo Gratias.” While this might impress us as rather an unceremonious and impromptu way of stopping the lesson, it was undoubtedly more dignified than the manner in which Charlemagne is said to have brought the lesson to an end, by hissing(!).

As the Church Year gradually began to take shape in the practice of the Church, first with the observance of certain festival days and seasons, such as Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost, it was natural, that special passages suited to those days and seasons, should be selected and read with more or less regularity. This, in the course of time, led to the desire to have fixed lessons also for the common Sundays of the Church Year, and thus the system of Pericopes, that is of certain selected, fixed lessons throughout the Church Year established itself.

There is no reason to doubt the common tradition that Jerome, at the request of Pope Damasus, (who died a. 384) prepared the first catalogue of regular lessons for the whole Church Year, the so-called Comes Hieronymi. It was first adopted In Rome, and gradually worked its way into the Service of the Western Church. Up to the time of Charlemagne Its general introduction was, however, it rather slow process, meeting with considerable difficulties in some of the most prominent churches. Augustinus, (St. Austin), the missionary of England who was


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sent there by Gregory the Great, in 596, and afterwards became the first incumbent of the see of Canterbury, (died 607) raises the question, *“Cur, cum una sit fides, sunt ecclesiarum consuetudines tam diversae? et altera consuetudo missarum est in Romana Ecclesia, atque altera in Galliarum ecclesiis tenet-ur?” Gregory himself had indeed done his very best to adapt himself in his liturgical work to the order of the Comes of Jerome. Micrologus, a Gallican priest, testifies on this point, as follows: †“Hujus libri ordinem S. Gregorius diligentissime observavit, sive dum Evangeliis et lectionibus missales orationes in sacramentario adaptaret, sive dum Antiphonas ex ejusdem Evangeliis quam pluribus diebus in Antiphonario articularet.” But even after Gregory’s influence Walafried Strabo, (died 849) writes, ‡“Lectiones Apostolicas et Evangelicas qui ante celebrationem sacrificii instituerit, non adeo certum est: creditur tamen a primis successoribus Apostolorum eandem dispensationem factam esse ea praecipue causa, quia in Evangeliis eadem sacrificia celebrari jubentur (!) et in Apostolo, qualiter celebrari debeant, docetur.

Footnote: * Since there is one faith, why is it, that there are such different customs in the Churches? One form of Masses in the Roman Church, and another in the Gallican Churches?

Footnote: † St. Gregory has most carefully preserved the order of this book (the Comes) either when he adapted the prayers of the Mass to the Gospels and lessons, in the Missal, or when, in the Antiphonary, he appointed the Antiphons from the same Gospels for as many days as possible.

Footnote: ‡ It is not quite certain who arranged the Epistle and Gospel lessons before the celebration of the sacrifice (Mass). But it is believed, that this appointment was made by the first successors of the Apostles, especially for this reason, that, while in the Gospels those sacrifices are commanded to be celebrated, in the Epistles we are taught, how they ought to be celebrated.


The Roman order finally obtained in France, especially through the exertions of Charlemagne, while, after nearly one thousand years of conflict, Pope Alexander the sixth had to acquiesce in the Ambrosian order of Milan, as distinct from that of Rome. It had held its ground even against the vigorous and unscrupulous measures of Charlemagne to exterminate it, which Landulph describes in this manner, §“Omnes libros Ambrosii titulo sigillatos, quos vel pretio, vel dono, vel vi habere potuit, alios combu-

Footnote: § All the Books signed with the name of Ambrosius, which he could obtain either by purchase or by donation, or by force, he disposed of, either by burning them or carrying them away across the mountains, as it were, into exile.


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rens, alios trans montes, quasi in exilio secum detulit.” The Homiliarius of Charlemagne has probably done more than anything else toward the general introduction of Jerome’s system of Pericopes in the Western Church. The earliest printed edition of this Homiliarius, Speyer 1482, contains many additions and enlargements of later times particularly additions of Saints’ Days which were unknown at the time of Charlemagne. In recent times, however, an ancient manuscript of the Homiliarius, of the Carolingian era, which reaches as far as the end of Holy Week, has been discovered among the manuscripts of the Grandducal library in Carlsruhe, Baden.*

Footnote: * See Wiegand, Das Homiliariurn Karls des Grossen, auf seine urspruengliche Gestalt hin untersucht. Leipzig, 1897. Studien zur Geschichte der Theologie und Kirche. I. Band. 2. Heft.


We might expect that the conservative spirit of Lutheranism was from the very outset, favorable to the retention of the ancient

Pericopes in the regular main Service of the Church. Luther’s Church Postil (1521-1527) did perhaps as much in his time to perpetuate the use of the Pericopes, as the Homiliarius had done in the days of Charlemagne. But Luther freely criticized the selection made in the ancient system, and the Lutheran Agenda of the sixteenth century, as we will presently see, are by no means unanimous in their adoption and recommendation of the Pericopes as the regular lessons in the Service. Luther’s Von Ordenung Gottis Dienst ynn der Gemeyne. Wittemberg, 1523, recommends as texts for the sermon, †“Des Morgens das gewoehnlich Evangelion, des Abends die Epistel, oder stehe bei dem Prediger, ob er auch ein Buch fuer sich nehme oder zwei.” The Formula Missae, of the same year, after describing the main Service up to the reading of the Collect, continues as follows: ‡“Post hanc lectio Epistolae. Verum nondum tempus est et hic novandi, quando nulla impia legitur. Alioqui cum raro eae partes ex Epistolis Pauli legantur, in quibus fides docetur, sed potissimum

Footnote: † At the morning Service the usual Gospel, at the evening Service the Epistle, or it may be left to the pastor, if he chooses to take up a whole book or two,

Footnote: ‡ After this the Epistle lesson. For the time has not yet come to make any innovation on this point, as long as nothing is being read that would be ungodly (impia). Though those parts of the Epistles of Paul are rarely read, in which the faith is being taught, but mostly moralizing and paraenetical passages. The man who arranged the Epistles seems therefore to have been a remarkably unlearned and superstitious devotee of works (operum ponderator), while the Service required that rather such lessons should chiefly be appointed, in which the faith of Christ is being taught. Whoever may have been the author of those lessons, he has certainly in the Gospels also aimed at the same thing.


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morales et exhortatoriae. Ut ordinator ille Epistolarum videatur fuisse insigniter indoctus et superstitiosus operum ponderator, officium requirebat eas potius pro majore parte ordinare, quibus fides in Christum docetur. Idem certe in Evangeliis spectavit sepius, quisquis fuerit lectionum istarum autor.” From this passage it appears that Luther’s principal objection to the Pericopes was that the Epistles, particularly, did not pay sufficient attention to the doctrine of the faith, that their contents were too much of the paraenetical, moralizing character. In his German Mass of 1526 Luther says on this point: *“Dass wir aber die Episteln und Evangelia nach der Zeit des Jahrs geteilt, wie bisher gewohnet, halten, ist die Ursach, wir wissen nichts Sonderlichs in solcher Weise zu tadeln. So ists mit Wittenberg gethan zu dieser Zeit, dass viel da sind, die predigen lernen sollen an den Orten, da solche Teilung der Episteln und Evangelia noch geht und vielleicht bleibt. Weil man denn mag denselbigen damit nuetze sein und dienen, ohn unser Nachteil, lassen wir’s so geschehen, damit wir aber nicht die tadeln wollen, so die ganzen Buecher der Evangelisten vor sich nehmen.” This shows that during the three years since the publication of the Formula Missae, Luther had become less critical toward the Pericopes, though the homiletical aspect of the question concerning the continuation of the Pericopes, evidently predominates over the liturgical consideration of using the old lessons as a stereotype part of the Service.

Among the Lutheran Agenda which are in favor of retaining the Pericopes, the following may be mentioned: Brunswick, 1528, by Johannes Bugenhagen, which greatly influenced many North German Orders. Wittenberg, 1533. † “Darnach liest der Priester ein Deutsch Collect zum Altar gewandt, und singt die Epistel

Footnote: * We, retain the usual Epistles and Gospels arranged for the Church Year, for this reason, that we have no particular fault to find with this order. This is our practice in Wittenberg at the present time, because there are many, who must learn to preach in such places where this arrangement of Epistles and Gospels is still retained and possibly may abide for ever. As we may be of use to those men, without any disadvantage to ourselves, we let it pass, without however, blaming those who take up whole books of the Evangelists.

Footnote: † After this the Pastor reads a German Collect, turning to the Altar, and sings the Epistle, facing the people.


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zum Volk gewendet.” Saxon Order, 1539, by just Jonas, one of the most extensively used Agenda of our Church. Mark Brandenburg, 1540, *“Darauf die Epistel, nach Gelegenheit der Zeit und Festa … lateinisch gesungen, folgend soll man dent Volk die gesungene Epistel deutsch lesen. … Darnach das Evangelion mit vorgehender gebuerlicher Benediction Lateinisch gesungen, darauf das gesungen Evangelion dem Volk Deutsch mit heller Stinim vorgelesen.” The usage of the Swedish Lutheran Church was determined by the Council of Upsala, 1593, in favor of the Pericopes. For the Churches of Denmark, Norway and Iceland the same result had been reached long before that time through the influence of Bugenhagen.

Footnote: * Afterwards the Epistle appointed for the day, sung in Latin and afterwards read In German to the people. (The same with the Gospel.)


Full lists of the Epistles and Gospels of the Church Year appear at a very early time in the editions of Luther’s German New Testament. The first editions of the years 1522 and 1523, it is true, are still without them, but since 1524, when they are found in three different editions, they form a frequent addition to the text of the German New Testament. Ranke, (Der Fortbestand des herkoemmlichen Pericopenkreises, Gotha, 1859) publishes such a list of the year 1528, from an edition of the German Testament, printed by order of Philipp von Hessen, in large type, for the use of the churches, and which is ordered to be bought by all congregations. This fact goes far to show the tendency in the first decade of the Reformation era to retain the old lessons in the public Service of the congregation. This appears also a 1531 from a statement in the Apology, Art. XXIV De Missa, “Sentantur usitater ceremoniae, publicee, ORDO LECTIONUM, orationum, vestitus et alia similia.”†

Footnote: † See Mueller’s edition. page 248.


On the other hand some of our most prominent Agenda recommend the Lectio Continua in the main Service, or propose a Mort of compromise measure. Among them the following deserve special attention: Prussia, 1525, by the Bishops Geo. v. Polenz and Erhard v, Queis. ‡“Zur Epistel soll der Priester ein halb oder ganz Capitel aus dem Neuen Testament, in Paulo anzufahen,

Footnote: * Afterwards the Epistle appointed for the day, sung in Latin and afterwards read In German to the people. (The same with the Gospel.)

Footnote: ‡ For the Epistle lesson the Pastor shall read a whole chapter or one-half from the New Testament, beginning with Paul, through all the Epistles and Acts of the Apostles, facing the people, reading distinctly in German, without accent, (that is, not intoning), that the words may be the better understood. … Afterwards the Deacon or Priest shall read a chapter, or one-half, of the Gospel, beginning with Matthew to the end of John, the same way as the Epistle.


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durch alle Episteln der Aposteln und Acta Apostolorum … gegen dem, Volk verstaendlich und Deutsch lesen und prononciren ohne Accent, damit die Worte so viel besser vernommen werden von den Umstaendern. … Darauf soll der Diener oder Priester ein ganz oder halb Capitel des Evangelions lesen, anzufahen vom Matthaeo bis zum Ende Johannis, mit der Form … wie bei der Epistel gemeldt ist.” Likewise Riga, 1530, which is based upon Prussia, 1525. Brandenburg-Nürnberg, 1533, *“Nach dem Qebet soll man lesen ein Capitel aus den Episteln der Aposteln, Pauli, Petri, oder Johannis, etc. Teutsch, das soll er also anfahen: Eure Liebe vernehme mit Fleiss, das erst Capitel der Epistel des heiligen Pauli, zun Roemern geschrieben. … Darnach soll er aber lesen ein Capitel aus dem Evangelio oder Geschichten der Apostel.” The so-called small Württemberg KO of 1536, composed by Schnepf and approved by Brentius, recommends the following arrangement: First, select passages for the treatment of the principal doctrines. Second, the customary Gospels so well known to the common people. Third, by and by in towns, or large boroughs, a whole Evangelist,—all these as texts for the sermon. In addition to this there is the provision that every Sunday or festival day, at the second tolling of the bell, the pastor or diaconus should ascend the pulpit, and read a chapter, beginning with Matthew and so on through the whole New Testament. “So wollen wir, dass alle Sonntag und Feiertag der Pfarrer oder sein Helfer, so er einen hat, auf die Kanzel steige, und mit guten, verstaendlichen Worten allda ein Capitel lese, also, dass er vorn anfahe in dem Evangelisten Matthaeo, und also fuer und fuer, bis zu End des Neuen Testaments darnach fange er wiederum vorne an.” The KO of Schwäbisch-Hall, 1543, composed by Brentius, which otherwise provides for a much fuller liturgical Service than Württemberg, 1536, has no reference to the Epistle at all, and says, after the Gradual, Hallelujah or Sequenz, “then the text of the Gospel on which the sermon is to be based.” “Darnach der Text des Evangelions darvon man predigen will.” Pfalz-Neuburg, 1542, chiefly the

Footnote: * After the Collect shall be read a chapter from the Epistles of Paul, Peter or John, in German. … Afterwards a chapter from the Gospel or the Acts.


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work of Osiander, introduces the reading of the Epistle at the proper place, after the Collect, and adds the following provision: “In order that the people, and the pastors themselves, may all the more be benefited thereby, they shall read the Epistles of Paul, Peter, John, and the Acts, all in their order, one after the other … except on high festivals which have their own lessons. The reading of the Gospel is to be after the same manner, which is here appointed for the Epistle.”

This tendency, however, to give preference to the Lectio confinua in the main Service, and to dispense with the reading of the old Pericopes, did not become the final and general practice of the Lutheran Church. Gradually, even in those districts where the Lectio Continua had been favored for a time, a reaction set in in favor of the ancient lessons. The continuous reading of Scripture was more and more assigned to the Week day Matins and Vespers, and for the main Service of Sundays and festivals the retention of the Epistles and Gospels became the common characteristic feature of the Lutheran Service. The controversies between Westphal and Calvin in the sixteenth, and, between Carpzov and the Pietists in the eighteenth century,* strongly testify to this fact, though we may not be willing to accept, at this present day, all the arguments then advanced in defence of the old order.

Footnote: * See Carpzov, De Pericopis non temere abrogandis. 1758.


We have yet to present as briefly as possible, some important and difficult questions which have in recent times engaged the attention of prominent scholars on this subject. The points at issue are these: How can we account for the differences existing between the system of Pericopes which is in common use with the Lutheran Church, and that which is found in the Roman Missal? Which of the two comes nearer the old order? And how far are we able to ascertain the original order of the Comes of Jerome?†

Footnote: † See R, v. Liliencron, Die altkirchlichen Unterlagen der Lutherischen Liturgie, Siona, 1897. pp. 41-48. Chorordnung fuer die Sonn-und-Fest-Tage des Evangelischen Kirchenjahres, entworfen und erlaeutert von Rochus Freiherr von Liliencron. Guetersloh. C. Bertelsmann. 1900. K. Giesecke, Sind wir verpflichtet unser Pericopensystem auf Grund des Roemischen zu revidieren? Siona. 1900. p. 170ff. p. 201ff.


The differences between our Lutheran Order and that of the


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Missale Romanum appear chiefly at the following points: The Sundays in Advent; the sixth Sunday after Epiphany and the second Sunday in Lent, (Reminiscere); and the whole line of the Trinity Sundays. v. Liliencron has shown conclusively that the differences are not due to any innovations which the Lutheran reformers would have introduced, in conscious and intentional opposition to the practice of the Roman Order. The Lutheran Church took the Pericopes essentially as she found them in the German Missals and Antiphonaries of the fifteenth century, without being aware of the possibility of discrepancies between the Order of these German Missals and the Roman Order. The authoritative Missale Romanum appeared in 1570 by order of the Council of Trent. The very date of its publication is sufficient to prove that the differences did not originate with the Lutherans. The question, however, arises, which of the two is nearer the original Order, the Lutheran or that of the Missale? v. Liliencron believes, the Missale. He holds that in its arrangement the Roman Church restored the correct ancient Order, and that, therefore, by the law of logical and historical consistency, we ought to feel ourselves constrained to revise our present Order of Pericopes, so as to bring it into full accord with the Order of the Missale. In his own Chorordnung, however, v. Liliencron does not carry out such an extreme and radical theory. Again and again he decides in favor of the accepted Lutheran Order over against the Nissale. Giesecke takes issue with Liliencron on the question of the correctness of the Missale. He comes to the conclusion that we need not think of revising our own Order so as to bring it into harmony with the Missale. He maintains in that our Lutheran system of Pericopes represents the old Order as far back as the close of the eighth century, in a remarkably pure and complete form. So far from recommending our own accommodation to the Missale he urges that the Missale adopt our Order.

Let us briefly consider the points of difference in detail.



Here the Missale Romanum has for the first Sunday the same Epistle which we have, but for the Gospel Luke 21: 25-33, with the exception of the three closing verses, our Gospel for the second Sunday in Advent. On the second Sunday in Advent the


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Missale has again our Epistle for that day, but its Gospel lesson is our Gospel for the third Sunday. For the third Sunday in Advent the Missale has our Epistle and Gospel lessons of the fourth. On the fourth Sunday in Advent the Missale has the Epistle of our third, (I Cor. 4:1-5), and for the Gospel, Luke 3:1-6. Our lessons, according to Giesecke, for all the Sundays in Advent are all supported by the oldest lectionaries, and our four Gospels by the testimony of the Homiliaiium of Charlemagne. v. Liliencron also adopts them all, with the one exception that on the third Sunday in Advent he inserts the Missale’s Gospel of the Fourth (Luke 3:1-6). He will not for a moment listen to a proposition to throw out our Gospel for the first Advent Sunday, on which so many of the finest Lutheran Advent hymns are based.

For the Christmas octave, (New Year’s Day) the Missale, with some of the old lectionaries, repeats the Epistle for Christmas, Tit. 2:11-14, while our Epistle, which is also approved by v. Liliencron, is based on the Comes (Edit. Pamelius), and some older Lectionaries.



The older lectionaries generally stop in their provision for the Epiphany Sundays with the fourth, (Homiliarium), or with fifth, for which the Comes (Edit. Pamelius) gives the beautiful and most appropriate Gospel, Matt. 11:25-30. (Also found the Edition of the German New Testament of 1528). Instead of this we have, in accord with the Missale and some old lectionaries, Matt. 13:24-30 which evidently found its place at this point in connection with the week day lessons, containing a number of parables representing the character of the kingdom of God. Our lessons for the sixth Sunday after Epiphany were inserted from the Missa de Transfiguratione, and, certainly a more appropriate Gospel selection for the last Sunday of the Epiphany season could not be imagined. v. Liliencron also agrees to this and retains it. This arrangement is generally ascribed to Lutheran influence, (Veit Dietrich?) though Luther in his Kirchenpostille ignores it. This Gospel passage is appointed in the Homiliarium and the Missale for the second Sunday in Lent. But here again


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our Gospel, Matt. 15:21-28, is supported by the oldest lectionaries, and again. v. Liliencron accepts it.



What is now our Trinity Sunday, or the Festival of the Holy Trinity, was originally, in the Order of the Church Year, simply the Octave of Pentecost, first Sunday after Pentecost. Only about the beginning of the fourteenth century this Sunday gradually changed its character from the first Sunday after Pentecost to the Festival of Trinity. For the latter the lessons of the Missale are Rom. 11, 33-36, and Matt. 28, 18-20. The Trinity Epistle of the Missale has been adopted in our Order, in place of the older Epistle, Revelation 4:1-8, which is retained in the Anglican Church. But our Gospel, John 3:1-15, is undoubtedly the old Gospel lesson for the Octave of Pentecost, as testified by the Comes. v. Liliencron also accepts it, though he calls it, wrongly, as we think, “the Gospel of the later Order.”

Our first Sunday after Trinity uses here the Epistle of the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Missale and inserts for the Gospel lesson the popular story of Dives and Lazarus.

Our fourth Sunday after Trinity uses for the Gospel lesson one of the lessons for the Pentecost Octave, Luke 6:36-42, shifting the Gospels of all the following Sundays after Trinity down to the twenty-fourth. But as the Epistles were left in their place, the whole De Tempore provision for each Sunday was disarranged, as v. Liliencron holds. As this disorder affects also the other De Tempore parts, v. Liliencron insists that every thing here ought to be rearranged on the basis of the Missale Romanum. Giesecke, however, maintains that the disorder is by no means so great, and decidedly opposes the idea of a reconstruction after the model of the Missale.

If we could even approximately ascertain the original Order of Jerome’s Comes, all these difficulties would easily settle themselves, and it would at once appear, which of the two Orders, the Lutheran or that of the Missale, is nearer to the original. But the Comes of Jerome is known to us only in the form of a fragment, or even of a ruin, as some liturgists view it. The two main sources for our knowledge of the Comes are the editions of Pamelius and Baluzius. Jacob Pamelius was a Roman Catholic theologian, born at Bruegge, 1536, died, 1587. In 1571, one


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year after the appearance of the Missale Romanum, he published the Comes of Jerome from a manuscript of the Cathedral of St. Donatianus in Bruegge, comparing also some other MSS. of Cologne. “Divi Hieronymi Comitem sive Lectionarium, uti recentiores nuncupant, e Bibliotheka et Sacrario Ecclesia, nostra Cathedralis Brugensis ad D. Donatiani descripsimus, deinde ad veteres codices aliquot Colonienses per Dn. Hittorpium collatione facta restituimus etc.” This codex is generally supposed to belong to the early part of the ninth century. It has no appointments for week days except Wednesdays and Fridays, and very few Saints’ days. Nebe thinks that it is of Gallican origin.

Stephan Baluzius, 1630-1718, was a French Jesuit, since 1667 librarian of the valuable Colbert library, and afterwards Rector of the Royal College. In 1677 he published the Comes of Theotinchus, belonging to the time of Louis the Pious, (Ludwig d. Fromme) in the beginning of the ninth century. In this codex the Trinity season is divided into sections named after the Natale Apostolorum, (June 29); St. Lorenz day, (August io) and Cyprian’s day, (September 16); while in the Codex of Pamelius these Sundays are simply mentioned as Sundays post Octavam Pentecostes.

Those who would like to have a convenient summary of the oldest sources for the Churchly system of Pericopes are referred to the following comparative table which shows side by side, the lessons for the Church Year as found in the Homiliarium, in Pamelius and Baluzius. A study of this table will convince the impartial reader that Giesecke is not far from the truth when he claims for the Pericopes as found in our Lutheran Order the oldest and most correct historical arrangement.





(From Nebe’s Pericopes. Vol. I, pp. 100-102.)



1 Advent                                 Matt. 21, 1 sqq.                            Rom. 13, 11 sqq.

                                                                                                        Matt. 21, 1 sqq.

2 Advent                                 Luke 21, 25 sqq.                           Rom. 15, 4 sqq.

                                                                                                        Luke 21, 25 sqq.

3 Advent                                 Matt. 9, 2 sqq.                              I Cor. 4, 1 sqq.                         1 Cor. 4, 1-15

                                                                                                        Luke 11, 2 sqq.                        John 1, 19-28


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4 Advent                                 John 1, 19 sqq.                             Phil. 4, 3 sqq.                           Phil. 4, 3-7

                                                  Mark 1, 1 sqq.                              John 1, 19 sqq.                        John 1, 19-28

Vigils                                        Matt. 1, 18 sqq,                            Isa. 62, 1 sqq.                           Rom. 1, 1-6

                                                  Luke 2, 1 sqq.                               Rom. 1, 1 sqq.                         Isa. 62, 1-4

                                                  Luke 2, 15 sqq.                             Matt. 1, 18, sqq.                      Matt. 1, 18-27

                                                                                                                                                         Titus 2, 11-15

                                                                                                                                                         Isa. 9, 2-7

                                                                                                                                                         Luke 2, 1-14

Christmas                                John 1, 1 Sqq.                              (1) Isa. 9, 2 sqq.                       (1) Titus 3, 4-7

                                                                                                        Titus 2, 11 sqq.                        Isa. 61, 1-9.

                                                                                                        Luke 2, 1 sqq.                          Luke 2, 15-20

                                                                                                        (2) Isa. 61, 1 sqq.                     (2) Heb. 1, 1-12

                                                                                                        Titus 3, 4 sqq.                          Isa. 52, 6-10

                                                                                                        Luke 2, 15 sqq.                        John 1, 1-14

                                                                                                        (3) Heb. 1, 1 sqq.                   

                                                                                                         John 1, 1 sqq.                        

St. Stephen                             Matt. 23, 34 sqq.                          Acts 6, 8 sqq.                           Acts 6, 8-7, 59

                                                                                                        Matt. 23, 34                             Matt . 23, 34-39

Sun. aft. Christmas                Luke 2, 33 sqq.                                                                              Gal. 4, 1-7

                                                                                                                                                         Luke 2, 33-40

Circumcision                          Luke 2, 21                                    Gal. 3, 23 sqq.                          Titus 2, 11-15

                                                                                                        Luke 2, 21 sqq.                        Luke 2, 21-32

Vigils                                        Matt. 2, 19 sqq.                            Rom. 8, 19 sqq.                       Titus 3, 4-7.

                                                                                                        Matt. 2, 19 sqq.                       Matt. 2, 19-23.

Epiphany                                Matt. 2, 1 sqq.                              Isa. 60, 1 sqq.                           Isa. 60, 1-6

                                                                                                        Matt. 2, 1 sqq.                         Matt. 2, 1-12

Octave                                     John 1, 29 sqq.                             Isa. 12, 1 sqq.                           Isa. 12, 1-15

                                                  Matt. 3 , 1 sqq.                             Isa. 61, 1 sqq.                           John 1, 29-34

                                                                                                        John 1, 29 sqq,                       

1st S. after Epiph.                  Luke 2, 41 sqq,                             Rom. 12, 1 sqq.                       Rom. 12, 1-5

                                                                                                        Luke 2, 41 sqq.                        Luke 2, 41-52

2d S. after Epiph.                  John 2, 1 sqq.                               Rom. 12, 6 sqq.                       Rom. 12, 6-16

                                                                                                        John 2, 1 sqq.                          John 2, 1-11

3d S. after Ep.                        Matt. 8, 1 sqq.                              Rom. 12, 17 sqq.                     Rom. 12, 17-21

                                                                                                        Matt. 8, 1 sqq.                         Matt. 8, 1-13

4th S. after Ep.                       Matt. 8, 23 sqq.                            Rom. 13, 8 sqq.                       Rom. 13, 8-10

                                                                                                        Matt. 8, 23 sqq.                       Matt. 8, 23-27

5th S. after Ep.                       Matt. 11, 25 sqq.                          Col. 3, 12 sqq.                          Col. 3. 12-17

                                                                                                        Matt. 11, 25 sqq.                     Matt. 11, 25-30

Septuagesima                         Matt. 20, 1 sqq.                            1 Cor. 9, 24 sqq.                      1 Cor. 9 24-10, 4

                                                                                                        Matt. 20, 1 sqq.                       Matt. 24, 1-16

Sexagesima                              Luke 8, 4 sqq.                               2 Cor. 11, 19 sqq.                    2 Cor. 11, 19-12, 9

                                                                                                        Luke 8, 4 sqq.                          Luke 8, 4-15

Quinquagesima                      Luke 18, 31 sqq.                           1 Cor. 13, 1 sqq.                      1 Cor. 13, 1-13

                                                                                                        Luke 18, 31 sqq.                      Luke 18, 31-43

1st S. in Lent                           Matt. 4, 1 sqq.                              2 Cor. 6, 1 sqq.                        2 Cor. 6, 1-10

                                                                                                        Matt. 4, 1 sqq.                         Matt. 4, 1-11

2d S. in Lent.                          Matt. 15, 21 sqq.                          1 Thess. 4,1 sqq.                      1 Thess. 4, 1-7

                                                                                                        Matt. 15, 21 sqq.                     Matt. 15, 21-28

3d S. in Lent                           Luke 11, 14 sqq.                           Eph. 5, 1 sqq.                          Ephes. 5, 1-9

                                                                                                        Luke 11, 14 sqq.                      Luke 11, 14-28

4th S. in Lent                          John 6, 1 sqq.                               Gal. 4, 22 sqq.                          Gal. 4, 22-5, 1

                                                                                                        John 6, 1 sqq.                          John 6, 1-14

5th S. in Lent                          John 8, 46 sqq.                             Hebr. 9, 11 sqq.                       Heb. 9, 11-15

                                                                                                        John 8, 46 sqq.                        John 8, 46-59

Palm S.                                     Matt. 21, 1 sqq.                            Phil. 2, 5-11                             Phil. 2, 5-11

                                                                                                        Matt. 26, 2 sqq.                       Matt. 26, 2-27, 66

Holy Thursday                      John 13, 1 sqq.                             1 Cor. 11, 20 sqq.                    1 Cor. 11, 20-32

                                                                                                        John 13, 1 sqq.                        John 13, 1-32

Good Friday                                                                                Hosea 5, 15 sqq.                      Hosea 5, 15-6, 6

                                                                                                        Exod. 12, 1 sqq.                      Exod. 12, 1-11

                                                                                                        John 18, 1 sqq.                        John 18, 1-19, 42

Vigils                                        Matt. 28, 1 sqq.                            Col. 3, 1 sqq.                            Col. 3, 1-4

                                                                                                        Matt. 28, 1 sqq.                       Matt, 28, 1-7


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Easter                                      Mark 10, 1 sqq.                            1 Cor. 5, 7 sqq.                        1 Cor. 5, 7-8

                                                                                                        Mark 16, 1 sqq.                        Mark 16, 1-7

Easter Monday                      Luke 24, 18 sqq.                           Acts 10, 86 aqq.                       Acts 10, 36-43

                                                                                                        Luke 24, 18 sqq.                      Luke 24, 18-35

Octave                                     John 20, 10 sqq.                           1 John 5, 4 sqq.                       1 John 5, 4-10

                                                                                                        John 20, 19 sqq.                      John 20, 24-31

2d S. after Easter                   John 10, 12 sqq.                           1 Pet. 2, 21 sqq.                       1 Pet. 2, 21-26

                                                                                                        John 10, 12 sqq.                      John 10, 12-16

2d S. after Easter                   John 113, 10 sqq.                         1 Pet. 2, 11 sqq.                       1 Pet . 2, 11-19

                                                                                                        John 16, 16 sqq.                      John 16, 16-22

4th S. after Easter                  John 10, 5 sqq.                             James 1, 17 sqq.                       James 1, 17-21

                                                                                                        John 16, 5 sqq.                        John 16, 5-14

5th S. after Easter                  John 10, 23 sqq.                           James 1, 22 sqq.                       James 1, 22-27

                                                                                                        John 16, 23 sqq.                      John 16, 23-80

Ascension Day                       John 17, 1 sqq.                             Acts 1, 1 sqq.                           Acts 1, 1-11

                                                                                                        Mark 16, 14 sqq.                      Mark 16, 14-20

S. after Ascension                  John 15, 26 sqq.                           1 Pet. 4, 8 sqq.                         1 Pet. 4, 8-11

                                                                                                        John 15, 26 sqq.                      John 15, 26-16, 4

Vigils                                        John 14, 15 sqq.                           Gen. 1, 1 sqq,                          Gen. 22, 1-19

                                                                                                             22, 1 sqq.

                                                                                                        Exod. 14, 24 sqq.                    Deut. 32, 22-30

                                                                                                        Deut. 31, 22 sqq.                     Isa. 4, 1-6

                                                                                                        Isa. 4, 1 sqq.                             Baruch 3, 9-38

                                                                                                        Baruch 3, 9                             Acts 19, 1-8

                                                                                                        Acts 19, 1 sqq.                         John 14, 15-21

                                                                                                        John 14, 15 sqq.

Whitsunday                            John 14, 23 sqq.                           Acts 2, 1 sqq.                           Acts 2, 1-11

                                                  John 3, 16 sqq.                             John 14, 23 sqq.                      John 14, 23-31

Oct. Pent.                               John 3, 1 sqq.                               Rev. 4, 1 sqq.                           Rev. 4, 1-9

                                                  John 15, 26 sqq.                           Acts 5, 29 sqq.                         John 3, 1-15

                                                                                                        John 3, 1 sqq.

D. 2. p. P. (2d S.                     Luke 16, 19 sqq.                           1 John 4, 16 sqq.                     1 John 4, 16-21

     after Pentecost)                                                                      Luke 16, 19 sqq.                      Luke 16, 19-31

D. 3. P. P. (3d S.                     Luke 14, 16 sqq.                           1 John 3, 13 sqq.                     I John 3, 13-18

     after Pentecost)                                                                      Luke 14, 16 sqq.                      Matt. 5, 20-24

D. 4. p. P.                                Luke 15, 1 sqq.                             I Pet. 5, 6 sqq.                          1 Pet. 5, 6-11

                                                                                                        Luke 15, 1 sqq.                        Luke 15, 1-10

D. 5. p. P.                                Luke 6, 36 sqq.                             Rom. 8, 18 sqq.                       Rom. 8, 18-23

                                                                                                        Luke 6, 36 sqq.                        Luke 6, 36-42

D. 6. p. P.                                Luke 5, 1 sqq.                               I Pet. 3, 8 sqq.                          I Pet. 3, 8-15

                                                                                                        Luke 5, 1 sqq.                          Luke 5, 1-11

D. 7. p. P.                                Matt. 5, 20 sqq.                            Rom. 6, 3 sqq.                         Matt 7, 15-21

                                                                                                        Matt. 5, 20 sqq.

D. 8. p. P.                                Mark 8, 1 sqq.                              Rom. 6, 19 sqq.

                                                                                                        Mark 8, 1 sqq.

D. 9. p. P.                                Matt. 7, 15 sqq.                            Rom. 8, 12 sqq.

                                                                                                        Matt. 7, 15 sqq.

D. 10. p. P.                              Luke 16, 1 sqq.                             1 Cor. 10, 6 sqq.

                                                                                                        Luke 16, 1 sqq.

D. 11. p. P.                              Luke 19, 41 sqq.                           1 Cor. 12, 2 sqq.                      Rom. 8, 1-6

                                                                                                        Luke 19, 41 sqq.                      Luke 16, 1-9

D. 12. p. P.                              Luke 18, 9 8qq.                            1 Cor. 15, 1 sqq.                      Rom. 8, 12-17

                                                                                                        Luke 18, 9 sqq.                        Luke 10, 25-37

D. 13. p. P.                              Mark 7, 31 sqq.                            2 Cor. 3, 4 sqq.                        1 Cor. 15, 3946

                                                                                                        Mark 7, 31 sqq.                        Luke 18, 9-14

D. 14. p. P.                              Luke 10, 23 sqq.                           Gal. 3, 16 sqq.

                                                                                                        Luke 10, 23 sqq.

D. 15. p. T.                              Luke 17, 11 sqq.                           Gal. 5, 16 sqq.                          2 Cor. 5, 1-10

                                                                                                        Luke 17, 11 sqq.                      Mark 7, 81-87

D. 16. p. T.                              Matt. 6, 24 sqq.                            Gal. 5, 25 sqq.                          Luke 10, 28-87

                                                                                                        Matt. 6, 24 sqq.

D. 17. p. T.                              Luke 7, 11 sqq.                             Ephes, 3, 13 sqq.                     Gal. —

                                                                                                        Luke 7, 11 sqq.                        Luke 17, 11-19.

D. 18. p. T.                              Luke 14, 1 sqq.                             Ephes. 4, 1 sqq.                       Gal. 5, 16-24

                                                                                                        Luke 14, 1 sqq.                        Matt.6, 24-33

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D. 19. p. T.                              Matt. 22, 34 sqq.                          1 Cor. 1, 4 sqq.                        Gal. 5, 25-6, 10

                                                                                                        Matt. 22, 34 sqq.                     Luke 7, 11-16

D. 20. p. T.                              Matt. 9, 1 sqq.                              Ephes. 4, 23 sqq.                     Ephes. 4, 1-6

                                                                                                        Matt. 9, 1 sqq.                         Luke 14, 1-11

D. 21. p. T.                              Matt. 22, 1 sqq.                            Ephes. 5, 15 sqq.                     1 Cor. 1, 4-8

                                                                                                        Matt. 22, 1 sqq.                       Matt. 22, 23-33

D. 22. p. T.                              John 4, 47 sqq.                             Ephes. 6, 10 sqq.                     Ephes. 4, 28-28

                                                                                                        John 4, 47 sqq.                        Matt. 9, 1-8

D. 23. p. T.                              Matt. 18, 23 sqq,                          Phil. 1, 3 sqq.                           Ephes. 5, 15-21

                                                                                                        Matt. 18, 23 sqq.                     Matt. 18, 23-35

D. 24. p. T.                              Matt. 22, 15 sqq.                          Phil. 3, 17 sqq.                        

                                                                                                        Matt. 22, 15 sqq.                    

D. 25. p. T.                              Matt. 9, 18 sqq.                            Rom. 11, 25 sqq.                    

                                                                                                        Mark 12, 28 sqq.                     

D. 26. p. T.                              John 6, 5 sqq.                               Jer. 23, 5 sqq.                          

                                                                                                        John 6, 5 sqq.



Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, Pa.


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AT the beginning of the sixteenth century the reformatory tendencies, which afterwards divided Christendom, were included within “the Holy Catholic Church” owning allegiance to the Roman pontiff. The ferment was not confined to the Teutonic nations. It may be said that the earlier movement in Spain prevented the complete overthrow of the Pope and gave the note of the counter-reformation. There was a considerable lack of uniformity in the Service of the Church, and the writers on the Roman side acknowledge that abuses had crept in. A reformed Breviary was proposed but not adopted. The issue of these movements in the Roman Church was the attainment of a higher degree of uniformity through the reformed Breviary and Missal which the Council of Trent authorized the Pope to publish. A second main issue was the doctrine of sacrifice. There can be no doubt that the doctrine of a propitiatory offering in the Mass was recognized before this period and was a legitimate development of teachings and tendencies prevalent in the Church since the third century. This is not the place to account for this, or to estimate its relation to the Gospel. But that this theory was not accepted by all, may be seen from the various theories of the sacrifice in the Mass which were urged by the Conservatives in the compromise-propositions during the Reformation period. For a more particular account of them I may refer to my articles on The Three Interims in the Lutheran Church Review and on The Liturgy in the Lutheran Cyclopaedia. The Reformers rejected the theory of a sacrifice in the Mass, and thereby cut away the root of the false theories and actual abuses of which all complained. The Conservatives—those fair-minded men who fain would have preserved a fidelity to the Scriptures and conscience 


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without breaking with the visible Church, and therefore sought a formula which both Romanists and Reformers could subscribe,—urged many theories of sacrifice. It is noteworthy that in the earlier period these are more liberal, more Lutheran; while in the later they become more uncompromising. Even in the Council of Trent a few voices urged the vanishing criticism, arguing that if the Lord offered Himself in the Supper, there was nothing left to do upon the Cross. But the Council cut away the more moderate views and established the fundamental principle of the Roman Service, namely, that the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice for the quick and the dead, and may be offered to God to obtain various temporal blessings.

The period of the Reformation, therefore, is a period of development of the Roman liturgy. It issued in the extrusion of various forms and doctrines of the Mass; in a vigorous uniformity; and in the fixation of the sacrificial theory.

The Protestants were at one in rejection of this theory. Pope Leo XIII touches the very nerve of Protestantism when (from his standpoint) he denies the validity of the Orders of the English Church, because no one of its priests has been ordained to be a sacrificing priest. The result of this rejection of the doctrine that the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice, is a new conception of the Divine Service, a conception practically new to the Church after a mistaken theory had obtained for many centuries. The worship of the Church no longer was regarded as something done for the people by a priesthood; and which even might be done for them in their absence. But here a new division arose among the Protestants themselves. On the one hand, Christian worship was regarded as something done simply by the people. Freed from the compulsion of the Church, these accepted the Scriptures as a new law. The Church was held to be bound by the example of the Church in the New Testament time. As the New Testament Church did, so must the Churches do forever, no more, no less. And of consequence, there grew up (just as had been the case in the post-Apostolic period) a notion of the binding authority of the Old Testament law. The people had part in the Service. In some places a ministry was superfluous. Sermons were demanded. And no songs were admitted but those of Holy Scripture itself. Hymns of human composition were forbidden. The Church was thrown back upon Holy Writ itself for all the


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material of worship. (See Encyclopaedia Britannica on Hymns.) But there was another line of development. The use of the vernacular was insisted on, of course. But, besides, the other tongues were employed which were representative of the history of the Church. While the Gospels and Epistles were read in German, they might be first read in Latin too; and if the Creed and the sacred songs were translated and versified for the people’s use, they were also sung in Latin; the Greek Kyrie could not be taken from the people; and Amen and Hosanna were sacred legacies from the Hebrews. This was not through impotence, or for music’s sake only, but it was a recognition of the Divine element in the historical development of the Church. The same principle rescued the framework and purer constituents of the Western liturgy, to which, not the first century only, but all Christian centuries, had contributed. The people had their part in the Service. To give them this the Old Testament Psalms were rejuvenated in German versions; which were not translations either prose or in verse, but fresh outpourings of Christian faith, as, for example, the version of the forty-sixth Psalm in Ein’ feste Burg. So the Liturgical Songs were turned into rhymed German hymns. Some of these were happy, some were not. But they answered to a principle. Not only were they in rhyme, instead of in the parallelisms of Hebrew poetry, so that the people could remember and sing them more easily; but the necessary Christianization of the Old Testament Psalms, which all of us attempt by ignoring some things they say and injecting a fuller meaning than their inspired authors could conceive, and which the Church attempted in former ages by means of Antiphons before and after, and which other Protestants helplessly resigned, the Lutheran Reformation successfully accomplished by means of a new and Christian psalmody, in native German forms, fresh, and of inexhaustible volume. Here the people found their part in the Service. But the Service was not merely sacrificial; before all things it was sacramental. This was its fundamental character, and the songs of the people only answered to the gift of God it brought. The ministry instituted by God were stewards of His mysteries. They absolved. They ministered His saving Word. They are the hands and lips whereby Christ gives His Body and Blood, His forgiveness, Himself.

It may be asked whether the liturgical development of the


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Reformation period was complete. No development of a living organism can have been complete long ago. The Roman Catholic Church has adhered to its rule of uniformity and to the principle of a propitiatory sacrifice; but there have been attempts to render the Service in the vernacular, to read the Gospels and Epistles in it, and to admit songs of the people. It must be admitted also that the Lutheran development of the liturgy was not complete in the sixteenth century. The relegation to a second place of the principle of uniformity, the assertion of the sacramental principle and the rejection of the propitiatory, and the claim of the people to spontaneous utterance, were established. But external events arrested the free criticism of the forms of worship. Certain temporary elements of expression hardened and were made a fetish. This was seen when, in the next century, after the devastations of war and the excitement of controversy, old forms out of which the life had departed, were restored. It would not be true to the spirit of the Reformation to reinstall the exact Service of the German Churches of the sixteenth century. The Common Service of our Churches is as Lutheran as it was and more Lutheran than it would be to-day.



Reading, Pa.


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“FOR all the destructive processes which later on made themselves felt in the Lutheran churches of Germany the historic beginnings and elucidation must be sought in the period of restoration which followed the Thirty Years’ War and extended into the first decades of the eighteenth century.” With these words Kliefoth begins his dissertation on the Destruction of the Lutheran Orders of Service. That prolonged contest had brought disaster not only to the national, but also to the religious life of Germany. “The whole land had been tortured, torn to pieces, wrecked and brayed as in a mortar.”* The war had not been carried on by disciplined armies, but by adventurous hordes, which swept over the country in search of plunder, burnt its towns and villages, and turned entire provinces into deserts. Hundreds of churches and schools were closed. Two-thirds of the native population disappeared, only to give place by degrees to a new vagabond element brutalized by warfare, unaccustomed to work, and with no bond of blood and traditional customs to hold it together. The princes too, lost their German sympathies and habits, and by frequent contact with the court of France during the reign of Louis XIV rapidly imbibed that monarch’s autocratic and extravagant ideas. “Instead of studying the general welfare, they cruelly wrang from exhausted states the largest possible revenue to support a lavish and ridiculous expenditure. The pettiest princeling had his army, his palaces, his multitudes of household officers; and most of them pampered every vulgar appetite without respect either to morality or decency.” †

Footnote: * Carlyle.

Footnote: † Encyclopaedia Britannica.


Such were the conditions that succeeded the Thirty Years,


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War,—conditions that gave rise to a problem far more difficult of solution than that which confronted the Reformers of the preceding century. The latter entered upon their work at a time of real hunger and thirst for the Gospel. The masses, together with many of the princes, were therefore responsive; they received the Gospel with grateful hearts; in the purified Orders of Service which came with the restored Gospel, these vitalized hearts found the appropriate vehicle for the expression of their faith and love; and thus the form itself became a thing of life because life was breathed into it.

Altogether different was the problem at the middle of the seventeenth century. It was not the problem of renovation but of restoration; not the work of purifying the Church’s faith and practice, which had already been done, but the much more difficult task of again bringing the purified faith and practice into the consciousness and life of a people demoralized by war, having no real hunger and thirst for the Gospel, and therefore not responsive to it as the masses of the preceding century had been.

The first step in the process of restoration was the reissue and fresh promulgation of the KOO (Church Orders), many of which had been destroyed by the war, and none of which were operative. These, with numerous additions and new provisions, were meant to reestablish order in the churches. But the fatal defect of these revised Orders was their bureaucratic character. The conceptions underlying many of their new provisions were legalistic and often dogmatically unsound; obedience was to be effected not solely by the power of evangelical truth as in the sixteenth century, but rather by threats of punishment for disobedience; and the result was that the very idea of the Church and its purpose became externalized, grades and hierarchical tendencies began to manifest themselves in its ministry, and, when at last the Church became a mere department of the civil government, the latter not only undertook to regulate the more external parochial affairs, but even to prescribe what liturgies, hymn-books and doctrinal standards should be used.

It is not difficult to understand how all this affected the Church’s worship. The disciplinary measures in force indeed filled the churches; but those who gathered in them came rather in obedience to custom and external requirement than to satisfy an internal need. The conception of the healthful relation that


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must subsist between the sacramental and the sacrificial had become obscured; with many faith had degenerated into a matter of the intellect rather than of the heart; a false estimate was placed upon the purely objective; undue stress was laid upon the external act; mere presence in God’s house and at the Lord’s Table was deemed sufficient; and thus worship itself became externalized. The form still remained, but it was now a thing without life, because those who used it no longer had life to breathe into it.

The reaction against a one-sided, lifeless orthodoxy and its consequent formalism came in the Pietistic movement, which however soon proved to be as intensely and one-sidedly subjective as orthodoxy had been objective. It was the professed purpose of Pietism to make the truth vital, and to convert “the outward orthodox confession into an inner living theology of the heart,” the evidence of which was to be seen in a godly life. To bring about this result it adopted new methods and went new ways. Though at first by no means disposed to break with the confessions, institutions and usages of the Church, it nevertheless deemed it necessary to supplement these. To the public meetings for worship, public communion, and private confession and absolution, it added private religious meetings in houses (collegia pietatis), private communion, and private religious conversation in the pastor’s study. Thus Pietism endeavored to bring the Church into the house, a living Christianity into every-day life, so that not only public worship might again become a worship in spirit and in truth, but that the whole walk and conversation of each one might be a sacrifice well-pleasing to God.

But the very methods by which the earlier Pietism hoped to revive spiritual life ultimately proved destructive to the Church’s Cultus. Whilst Spener regarded these methods only as additional and not as antagonistic means, the later Pietism made them the chief means. Its idea of edification was in its way as narrow as that held by Orthodoxy. The latter made edification to consist chiefly in the furtherance of Christian knowledge, Pietism in the promotion of Christian life, i. e., of godliness. But Pietism conceived of godliness not in its broader sense as it is also related to and includes man’s duties to the world about him, but rather as that, isolated state of being, devoted to pious contemplations and reflections, which finds its supreme delight in the quiet spir-


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itual exercises of the closet and in communion with God. Thus the objective and sacramental elements came to be underestimated to the same extent that Orthodoxy had overestimated them, and public worship became more and more subjective and sacrificial. Its value and the value of its component parts were gauged altogether according to subjective results; the claim was made that spiritual life could be awakened only by those who were themselves spiritually alive; and edification was sought not so much in the worship of the whole congregation as in the exercises of the small private assemblies. This, however, was virtually putting the awakened personality above the Means of Grace, the ecclesiolae in ecclesia above the ecclesia.

Now the destructive process began in earnest. The personal, subjective element and individual experience were struggling for expression. The more the personal character and the spiritual ripeness of the officiating minister came to be looked upon as conditioning edification—and indeed the saving efficacy of the Word itself, the greater became the antipathy to everything that limited freedom of expression, and the higher was the estimate placed upon those acts of public worship that could serve as a channel for the utterance of individual reflections and emotions. Thus the fixed, liturgical element was made to yield to the subjective element; extempore prayer was substituted for the Church prayer; the objective Church hymn gave way to hymns descriptive of the soul’s changing conditions, experiences and feelings; the hymn-books were arranged according to the Order of Salvation instead of the Church Year; new melodies suited to the emotional character of the new hymns displaced the vigorous old Church tunes; the sentimental aria and strains patterned after the prevailing style in opera completely crowded out the noble polyphonic choir music of the early masters; the order of the Christian Year was broken in the choice of texts;*—in a word, what Pietism set out to do finally resulted not in bringing about again a proper union between the objective and the subjective, but in the overthrow of the former and the triumph of the latter.

Footnote: * Thus Gottfried Arnold spoke of the system of Pericopes as “a vicious and abominable mutilation of the Bible;” and Spener himself declared: “How I wish, with all my heart, that our Church had never adopted the use of the Pericopes, but had either allowed a free choice, or else had made the Epistles instead of the Gospels the chief texts.”


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The sacramental and the sacrificial were divorced, and the sacrificial alone remained. Public worship ceased to be a celebration of redemption, and became only an act of edification. From the one extreme of a frigid orthodoxy and its resultant formalism, the pendulum had swung to the other extreme of an emotional piety that regarded all fixed forms and churchly order as a detriment to spiritual life, and a hinderance to its expression.

But far more destructive was the influence of Rationalism. “In Rationalism, reason is the sole arbiter. What reason cannot comprehend and accept can never form part of the Rationalist’s conviction. His consciousness is homogeneous, and his intellect consistent throughout. To him Scripture is like any other book. He accepts it only when it agrees with his opinions, and then only as an illustration and affirmation, not as an authority.”* With such a view of Scripture, it is evident that Rationalism could have no sympathy with a Cultus that was in every part a confession of the faith which it rejected. Whilst Pietism regarded the historic Service as too objective and sacramental, and therefore broke with its fixed forms rather than with its contents, Rationalism rejected both its forms and its contents. What sort of appreciation for the Church Year could a theology have that based its belief not on the great historic facts of redemption, but on its own speculations? How could such a religion of reason permit the Service on its sacramental side to remain what it originally was in the Lutheran Church,—a real communication of Divine grace through the audible and visible Word? What spiritual pleasure could it find in the hymns and prayers and liturgical formularies in which the living faith begotten by Word and Sacrament was once wont to bring its sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise? Or how could it even understand the meaning of a Cultus with whose history it did not care to become familiar, and that stood for a past to which it was absolutely indifferent?

Footnote: * Reinhart.


Like the later Pietism, so Rationalism could not tolerate the fixed and recurring, but was ever seeking something new, to the confusion of the congregation and the ever-increasing destruction of the Liturgy. Under its influence the Church edifice became a mere lecture-hall, and the minister a moral instructor, unfettered by anything traditional and fixed, and therefore free to say and


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do in public worship what he pleased; the Church Year was rearranged and to a great extent abolished; the Chief Service was mutilated beyond recognition; the Minor Services with their scheme of Lessons fell into decay; all the most ancient and beautiful liturgical parts-Introits, Kyries, Creed, Prefaces, Litany, Canticles, etc., were consigned to oblivion; the brief, sententious old Collects were exchanged for verbose and sentimental new fabrications; the Words of Institution and Distribution, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Benediction were recast; the great Church hymns were diluted and “modernized,” or else gave way entirely to new ones reflecting the moralizing, sentimentalizing spirit of the age; and with the old hymns also disappeared the vigorous and fresh rhythm of the old melodies, and the very last trace of a proper churchly style in the music of the sanctuary. Even the so-called “Ministerial Acts” became individual products, and were “made up” in a moralizing fashion as the occasion and circumstances seemed to demand, or were taken from one or the other of the many private Agendas that made their appearance.* Thus what Pietism began, but did not really mean to do, Rationalism finished, and the destruction of the Church Service was complete.


Footnote: * Thus Sintenis wrote: “Inasmuch as teaching is the chief vocation of an evangelical minister, the teacher must become prominent in every function be is called upon to perform. Hence, he must endeavor not only to make his specific lectures (Lehrvortraege) as instructive as possible, but also every so-called ministerial act.” And again the same writer says: “How unendurable it must become to people of culture to have to listen to an everlasting sameness at the performance of religious acts which they should look upon with respect! Should this unpleasant feeling not influence them unfavorably even against the acts themselves, how disgusting it must be to a minister who has come to a proper appreciation of the dignity of his calling(!), to have to read off the same formulary again and again, and thus make it seem to him(!) as if he were doing his holy work in a mere mechanical and thoughtless manner!”

Of private Agendas and Collections of Forms and Prayers may be mentioned: Zollikofer: Anreden und Gebete beim gemeinschaftl. und auch haeusl. Gottesd. 1777.—Seiler: Versuch einer Christl.-evangel. Liturgie. 1782.—Kleine auserlesene liturg. Bibliothek, 6 Bde. 1793.—Koester: Allgem. Altarliturgie. 1799.—Gutbier: Liturg. Handbuch zum Gebrauch fuer Prediger bei kirchl. Verrichtungen. 1805.—Sintenis: Agende. 1809.—Busch: Agende fuer evangel. Christen. 1821.

In Hanover the Consistory in the year 180 granted pastors the right, “after careful examination and consideration, and after consultation with the more cultured members of their congregations” to propose and make alterations and improvements in the Service, by omissions and additions, changes in the phraseology, etc., as local circumstances in each case might require; also to use “other new Agendas and private collections of liturgical compositions (!), especially when called on to officiate before an audience of more than average intelligence, or to perform ministerial acts in houses.”


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A few extracts from Agendas of this period will serve to illustrate their general character:


(For the baptism of a child of well-to-do, cultured and highly respected parents.)

Exposed to danger man comes into the world-danger that threatens alike the life of child and mother: but of this danger and the struggle only the mother is conscious, and the more painfully so, because a life almost as precious as her own, is at stake. Thanks be to Thee, Thou all-governing Providence, for the preservation of this dear child and its noble mother in the momentous hour of its birth! Thanks for the health of both, and for the favorable conditions under which this child begins its earthly career! Before its birth it was looked for with ardent expectation; and from the moment of its appearance it became the highest joy of its parents, whilst innumerable children are received by father and mother with indifference, yea, even with disfavor, and are taken altogether no notice of by the rest of the world.

Abundant provision had already been made in advance for the needs of this new arrival, and in all human probability it will in the future not lack the necessaries and comforts of life, nor be denied a careful bringing up in mind and heart, whilst many thousands of infants waste away in dire poverty or else will be obliged for a life-time to struggle with the errors, needs and imperfections that result from insufficient training of their spiritual faculties. Mayest thou, dear child, in time to come, gratefully recognize thy earthly good fortune, of which thou now knowest as little as of the higher spiritual happiness (geistigen Glücke) to which thy baptism would lead thee; and mayest thou prove a benefactor of others as God is thine.

It is the purpose of thy good parents to train thee to become a worthy recipient of temporal blessings; and in this they will doubtless succeed if they will faithfully fulfill the pious vows


Footnote: * Evangelische Kirchen-Agende fuer P:rediger welche an keine Landesliturgie ausschliesslich gebunden sind. VON J. F. SCHLEZ, Grossh. Hess. Kirchenrath, Dr. Theol. Giessen, 1834.


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with which they to-day also unite their prayers for thy spiritual good. It must, however, then be thy serious endeavor to become what thou already unconsciously art—the greatest joy of their life.

With the parents of this subject, you, esteemed sponsors, likewise enter into a beautiful covenant for its bringing up, inasmuch as you bring the dear child to this holy act of Christian consecration, and permit it, by means of the symbolical sprinkling of water, to be solemnly received into the congregation of those who as the confessors of Jesus should be cleansed of their sins. But, inasmuch as that faith which alone can give real value to baptism is still wanting in this child, the question is asked, whether it is the firm resolve of yourself and these dear parents, that the ward entrusted to you of God, after it has become receptive, shall be carefully instructed in the Christian faith and brought up to be a voluntary, upright confessor and adherent of the religion of Jesus?


You will now also give the child baptismal names, which will serve constantly to remind it and its parents of the vows made to-day. How shall it be named?

N. N.

I therefore baptize thee, dear N. N. to the glory of God the Father, of His Son Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost.

Laying his hand on the head of the child the Minister shall say:

May God preserve thy life, dear child, so that thou mayest learn to know the bliss-giving Christian faith into which thou hast now been baptized, live in accordance with it, and for thyself experience the truth of the promise: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Amen.—

Water, an element required by the whole of nature, has thus been the emblem of thy Christian consecration, dear child. May the religion of Jesus become the element of thy entire moral life!

Water is the common property of the rich and the poor, the high and the low. Thus also the religion of Jesus is intended for all: and to thee, dear child, as we hope to God, it will come of purer quality and in larger measure than to countless others.

Water, the best means for cleansing the body, is the most fitting emblem of soul-purity. May thy heart remain pure and thy life unspotted, thou still innocent angel!


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Water contains great and refreshing potencies for our bodies. Still greater healing-powers for the soul are contained in the genuine Christian belief. May the religion of Jesus prove to thee, dear child, a never-failing source of moral health!

Water is related to heaven and earth, rises from the latter to the former, and falls down from the former upon the latter. May thy whole life, dear child, be directed toward the higher, heavenly things! Mayest thou often lift thy heart toward heaven and bring down for thyself the heavenly into the earthly!

Water, so often scorned by those in health, is generally the last physical refreshment of the dying. May the religion of Jesus be and remain throughout thy entire life thy daily refreshment ! May it be to thee and to us all a quickening draught in life’s sufferings, until we reach that better land, where we shall hunger and thirst no more! Amen.


In the Agenda by Sintenis we read in the


Let us do as the Apostles did, and not come to the Altar to receive a sacrament, but to bring our sacrament(!) thither,” viz., “the obligation to hold fast His teachings, which bring us so much happiness, and always and everywhere to show public spirit, as He did.”

In an Exhortation to newly confirmed communicants found in the same Agenda, the following occurs:

“At this Table, consecrated to the Lord, let all eat and drink with profoundest emotion! Let this bread and wine typify to you the death of Jesus on the cross; and let the eating of this bread and the drinking of this wine symbolize the participation in all the blessings of His death! May you be deeply moved by the surpassing greatness and beauty of soul of which this Divine One gave evidence when for your salvation He permitted His body to be broken and His blood to be shed, and died upon the cross! Come to Him then, as it is natural for good people to do(!), with ardent gratitude; and inflamed by this, say: “Whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die, unto the Lord; whether living or dying we want to be His.”

“To you, who to-day for the first time appear at the simple(!) yet very significant Table here prepared for you—to you these words are especially addressed.


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“Sufficiently prepared for it for some time past-yesterday once more prepared for it to all superfluity(!)—you can feel yourself highly honored, that you are to-day here permitted to do what heretofore only your parents and the other actual members of the congregation were permitted to do. But as you were already told yesterday, you must now also seek to surpass all the other communicants in devotion and feeling when you partake of the Holy Supper! Surpass them too in the fervor of your resolution to live and die unto the Lord! You to-day ratify your sacrament(!), which you made to this end at your confirmation: therefore, let the ratification be as important to you as was the vow.”

“Young Christians! consider well what is now told you, and let it lead you to lay a still more solid foundation, yes, the most solid foundation for a truly Christian life, and therefore for your true well-being. Whether we live—into these self-addressed words let your whole heart be poured-whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord. He lived and He died for us, therefore let us entirely belong to Him in life and in death.”

In this same Agenda the Words of Institution are treated thus: “Let all hear the invitation of Jesus Himself to His Supper! After this manner spake the Lord when He took bread, brake it praying, and distributed it: Take, eat, this is My Body, which shall soon be offered for your benefit. Repeat this in remembrance of Me! Thus spake the Lord when He afterward also prayerfully passed the cup around: Take, drink, this is My Blood; which shall soon be shed for your benefit. Repeat this in remembrance of Me!”

The Prayer of Thanksgiving is as follows: “Before Thee, the Omnipresent One, have these admirers of Jesus professed their Sacrament of the Altar. To Thee, Omniscient One, do they appeal with all confidence and joy, that they have done so with truly upright hearts. Therefore they beseech Thee, the All-powerful One, to enable them to be increasingly faithful. Not as if they would feel themselves weaker than they are(!); No! No! they can do much for themselves, but—the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak! Father! support them in their weakness, so that when tempted to be unfaithful to Jesus and their vows, and to depart from their Christian convictions and sentiments,


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their moral nature may always triumph over their carnal nature. Thou hast a thousand means to bring this about, and certainly also hast their hearts in Thy power in a manner incomprehensible to them. O be Thou their stay, therefore, when they are in danger of wavering; and should the world by its sorrows endeavor to separate them from Jesus, then cause the world itself to disappear for them in spirit, and open heaven to them, that they may refresh themselves with the glory which all those shall there share, who remain in fellowship with Jesus to the end, and who suffer as He did! … My Beloved: May God, through His Son bless you more and more with holy thoughts.” (Amen wanting.)


A Form of Distribution* of this period was as follows:

“Eat this bread; may the spirit of devotion rest upon you with all its blessings.”

“Drink a little wine; moral power does not reside in this wine, but in you, in the teachings of God, and in God.”

Footnote: * In HUFNAGEL: Liturg. Blaetter.



“Use this bread in remembrance of Jesus Christ; he that hungereth after pure and noble virtue shall be filled.”

“Drink a little wine; he that thirsteth after pure and noble virtue shall not long for it in vain.”

The following is a sample of the numerous reconstructions of the Lord’s Prayer: †

 “Most High Father; Let it be our supreme purpose to glorify Thee; Let truth thrive among us; Let virtue already dwell here as it does in heaven; Reward our industry with bread, And our forgiving disposition with grace; From severe conflicts preserve us; And finally let all evil cease; That Thou art powerful, wise and good over all—let this forever be our confidence.”

Footnote: † SINTENIS.


The Benediction was recast into this form:

“The Lord bless and cheer you with the happiness of a blameless heart and life.”

“The Lord bless and cheer you with the assurance of His good pleasure.”


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“The Lord bless and cheer you with the joy-giving hope of everlasting life. Amen.”*

Footnote: * SCHLEZ: Kirchen-Agende.



“May God, our Father, protect and prosper us.”

“May Jesus Christ teach and guide, comfort and encourage us.”

“May the Spirit of the Lord ennoble us. Amen.”†

Footnote: † FROSCH: Allgemeine Liturgie.



‘The Lord bless us with wisdom, with a heart and strength for good works.”

“The Lord keep our souls pure, our consciences quiet, and our hearts contented.”

“The Lord grant us a modest portion of this life’s happiness, and at last the higher joy of the life eternal. Amen.” ‡

Footnote: ‡ Schleswig-Holsteinische Kirchen-Agende of 1797 (ADLER).


To such frightful and incredible depths had the Cultus of the Church sunk when the work of restoration was once more begun in the nineteenth century. That movement is still in progress, and to the impulse it gave and the literature it produced, we of the Lutheran Church in America are indebted for the revival of a Cultus that, like our faith, links us again with the purest and best period of the Church’s history.


Lit.—KLIEFOTH: Liturgische Abhandlungen; KÖSTLIN: Geschichte des Christlichen Gottesdienstes; ALT: Der Christliche Cultus; HARNACK: Praktische Theologie; RIETSCHEL: Lehrbuch der Liturgik.


J. F. OHL.

Philadelphia, Pa.






THERE is a very intimate relation between Liturgy and Doctrine. Liturgy is the form that doctrine takes for the purposes of worship. Worship formularies are based upon fundamental doctrines and are conditioned by them. The Liturgy is, however, something more than a mere expression or interpretation of the doctrines that underlie it. Liturgy is related to doctrine rather as an art form is related to its underlying conception, or even as outward forms of living things are counterparts of their inward essential reality. The liturgy is informed by the doctrine, and, if it be true and pure, it must at every point be in harmony with its inner doctrinal and spiritual life. As the bloom and fruit of a tree are the expression of its inner life, so a pure and sufficient liturgy is the natural bloom and proper fruitage of the living doctrine from which it springs.

Because a true liturgy is a growth, a living product and not a mere mechanical construction, it is seen how important a historical liturgy becomes for the preservation of true doctrine. If a liturgy is broken away from its historical sources and forms, and made subservient to the tastes and whims of individuals or particular schools of thought and tendency, it endangers the very foundations of the Church, which are her great central doctrines. Even in church architecture as a liturgical form there is an insidious danger to pure doctrine. For it should be remembered that architecture from a liturgical point of view is not a method of constructing church buildings upon a merely aesthetic principle, or in accordance with a secular vogue, but it is an embodiment, as fully as that is possible, of the fundamental doctrines of our Christian confessions. The church building should be an impressive symbol of the Atonement, involving the great doctrine of the vicarious sacrifice upon the cross, the reconciliation wrought by that sacrifice, the sacramental blessings procured for us on


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account of it, and the worship that realizes this restoration and holy communion with God and spiritual realities. The church building that is simply a grand auditorium, that is constructed for the most part on the lines of the amphitheater or concert hall, that provides chiefly for seeing and hearing, and that is without suggestion of the important sacrificial element in worship, indeed, that would not ordinarily suggest any idea of worship at all, such a church building is a menace to true doctrine, a crystallized peril that obscures the cardinal doctrines of our Faith and subtly leads in the direction of rationalism and empty humanitarianism. And the same must be said of church decoration as a liturgical sphere. This, too, must have its close and obvious relation to doctrine. Here there is a most important field in which the historical Christian symbolism may be made to play an impressive and effectual part in the preservation of fundamental orthodox teaching.

In the same way music, which is perhaps the highest and most essential liturgical art form, should be in the most perfect attainable harmony with the inmost spirit of the doctrine that apprehends God as He is revealed in His Word, and that grasps and interprets the reconciliation of sinful man to such a God through the gift and sacrifice of His Only-begotten Son, as that reconciliation is realized and enjoyed in the act of worship. The general characteristics of conservative liturgical music are, simplicity, and subserviency. It is simple. Like the coat of the Master it is of one piece, and it always clothes the Master’s form. It is a servant that always bears the word, and interprets and impresses the Word. It brings the worshipper humbly and penitently to God, and it brings God joyously and blessedly to the worshipper. Its very tones tell of sin, and sacrifice, and salvation. Liturgical music is thus a mighty power that holds us close to the central doctrine of our precious religious inheritance.

So, also, the furniture of the church, especially the furniture of the chancel and its arrangement, the vestments and colors which mark the seasons of the Christian year are all closely identified with specific fundamental doctrines. They, too, are the clothing of the Master in which He walks before us and with us. They call our attention to Him, and hold our attention upon Him as the “Lamb of God Which taketh away the sin of the world.” They preach a perpetual sermon upon the text: “God so loved


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the world that He gave His Only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” All these things, while they are in themselves adiaphoristic, have their significance in doctrine, and when separated from the doctrinal meaning which they are intended to interpret and illustrate become mere formalism. Rightly understood they impart doctrinal instruction and conserve doctrine. And even when not understood, while they do not then edify, they still keep the doctrine and carry it over to a more intelligent and a more appreciative age.

But it is in that which we properly speak of as the Liturgy itself, that is in the actual verbal forms and orders of worship, that its relation and importance to doctrine are most obvious.

First of all, the forms of the historical Liturgy are in the very words of inspired Scripture. They thus exhibit and continually teach the doctrines of Holy Scripture. In so far as the Liturgy appropriates the Word, therefore, it is one with the Bible itself in setting forth the true doctrine. And in the creedal forms which enter into the Liturgy the Confessions themselves are made use of for the purposes of worship. Thus the central and chief doctrines are not only preserved but they become means and channels of the very highest acts of worship. We may well believe that Peter never worshipped the Lord with profounder adoration or with mightier spiritual exaltation than when he exclaimed: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and thus gave us the germ of all the later Creeds. Thus the Liturgy in its use of the Apostolic and Nicene Creeds, at once attains the highest point of adoring worship, and witnesses to all the fundamental doctrines of the Christian Faith.

As a matter of fact our whole Liturgical Order of Services from beginning to end, and in all its special parts is positively and emphatically doctrinal. It exhibits doctrine in clear, thetical statements, in petitional assumptions, in the very attitude of the worshipper who uses it.

Take the heart of the Liturgy, which is the Order for The Holy Communion. Even a superficial examination reveals the fact that this Order is the entire Apostles’ Creed wrought into a form that is appropriate for the highest act of Christian worship, and in which the central facts of true worship come before us in the most objective form. The Order for The Holy Com-


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munion thus realizes our Christian Faith in worship, so that in this Faith we really have a holy communion with God, with “Angels and Archangels and with all the company of Heaven.”

And if we take any specific doctrine and examine the Liturgy with reference to it we shall find that such doctrine is not only present clearly and fully, but that it is realized and used in the Liturgy as it can be realized and used nowhere else. For example the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is taught in the Sunday School, in the catechetical class, from the pulpit, and is witnessed to in the Word. But only in the right use of the Liturgy is this fundamental doctrine appropriated by the worshipper; that is, so laid hold of, and made use of in an act of believing and surrendering worship, that it becomes a spiritual force and an illuminating principle in the thought and life. It is so with all the doctrines of our Faith. We do not apprehend and assimilate their truth and essential reality by a mere intellectual process, but in and through a believing act of worship the heart lays hold of the living essence of spiritual truth and reality, makes it its very own, and lives in it.

The cardinal doctrine of Justification by Faith is only a theory until it is realized in an act of faith, which is really an act of worship. And this is most fully provided for in the Liturgy.

It is obvious that the historical Evangelical Liturgy is a mighty witness and a grand exponent and practical realization of the doctrine of the Spiritual Priesthood of all believers. All parts of this Liturgy are for all the people. The actual rendering of certain parts is, indeed, assigned to certain persons, but the whole Church speaks or is spoken to in every part, and every part is for every one and for all.

We can not, therefore, emphasize too forcefully the importance of the Liturgy, in its widest range, to doctrine. For the practical teaching of doctrine, for the conservation of doctrine the Liturgy is equally important with the Confessions and dogmatic systems. If we neglect any one of these it were perhaps, even better to let the dogmatic and the confessional formularies lie in some measure of disuse rather than give up the constant and the faithful use of the Liturgy. If we keep and rightly use the Liturgy, with all that it includes and involves, we need not be afraid that the true doctrine will ever be lost. But if we disregard or underestimate the value and importance of liturgical


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worship, our doctrines, no matter how clear, how true, how fully formulated, will stand in constant danger, as the history of many of the sects will abundantly prove.

“With the heart man believeth unto righteousness,” and it is the heart especially that is concerned and deeply affected in true worship. Thus in the proper use of the Liturgy there is a devotional study of the Word and of Scriptural doctrine. In an act of worship the thoughts of the heart, which are deeper than the thoughts of the mind, are occupied with the great, inspiring, uplifting themes of our holy religion. And this is often the only regular and systematic study of these important themes in which the great mass of our people can engage.

If in addition to this refreshing and edifying worship study of spiritual truth which we have in the use of the Liturgy there are inclination and opportunity for tracing out the Scriptural and Confessional sources of the various parts of the Service, and their relation to each other, one may easily find the chief contents of the doctrinal system. As a matter of fact if the Confessions were lost we could restore their substance from the Liturgy. But on the other hand, if the Liturgy be entirely and permanently abandoned it will be very difficult to retain the doctrines in their original purity and living power.



Pittsburgh, Pa.


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OUR subject has to do with the founders of the Lutheran Church in this country, their methods of conducting public worship and the books provided for this purpose. As the first Lutheran Liturgy was prepared in 1748 and the last one issued in 1860, before the appearance of the excellent Church Book now in use among our congregations, our investigations will cover a period of over one hundred years.

The first Lutheran settlers in this new world were of Swedish, Dutch and German extraction. The pastors, who ministered unto them, were of like various nationalities. They had been educated in different institutions, under diverse theological influences, came here as strangers to each other, with nothing in common save their desire to minister to the spiritual necessities of their brethren of the household of faith and build up God’s Kingdom in this western world. Their fields of labor were widely separated. The settlements were sparse and the people were scattered. Everything was in a chaotic state. The Word was to be preached; congregations gathered; spiritual life awakened and nurtured. And it is reasonable to suppose that each pastor in doing his work followed the religious customs, and used the Church forms with which he was familiar in the land of his nativity. The home congregation was the model after which he built. Until these faithful and zealous missionaries could form each other’s acquaintance, meet for consultation and mature a formula of worship, each would pursue the even tenor of his way according to his own sense of duty.

But they took in the situation; they needed each other’s sympathy. Although distance barred the way, a common interest drew them together. Swede, Dutchman and German met, prayed, counseled and planned for the welfare of the people over whom the Holy Ghost had made them overseers. They realized


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the necessity of cooperation, the advantages of uniformity, the benefits of a common brotherhood, the value of a homogeneous Church development.

Fortunately for the American Lutheran Church the fathers were men of excellent education, sound judgment, good common sense, who were willing to lay aside their likes and prejudices, who, out of love for the Church, prayed for her peace and wrought for the things which contributed to her unity. As a means to this the Liturgy of 1748 was prepared. It was the work of Muhlenberg, Brunholtz and Handschuh. An extract taken from the diary of Dr. Muhlenberg found in Dr. Mann’s Life of the Patriarch, p. 184, gives an exceedingly interesting account of its preparation:—

“April 28th—We held a Conference in Providence and deliberated about a suitable Liturgy to be used by us and introduced into our congregations. Thus far, we had used a small formulary, but had nothing definite, in all its parts harmonious, since we thought it best to wait for the arrival of more laborers, and to acquire a better knowledge of the condition of things in this country. To adopt the Swedish Liturgy did not appear to be advantageous or necessary, since most of the members of our congregations from the districts of the Rhine and the Main considered the singing of Collects as papal. Neither could we select a Liturgy according to the forms to which any individual had been accustomed, since almost every country town or village had its own. For this reason we took the Liturgy of the Savoy congregation of London as the basis; abbreviated it or made additions to it as after due consideration of the circumstances in which we were here placed seemed advisable to us and calculated to edify, and adopted it tentatively until we had a better understanding of the matter, and determined it with a view of introducing into our congregations the same ceremonies, forms and words.

In August of that year a meeting was called in Philadelphia for the purpose of consultation in regard to the formation of a synodical body, and the consideration of other important questions. The Synod was organized and the Liturgy then in use among the congregations was discussed and unanimously approved. And so important was the matter regarded, that the pastors and delegates from the congregations solemnly pledged


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themselves to use no other forms in conducting the Services of the Church; and J. Nicholas Kurtz who was ordained at that meeting was required to obligate himself, that “he would introduce no other ceremonies in public Services and the administration of the Sacraments but those prescribed by the Collegium pastorum.

A translation of this interesting Agende which was in German and found only in manuscript form, was made by Rev. Dr. C. W. Schaeffer, and is given in Dr. Jacobs’ History of the Lutheran Church, pp. 269-275. It consists of the following parts: 1. The manner in which public worship shall be conducted in all our congregations. 2. Baptism and what is to be observed in its administration. 3. Proclaiming the Bans. 4. Of Confession and the Holy Communion. 5. Burial of the dead.

The order of Morning Service is thus arranged: Hymn of Invocation to the Holy Spirit, Confession of Sins, Gloria in Excelsis (metrical form), Collect with Salutation and Response, Epistle, Hymn, Gospel, Creed (Luther’s metrical version), General Prayer, Proclamations and Announcements, Votum, Hymn, Collection of Alms, Closing Collect with Salutation and Response, Benediction, Closing Verse. The order for the Lord’s Supper is given as follows: Preface with Salutation, Sursum Corda and Sanctus, Exhortation, Consecration, Invitation, Distribution, Benediction, Benedicamus, Thanksgiving Collect, Benediction and Closing Collect.

What is particularly to be noted in regard to these Orders is the rubrics. They are positive and definite and all in the imperative mode. The attitude of the minister is defined. His every movement is directed. The very form of words to be used in introducing the several parts is prescribed. Nothing is left to choice. The disjunction “or” is employed in only three instances. Once, to give direction to use one or the other of two hymns chosen, the other to sing part or whole of the Hymn, and the third having reference to the length of the Sermon. “It shall be limited to three quarters of an hour, or, at the utmost, to an hour.” In this latter case together with the last clause, this might have been omitted without detriment to either pastor or people, on cold days, especially, since the churches were not provided with stoves or any other means of heating.

Dr. B. M. Schmucker, who is acknowledged to have been one


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of the most learned Liturgiologists of this or any other country, thus speaks of this Liturgy: “It is the old, well-defined, conservative Service of the Saxon and North German Liturgies. It is, indeed, the pure, biblical parts of the Service of the Western Church for a period of a thousand years before the Reformation, with the modifications given it by the Saxon Reformers. It is the Service of widest acceptance in the Lutheran Church of Middle and North Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.”*

Footnote: * Church Review. Vol. I. p. 174


This Liturgy was never published. The pastors had made copies of it for individual use. For a period of thirty-eight years it was an acknowledged authority among Lutheran congregations in the eighteenth century. In 1782 the Synod of Pennsylvania ordered it published. This was done in 1786, but when it appeared in printed form under synodical sanction, it had been materially altered. These changes are noted. The rubrics, directing the minister when to turn his face to the altar, and to the people are omitted. Any suitable hymn is allowed instead of the invocation of the Holy Spirit. The Gloria in Excelsis is omitted. A voluntary prayer or a morning prayer is substituted for the Collect for the Day. The announcement of the Gospel and Epistle is omitted. The suitableness of the hymn to the season of the Church Year is omitted. The reading of the Gospel at the altar is omitted and it is read only in the pulpit. The people are no longer directed to stand during the reading of the Gospel. The Creed is omitted. Other texts than the Gospel are permitted, at the option of the minister. Another and much longer General Prayer is used.

Referring to these alterations and omissions, Dr. B. M. Schmucker remarks:—“Every one of them is an injury to the pure Lutheran type of the old Service. The chaste liturgical taste of the fathers has become vitiated. The accord of spirit with the Church of the Reformation is dying out gradually. The Service of the Church is sinking slowly toward the immeasurable depths into which it afterwards fell. The order of Service Of 1748 is beyond comparison the noblest and purest Lutheran Service which the Church in America prepared or possessed until the publication of the Church Book.”

In 1795 Dr. Kunze of New York, in order to make provision for the English portion of his congregation, published a transla-


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tion of the Liturgy of 1786, in connection with a book of Hymns. It calls for no special mention. It seems to have been short lived, for, two years afterwards, Rev. Strebeck, who was associated pastor with Dr. Kunze, issued a work bearing the title:—A Collection of Evangelical Hymns, made from different authors and collections for the Lutheran Church in New York, to which was also added the Liturgy in a much changed and abridged form. Whatever may have been its merits or demerits, it evidently failed to meet with favor, as Rev. Ralph Williston who, after the defection of Rev. Strebeck to the Episcopal Church, became the associate of Dr. Kunze, published a Book of Hymns and Liturgy of the Lutheran Church. It appeared in 1806, with the approval and recommendation of Dr. Kunze, President of the Ministerium of New York. The Liturgy is evidently an adaptation of that of 1786, and parts taken from the Book of Common Prayer. From the copy before us, we give the order of Morning Service. After singing a hymn, the minister (from the altar) addresses the congregation and leads them in Confession of Sin—then follows the Salutation and Response. Then the minister prays extempore or uses the short form given, the congregation responding with the Amen, The Gospel and Epistle are read, a hymn is sung, the minister offers an extempore prayer (ending with the Lord’s Prayer) in the pulpit, then the Sermon. After the Sermon the Litany may be used, or Te Deum. The hymn for the conclusion is announced and the Service in the pulpit concluded with the sentence, “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Before the hymn is sung the alms are collected. Then the minister goes again before the altar and says: “The Lord be with you;” and the congregation responds: “And with thy spirit.” Then follows an extempore prayer, or a form provided, closing with the Aaronic benediction, to which is added: “In the Name of the Father,” etc. In the administration of the Lord’s Supper the order, with slight modifications, is substantially that given in the Liturgy of 1786, with the exception that there is a separate prayer for the consecration of the elements, and in the distribution the words: “Jesus said,” etc. are used. With the noting of these changes nothing further need be said.

In 1817 Drs. Quitman and Wackerhagen, at the instance of the New York Synod, edited and published a Hymn Book and


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Enlarged Liturgy for the use of Evangelical Lutheran congregations. The liturgical portion of the work, like its eminent author, is rationalistic, liberal and un-Lutheran. It possesses not a single redeeming quality and its chief characteristic is that it is bad all the way through. It gives variety in overflowing fulness. Two forms of Confessions are provided; two other prayers after the singing of the first hymn, and eight general prayers are placed at the disposal of the officiating minister, wherein he may address his Father in Heaven, in the lofty titles of “Supremely Exalted and Adorable Jehovah,” “Infinite and Incomprehensible Jehovah,” “Self-existent and Infinite Jehovah.” He is, likewise, given a long list of benedictions from which to make selection. A table of Gospels and Epistles is furnished him with the kindly assurance(?) that “there is an impropriety in congregations confining themselves, year after year, to these portions of Scripture.” So, too, in the invitation to the Lord’s Supper, he is enjoined to say, “All who receive Him as your Saviour and resolve to be faithful subjects to Him, ye are welcome to this feast of love.” While in the distribution he may say, “Jesus said,” etc., he is generously permitted to substitute any other words for these.

The Ministerium of Pennsylvania showed its dissatisfaction with its own and all other existing Liturgies by publishing in 1818 another Agende, from which almost every vestige of a responsive service is eliminated. Its order of Morning Service opens with a Confession of Sin, but without Absolution. A prayer may be substituted ending with the Kyrie, then follows the Salutation, the reading of the Gospel and Epistle or any suitable selection of Scripture, the Hymn, Sermon, General Prayer, Votum, Closing Verse and Benediction.

A second form is given beginning with a selection of sentences, among them the Versicles of Matins and Vespers, and part of the “Venite Exultemus. “ Then follows the Hymn, after which the pastor is directed to read at the altar, a modern version of the Te Deum; then another Hymn, Prayer in the pulpit, Sermon, Prayer, Hymn, Benediction.

Three forms are presented for the administration of the Lord’s Supper, all of which are departures from the chaste ancient forms of the sixteenth century and devoid of good liturgical taste. In the distribution the offensive words, “Jesus said” are


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used. It would be a waste of time to further discuss the incongruities of this religious Manual.

In September, 1833 the Tennessee Synod, then in session at Salem Church, Lincoln County, North Carolina, requested Revs. Andrew Henkel, Jacob Killian and Jacob Stirewalt “to complete a Liturgy for the use of our own Church.” In pursuance with this action, as we are informed in the preface of the book, the Rev. Solomon Henkel issued from his press at New Market, Va., 1843, a Liturgy or Book of Forms for the use of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. It contains forms for the performance of all ministerial acts, and is mainly a translation of the Liturgy of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania of 1786. Its Order of Public Worship is very brief and simple. It contains no responses whatever, and only provides prayers for use before and after the sermon, and a number of benedictions. The other portions of the work are eminently Scriptural and in full accord with Lutheran doctrine. Special care is exercised to furnish suitable prayers for all festival days. It was highly esteemed by the Tennessee Synod and is still used by some of its old members and congregations.

In 1834 the New York Ministerium felt constrained to publish a new Liturgy for the use of its English congregations. It differed only on a few minor points from the Agende of 1818, and was possibly only a free translation of it. This was approved by the Pennsylvania Synod in 1835 and at its recommendation the General Synod adopted it at its meeting 1837, and ordered it to be appended to its Hymn Book.

Notwithstanding the fact that it had received such endorsement, the Liturgy of the New York Ministerium did not prove satisfactory, for in 1839 the Pennsylvania Synod appointed a Committee to prepare a new Edition of our Church Liturgy in an improved and more complete form. In this work it asked the cooperation of all Synods using the present Liturgy. The New York Ministerium and the Synod of Ohio willingly acceded to the request and appointed committees, so that the preparation of the proposed Liturgy might be made conjointly. The Committee charged with the matter, addressed themselves at once to the work and in 1841 reported the results of their labors to the Synod of Pennsylvania; and so well had the Committee met the expectation of that Body, that it ordered the Liturgy, prepared by them,


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to be published. It appeared in 1842, signed by the committees of the respective Synods cooperating in its production. The General Synod, meeting in 1843, heartily approved of this Liturgy and commended it in highest praise to its German congregations, and at the same Convention appointed a Committee “to prepare a Liturgy in the English language, having reference to the German Liturgy of the Pennsylvania Synod, as the basis of the same, as well as other liturgical forms now in use in our Church.” The Committee, consisting of Drs. C. P. Krauth, Sr., Benj. Kurtz, Wm. Reynolds, Ezra Keller, J. G. Morris and C. A. Smith, in 1845 reported that they bad resolved to translate the German Liturgy of the Pennsylvania Synod and abridge or enlarge it as they deemed advisable. Two years hence they presented their work in a completed form, and claimed for it that it was more complete than any other Liturgy; that it was purely an American Lutheran Liturgy; that, if uniformity be desired, it will be reached by the adoption of these forms. Whether we attend German or English Services we will hear the pastor, as he stands before the altar, utter the same truths, address us in the same manner and pour out the same prayer to the Hearer of prayer; that no other Liturgy could have the same association and lastly, as a large number of Synods had already adopted the German Liturgy, it did not seem desirable to have an English Liturgy not similar to it, but if possible, the same in all its provisions. It was published in 1847.

But withal, this Liturgy, on which so many different Committees had wrought, and to which various Synodical Bodies had given generous approval from its incipiency until it was developed into an English speaking medium, was almost identical with that of 1835 and was scarcely an improvement over the Liturgy of 1818. It was no responsive Liturgy at all. There is no provision for the people’s taking a part. The minister did it all and his congregation stood silent before him.

The Service opens with a Votum or an inspiring passage of Scripture; the minister then announces a hymn; after the hymn is sung, he goes to the altar, counsels the people to make confession of sins, or reads one of the general prayers. Then follows the reading of the Gospel and Epistle or any suitable selection of Scripture; another hymn is announced; the minister ascends the pulpit, prays, preaches, and prays again, gives out


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another hymn and dismisses the congregation with a benediction. For the ordering of this Service there is an abundance of material provided. The minister has choice of five Opening Sentences and eleven Scriptural expressions, three forms of Confession, six prayers following Confession, four prayers after reading the Scriptures, three prayers after the Sermon and three forms of benediction. In Preparatory Services three forms are prescribed; the same number for the administration of the Lord’s Supper all of a piece in their objectionable features. The one redeeming feature of the Liturgy is, it is not binding. The minister is left free to make his own selection. He can use any part or reject all and substitute his own, in harmony with directions of Luther given in his rules for ordering worship, when he says, “but the Antiphons, the Responsories and Collects, the Legends of the Saints and the Cross may, for a time at least, be omitted until they have been purified, because they contain a great deal of abominable filth.”

It is not at all surprising that the publication of this Liturgy was a disappointment and did not supply the want of the Church. Owing to its many and grave defects it could not satisfy men of correct liturgical tastes, who loved the pure forms of Lutheran worship. Hence in 1850 we find the Pennsylvania Synod taking the initiative in securing the cooperation of the Synods which had participated in the publication of the present Liturgy, in the preparation of a new one in harmony with the doctrine and spirit of the Lutheran Church. This was readily secured. The committees of the Synods acted jointly with the encouragement and approval of the General Synod. After five years of patient examination and painstaking labor, they finished their work and the Liturgy of 1855 was published. Its advent was hailed with joy. It was a decided improvement over its immediate predecessors. It eliminated many of their objectionable features. It supplied many primitive orders. It restored the responses. It contained all the essential features of a true Lutheran Service, not in their natural and proper order, it is true, nor according to the true principles of liturgical construction, but in confessedly Scriptural purity.

In the order of Morning Service the voice of the people is heard in the Gloria Patri, the Excelsis, the Amens, the Responses, the Sanctus, the Agnus Dei and the Nunc Dimittis. The Creed is made optional and its reading is assigned to the minister.


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Although it has its defects it has much to recommend it.

Notwithstanding the many excellencies of this Manual, it was destined to be soon replaced by another. The Pennsylvania Synod had authorized the translation of the German Liturgy of 1855 for use of its English speaking congregations. The Committee entrusted with this work, consisting of Revs. Drs. C. F. Schaeffer, C. W. Schaeffer, G. F. Krotel, B. M. Schmucker and C. V. Weldin, had been instructed to omit much matter, as superfluous, and “to make a number of alterations, chiefly for the purpose of securing a stricter conformity to the general usage of the ancient and purest Liturgies of the Lutheran Church, and in a few instances, to conform to the practice of our English churches in this country.”

Thus they provided a selection of Introits to be sung by the congregation, substituted a new form for Confession of Sin, added the Nicene Creed for occasional use, placed the General Prayer before instead of after the Sermon, supplied a number of General and Special Collects, and gave but one form for the performance of Ministerial Acts.

While the changes made by the Committee were not numerous, they were deemed important in order that their claim might be successfully supported, to wit: “that the present work will be found to agree more nearly with the ancient usage of the Lutheran Church, than any which has yet been published in the English language by any portion of our church in this country.” It was published in this country in 1860. Its preparation and publication were the harbinger of a brighter day. It demonstrated that the leaven of a purer liturgical principle was working. It gave evidence of a love for the old faith and an appreciation of venerable forms. It breathed the pious longings for a return to the practices of the fathers. It revealed a veneration for the songs and prayers that were the delight of the Lord’s saints in all the ages past, and it led the way to the preparation of the Church Book which has placed the Church of to-day in communion with the worshipping assemblies of ancient days, and enables them to join their praises with the angelic hosts, chanting their hymns in the courts of glory.



Pittsburgh, Pa.


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CHRISTIANITY was peaceably introduced into Iceland from Norway, A. D. 1000. Before that time, however, the first Christian churches had already been erected. Iceland was at that time a commonwealth or a republic and had a representative assembly, the so-called Althing. At the meeting of the Althing at Thingvellir in the southern part of the island, in the middle of the summer, the Icelandic chiefs, who had been converted to Christianity during their travels among their kinsmen in Norway and especially during their stay at the court of King Olafur Tryggvason, who was brought up in England, and, glowing with zeal for missions, preached the Christian doctrines to the assembled multitudes and celebrated the Mass according to the Roman Catholic ritual. Naturally there was a great deal of friction between the two parties, the heathen party tenaciously clinging to the old Asa-faith, and the Christian party, by all means, desiring to bring about the introduction of Christianity. To the latter party, however, belonged the more liberal-minded and progressive part of the people,—the younger generation of chiefs, who had received their education in foreign lands and were fully aware, that the world was fast becoming Christian. The Liturgy introduced was naturally that of the then universal Roman Catholic Church. The first books written in Iceland were in all probability books used by the clergy, such as Missals and Breviaries, containing the ecclesiastic forms, copied from books brought from foreign countries. As far as the present writer knows, none of these books have come down to us, intensely interesting as they undoubtedly would have been. But we may rest assured that they contained nothing original and did not in any way deviate from the fixed liturgical path of the Roman Church.


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Our review of the history of Liturgy in the Icelandic Church may, therefore, very properly commence with the introduction of the Reformation into Iceland. The republic had passed away, furnishing a glorious prototype to all later republics, with a most comprehensive code of legal procedure and its famous and excellent jury system. A union had been entered into with Norway under the rule of King Hakon the Old, in the year of our Lord 1262. Norway had in its turn, with Iceland as her dependency, passed under Danish rule in 1388. Hence it is that in Iceland the Reformation and the spiritual resurrection following it was brought about from Denmark. In that country the Reformation had triumphed in the year 1536. At that time Iceland was divided into two bishoprics, one at Skalholt in the southern part of the country, and the other at Holar in the northern part of the island.

The first echo of the great Reformation, heard in Iceland, probably was a sermon, preached by the officiating priest at Skalholt in the year 1530, on Kindlemas-day in which he denounced the practice of addressing prayers to saints or holy men as a damnable heresy. The bishop whose name was Ogmundur Palsson, an old man already by this time, was seriously offended, and more so because the priest happened to be a very intimate friend of his. He remonstrated, but in vain, as the priest was unwilling to recant; he was consequently removed to a neighboring parish.

But at Skalholt there were a number of young men, whose hearts touched by the fires of the Reformation, were quietly studying and preparing themselves for the inevitable conflict, without committing themselves too early. The most prominent among these were Gizur Einarsson and Oddur Gottskalksson. The former had been brought up from youth by the bishop and sent to Germany to complete his education. There he came into contact with the doctrines of Luther and embraced them in his heart. Oddur Gottskalksson was the son of the bishop at Holar. He was brought up in Norway, educated in Germany and there converted to the Lutheran faith. Both these men from prudential reasons concealed their convictions for some time and kept the worthy bishop in titter ignorance of their Lutheran proclivities. Oddur Gottskalksson however commenced at this time, his work


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on the translation of the New Testament into Icelandic, but made a close secrecy of it.

In 1536 Christian III ascended the throne of Denmark. His ascension was hailed with much enthusiasm by the party favoring the Reformation, which then was at once consummated as far as Denmark and Norway were concerned. Shortly after a new law was drawn up to prescribe and regulate the then rather loose and irregular practices in the Danish Church. In this work a number of the greatest lights and most prominent dignitaries of the Church participated. This document is known as the Ordinance of King Christian III. It was sent to Martin Luther at Wittenberg for approval and subsequently corrected and revised by Bugenhagen, who was sent to Denmark for that very purpose. In the fullest sense it did not however become a law in the Danish Church before the year 1539, although it had been considered as the binding rule of the new Church for some time. This may best be seen from the fact that already the year before, 1538, it had been sent to Iceland with the view that it should become a law in that country. At the same time both the bishops in Iceland received royal orders to change the error of their ways and live from that time on according to this new ecclesiastical code. But they were both in their hearts fervent adherents of the old faith and shelved these royal orders as dead and impotent measures. Bishop Ogmundur Palsson however, blind and decrepit as he now was, desired to free himself from the arduous duties of his high office and brought about the election of Gizur Einarsson, his foster son, whom he did not in the least suspect of Lutheran heresy, to the episcopal office. The successful candidate at once sailed to Denmark to receive his ordination and get instructions from his government at the same time. And cheerfully did he vow to champion the Lutheran cause according to his ability and to preach the Word of God in its purity to his countrymen. His lay co-laborer and friend, Oddur Gottskalksson, followed him to Copenhagen and had his masterly translation of the New Testament into Icelandic printed in Roskilde, 1540.

In the diocese of Skalholt, comprising three-fourths of Iceland, the Lutheran Reformation was thus practically introduced with the elevation of Gizur Einarsson to the episcopal office. There the Church Ordinance of Christian III was at least nomi-


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nally put in force, and we have no doubt that the young bishop put forth all his endeavors that it should also be followed in practice. But he had a fierce and persistent opposition to encounter. The old bishop was furious, but could not do much. But the bishop at Holar, Jon Arason, put up a prolonged and most obstinate fight against the new faith during the next decade (1540-1550). He was a very influential man in his diocese and in fact all over the island, upholding the old Roman Catholic authority and practice with a bold hand.

One of the melancholy incidents of that struggle was the death of the champion of the Lutheran cause, bishop Gizur Einarsson, before the victory was gained. At a noted farmhouse in his diocese there was a cross of much miraculous fame—one of the landmarks of the dying faith. To this cross pilgrimages were made from afar. To put an end to these superstitious practices the bishop travelled to the place and took the cross down with his own hand. But as soon as he returned home he was taken sick and died. The party which was yet loyal to Catholicism of course interpreted this as a miraculous interference of Providence. The antagonist of the Lutheran movement, Jon Arason, had however to suffer the penalty of his reckless violence two years later, when he met a violent death at the hands of his adversaries with whom he had been keeping up an armed warfare for a long time. After his decease the Reformation became triumphant in the whole island in the year 1550.

In the year 1571 Gudbrandur Thorlaksson was appointed by the King to the diocese of Holar. He was at that time by far the best educated man in his country and endowed with rare abilities. He is the real reformer of his country. He was a man of tireless energy, a strong will, fervent faith, profound learning and much literary ability.




Bishop Jon Arason had imported the first printing press into the island shortly before his death. Of this printing press bishop Gudbrandur Thorlaksson now made a good use. He translated the Bible and issued an illustrated edition of it in 1584, having made the wood-cuts with his own hand. Besides he issued a multitude of religious books and in a short time transformed the religious life of the country according to the ideals of the Refor-


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mation. In 1589 he published the first Hymn-book and then the Graduale, which after that was the only Church-book in Iceland until 1801. It appeared, in no less than nineteen editions, the first of which was printed in 1594 and the last in 1779. He was bishop for fifty-six years and was untiring in his labors for the Church of the Reformation. His endeavors were crowned with so complete a success that the Church of Iceland became as truly Lutheran in faith and practice as any other part of the Reformation Church.

At first the Liturgy of the Danish Church was naturally in a rather unsettled condition. The first evangelical pastor at Malmo, Hans Tausen, had made a collection of the first Danish hymns to the number of about one hundred, and had his book published at Malmo in 1528. It also contained the Evangelical Order of Service, not a translation of Luther’s work, neither the Formula Missae, nor the Deutsche Messe, but an original adaptation of the Roman Catholic Service to the doctrines of the Reformation. This book is known as the Malmo-book. According to that the order of Service was as follows:

1 . A Hymn (Adjutorium nostrum).

2. Confession of Sins (Confiteor, in altered form).

3. Evangelical Absolution.

4. Introitus (De profundis, a Hymn).

5. Kyrie eleison, a Hymn.

6. Gloria in Excelsis.

7. Salutation and Collect.

8. Epistle, especially I Cor. 11.

9. Hallelujah.

10. The Gospel, especially John 6.

11. Credo and Hymn.

12. Sermon.

13. Hymn.

14. Luther’s paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer.

15. Sanctus.

16. The Words of Institution with Agnus Dei and Luther’s Exhortation to the Communicants; the Distribution; a Hymn of Thanksgiving.

17. Salutation and Luther’s Collect for the Lord’s Supper (Deutsche Messe).

18. Benediction.


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19. The Ten Commandments in versified form by Claus Mortensen.

Sometimes the Praefatio, Sursum Corda, was sung before the Lord’s Supper.


This is the very first Lutheran Order of Service, used in the Scandinavian countries. It is also one of the oldest Liturgies in northern Europe. I have therefore considered it of sufficient interest to be incorporated into this sketch. This Liturgy was printed in a separate form in Malmo in 1529 and 1535, probably at the instance of Claus Mortensen, In the year 1529 both Hans Tausen and Olaus Chrysostomos were called to Copenhagen, the Danish Capital, the latter from Malmo, to take charge of the pastorate at Frue Kirke, where the royal family worshiped, the liturgical practices at that church exercising in coming years normative influence all over the Danish Kingdom. Both these men have therefore ordered their Services according to the Malmo-book. The Malmo Order of Service is the foundation of the Swedish Liturgy, which was not published by Olaus Petri until the year 1531. In fact it came very near prevailing in all the Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and it is only to be regretted, that it did not prevail altogether in its main characteristics. It retained the old, time-honored feature of considering the Lord’s Supper as the climax of the whole Service. Its most serious defect lies in the fact that the old system of Pericopes has been discarded. There seems to have been a good deal of vacillation in regard to the use of Pericopes and Confession of Sins.

As before stated, the first echoes of the Reformation began to be heard in Iceland about the year 1530. During the preceding decade the men who were destined to become the reformers of the Church in Iceland, Gizur Einarsson and Oddur Gottskalksson, had both been in Germany and Denmark, the latter having even been brought up in Norway. Both undoubtedly made themselves thoroughly conversant with the new order of things as it was taking shape especially in the Danish Kingdom. The probability is that they brought copies with them of the famous Malmo-book and that they, as soon as circumstances permitted them to do so, adopted that form of Service in their churches. We have no direct evidence of this however, as books began to be printed in Iceland at a much later date. But the probability is


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so strong that it almost takes the form of certainty. We therefore take it for granted that it was the Malmo Order of Service which was first introduced into the Lutheran Church in Iceland; that this was done a considerable time before the Reformation was formally accepted all over the island, and that this same Service has been followed even up to the year 1560. As we shall see presently, a great many changes were introduced in Denmark, but the Icelandic Church has always been very conservative in regard to its Liturgy and naturally would be inclined to accept that Liturgy which best harmonized with old Roman Catholic practice.

The permanent stage had not been reached in Denmark by any means. The Malmo Order of Service did not satisfy the demands of the Danish reformers and had consequently to undergo violent changes. A draft was made by the most learned theologians in Denmark and the Duchies, and submitted to King Christian III, who had it revised and corrected by his secretary, Jesper Brochmand. He then sent it through his court preacher, Andreas Jaedike, to Wittenberg. It was to receive full sanction at the hands of German reformers, before it should be made finally binding on the churches. It was closely examined by “the worthy father, Martin Luther, and many other learned men at Wittenberg.” Dr. Bugenhagen, the famous pastor and preacher at Wittenberg, was in 1537 called to Denmark for the purpose of perfecting the Liturgy and he is in this connection called “our beloved Bugenhagen.” It was then finally adopted by the Royal Council in 1537 and afterwards by the Diet of Odense 1539. The first part of this new Service followed closely Luther’s Formula Missae, as far as the Sermon. But the second part, containing the order for the administration of the Lord’s Supper, was made to conform more closely to his Deutsche Messe.

This Service was the first Service officially introduced in Iceland. In all probability it was translated by Oddur Gottskalksson, the already famous translator of the New Testament. For a number of years this Order of Service existed only in written copies throughout the island. About the year 1560 it was published for the first time by Olafur Hjaltason, bishop of Holar, and printed on the first printing press, imported by bishop Jon Arason, as before mentioned, and located at Breidabolstad, in a small volume, called Manuale.


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In this new Order of Service the Confession of Sins had been done away with in its original form. Kneeling at the Epistle-side of the altar, or the left corner, the minister was to pronounce the Confiteor in silence, while the Introitus was sung by the congregation. Then came the Kyrie and the Gloria in Excelsis, or Cantus Angelicus. The Salutatio with the usual response from the congregation preceded the Collect. The Collect, as well as the whole altar-service, was chanted or intonated by the minister. The old Gregorian Collects were used uniformly in Iceland, although in Denmark a new series of Collects was introduced in 1556, to be used along with the others, it being, as it appears, left to the individual judgment or preference of each pastor which to use. The new series of Collects was taken from a Postill by Veit Dietrich in Nuernburg, published in 1549, and was intended by the author to be read as prayers before the sermon. They are long and rather clumsy, although the spirit of the Reformation breathes in them. After first being used in the Danish Church along with the old Gregorian Collects, they altogether displaced these, and after the year 1564 the German Collects were used exclusively, although they had never been intended as Collects by their author.

Fortunately the German Collects were not introduced into the Icelandic Service until after the middle of the nineteenth century and then in a much altered and reduced form. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and down to the middle of the nineteenth the old, time-honored Gregorian Collects were used in the Icelandic Church, although these German Collects were in exclusive use in the rest of the Danish Kingdom, both Denmark and Norway.

But let us proceed with our description of this Order of Service, which might be adorned by the name of “our beloved Bugenhagen.” After the Collect comes the Epistle with the Hallelujah and Sequence, varying with the Church Year. Then follows a so-called Graduale-hymn, with Kyrie eleison. After the singing of that hymn comes the announcement of the Gospel with a response from the congregation. Then the Gospel is chanted, followed by the Nicene Creed in versified form. At first the Nicene Creed was read in Latin and then the versified translation sung by the congregation in the form of a hymn. But later the reading in Latin was omitted. Now the minister ascends the pulpit,


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announces his text, and the congregation rises and remains standing while it listens to the Divine message. The text was almost invariably the Gospel or Epistle for the day. Then the Sermon is preached. The Sermon is followed by a General Prayer from the pulpit in which the congregation is exhorted to pray for everything needful. This General Prayer is followed by the Pater Noster, the congregation uniting. Besides, the beautiful Litany was often used. Then follows a versus by the congregation. After that Holy Communion takes place, commencing with Luther’s Exhortation, the Lord’s Prayer and the Words of Institution. While the elements are being distributed the Agnus Dei is sung in the vernacular. If the communicants were many, Jubilum S. Bernhardi, Jesu dulcis memoria, or some other sacramental hymn was sung. At first it was the practice in the Danish Church that nothing should be said by the minister while the distribution of the elements was taking place, because everything had been said when the Words of Institution had been pronounced and needed not to be repeated. But as this custom prevailed in the Danish Church only till the year 1646 it is doubtful whether it ever became prevalent in Iceland. Still I am inclined to infer that it has also been the practice there for some time. After the distribution the Salutation with response was followed by Luther’s Collect of Thanksgiving, the Aaronic Benediction and a Hymn. On the great festivals of the Church Year the Lord’s Supper was celebrated with more solemnity, the Praefatio, Sursum Corda, and Sanctus being chanted by the minister before the Exhortation. Then also the Pro Offertorio was rendered, before the offerings were made by the congregation. At first these parts of the Service were rendered in Latin, but later they were gradually translated in to the vernacular. The Confession of Sins with the Absolution has been eliminated from this Service, except in connection with the Communion, because Communion was administered at almost every Service during the Reformation Period.




In time this excellent form of Service was destined to suffer several changes and modifications in the Danish Church as elsewhere, brought about by the corresponding changes in theology and in views regarding Divine Services. The Ritual of 1685 and


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the Altar Book of 1688 give a greater prominence to the sermon and the singing of hymns. The Lord’s Supper becomes more of an appendix to the regular Service than anything else. The old, time-honored Heilige Worte of the Church, such as Introitus, Kyrie, Hallelujah, Gloria, Credo, Agnus Dei are transformed into metrical paraphrases, called hymns. Each Sunday has a fixed hymn, characteristic for the day, in order to give prominence to the Church Year. The beautiful Praefatio was for the most part omitted after Latin was no longer used. Even the Introitus hymn must also disappear and in its place the Service now commences with a short prayer, read by the deacon, from the chancel-door. The whole Service is also brought to a close by a corresponding prayer by the deacon, both these prayers being translated from the German of Veit Dietrich. The General Prayer now becomes a direct prayer by the minister and the sermonic part of the Service is brought to a close by the Aaronic Benediction from the pulpit. The whole tendency is to make the Altar Service suffer from the encroachments of the Pulpit-Service.

All these changes and alterations were probably not introduced into the Service in Iceland, although it gradually has been by practice modified in the same direction. In its essentials the Graduale-Service in Iceland, which has been described above, held its own down to the year 1801, as before stated.




In the year 1801 a new Hymn-book was published in Iceland, suffering greatly from the theological and liturgical defects of the times. A Royal Rescript of 1802 further reduced and impoverished the Danish Service. And unfortunately it was now considered imperative to mould the Divine Services in the Church of Iceland into perfect harmony with that of the Danish Church. But the change was not a Reformation, but a deformation in accordance with the prevalent ideas of the eighteenth century. As this new form of Service has prevailed in Iceland through all the nineteenth century and up to the present time, a detailed account of it will be next in order.

When the church-bells have rung for the third and last time before the Service, the congregation assembles or is supposed to be assembled in the church. The minister takes his place before the altar, robed in his black gown of broadcloth, buttoned in


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front, with narrow sleeves, and the large white ruffle round his neck. Then the deacon from the door of the chancel reads a short introductory Prayer or Collect, followed by the Lord’s Prayer, the minister turning to the altar, the congregation bowing and covering their faces. Then an introductory Hymn is sung, usually an invocation of the Holy Spirit. During this time the minister remains standing, turned to the altar, the deacon assisting him, in putting on a surplice of pure white linen and a chasuble of purple silk-velvet, having a large gold cross on the back. At the end of the hymn the minister turns to the congregation chanting or intonating the Salutation,—“ The Lord be with you,” the congregation responding: “And with thy spirit.” The minister then chants: “Let us pray,” and turning towards the altar he chants the Collect for the day, which is followed by an “Amen,” sung by the choir and the congregation. The minister now again turns to the congregation and announces the Epistle for the day. The congregation rises and the minister chants the Epistle. After the Epistle the congregation in a sitting posture sings a short Hymn, usually only one stanza, and a Hallelujah-verse is, for this purpose, introduced into the latest Hymn-book. While that is being sung, the minister turns his face to the altar, but at the end of it he turns to the congregation and announces the Gospel for the day, chanting. This is followed by a Responsorium by the choir and congregation, at the end of which the people rise, while the minister chants the Gospel, resuming their seats again at the end of it, and the minister turning to the altar. Then the congregation sings the chief Hymn of the day’s Service, usually containing the chief thought of the Gospel for that day. While the last stanzas are being sung the deacon removes the chasuble and the surplice, laying both neatly folded on the altar, and the minister in his black gown and ruffle proceeds to the pulpit, where he arranges his books and manuscript, if he has any, and offers a silent prayer, while the last words of the hymn are being sung, covering his face with his hands. He then pronounces a short prayer, giving the main thoughts of his sermon prominence and thus preparing the minds of the people for what is to follow. He then announces his text, which usually is the Gospel for the day. Having announced his text, the congregation rises and remains standing, while the minister reads the same, resuming their seats


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again when it is ended. He then pronounces the Kanzel-gruss, addresses the congregation and commences his sermon. In Iceland it is customary for the minister to use a manuscript, and the delivery of a sermon generally takes about half an hour. The sermon being brought to a close, the minister pronounces the Gloria Patri, introductory to the General Prayer which is very short, concluding with the Lord’s Prayer. He announces the Benediction, the congregation rises and the Aaronic Benediction is pronounced, whereupon the congregation is seated again and the minister descends from the pulpit, taking his place before the altar. If Baptism is to be administered, a Hymn introducing that holy act is sung by the congregation and the Baptism takes place, a lady holding the child, and two male sponsors proceeding to the baptismal font. The baptismal formula commences with a biblical exposition of Baptism in general, translated from the German. The sign of the cross is made both on the forehead and the chest of the child, followed by a prayer, that the child may be received into the Kingdom of Christ and enjoy the blessing of Baptism. Then follows the usual Gospel selection with the Lord’s Prayer, the minister laying his hand on the head of the child while pronouncing it. The questions are indirect, not directly addressed to the child as the case used to be before the present form was adopted. The Apostolic Confession is preceded by the Renunciation. The whole is summed up in one question, directed to the child, and answered by the sponsors, the pastor pronounces the name of the child and baptizes by aspersion of water on the head in the name of the triune God. Then follows the admonition to the sponsors concerning the education of the child in the Christian religion.

If there be a Communion, the communicants must present themselves in church before the regular Service commences, a short preparatory service then taking place, a hymn being sung and the communicants, gathering about the altar-railing, listen to a short address by the pastor on human sin and Divine grace, at the conclusion of which the Absolution is pronounced, en masse, and not severally. But the act of Communion itself takes place after the administration of Baptism, if there has been any, preceded by a Communion-hymn, sometimes the Agnus Dei, during the singing of which the minister has again put on the surplice and the chasuble with the assistance of the deacon. The


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minister then turns to the congregation and the communicants assemble around the altar-railing. He then addresses Luther’s exhortation to them at the end of which he turns towards the altar, the communicants kneeling down at the same time on a cushion at the base of the railing. The minister now chants the Lord’s Prayer and the congregation responds with Amen. Holding the plate containing the Communion wafers in his hands and raising it slightly above the altar-table, he pronounces the first part of the Words of Institution. He then takes the chalice, filled with wine, in his hands, lifts it up and pronounces the last part of the Words of Institution, also passing his hands over other vessels on the altar, containing Communion wine to be used that day. The congregation then sings the Jubilum S. Bern, Jesu dulcis memoria, and the minister, turning to the people, commences the distribution of the elements. To each communicant he says: “This is the true Body of Jesus,” and “This is the true Blood of Jesus.” The distribution ended, each round of communicants is dismissed with the Pax. A short hymn is sung, after which the minister turns to the congregation, chanting the Salutation, followed by the Response and the Oremus. Turning to the altar he chants a Collect for the Communion. But if there be no Communion, he uses another Collect for the Word, or during Lent he uses still another Collect for the Passion, the congregation responding with an Amen. He then again turns to the congregation and chants the Salutation, responded to by the congregation as before. He then raises his hands, the congregation rises and from the altar he chants the Aaronic Benediction, which is followed by a thrice repeated Amen, sung by the congregation. The Service is now brought to a close by the singing of a Hymn by the congregation, during which the deacon relieves the minister of the chasuble and the surplice. The closing Hymn being sung to the end, the pastor in the same position with his face turned to the altar, the deacon pronounces a short concluding prayer, corresponding to the one introducing the Service, followed by the Lord’s Prayer.—It will be seen that the minister remains standing during the whole Service from beginning to end.




The above Order of Service has retained the main characteristics of the Reformation Service and has a simplicity and a dignity


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of its own. It has, however, suffered to a very large extent from the blight of eighteenth century illumination. The original, beautiful Liturgy is cut down to a minimum and the Service has become somewhat barren, too much prominence being given to the pulpit-service and the Communion Service put in a rather loose and inorganic connection with the rest of the Service. The beautiful liturgical parts, Introitus, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Praefatio, Sanctus, Agnus Dei have disappeared. The General Prayer has become short and shriveled, both in quantity and quality. The Aaronic Benediction is used twice, both from the pulpit and the altar, instead of using the Apostolic Benediction (2 Cor. 13:13) from the pulpit to avoid the repetition. The too frequent use of the Lord’s Prayer is not in good liturgical taste as it may occur at least five times during the same Service, if Baptism and Communion take place.

Until the latter part of the nineteenth century the Icelandic Service had preserved the Gregorian Collects, the common inheritance of the whole Christian Church. But in 1869 a new revision of the Manual was published, containing a great many alterations, introduced with the laudable intention to purify the language and make the Service more acceptable to the demands of the younger generation, bringing it at the same time into a still more perfect harmony with the Danish Service. The result of this may in some respects have proved beneficial, but in others detrimental. One of the innovations consisted in discarding the old Collects and introducing the German Collects, adopted in the Danish countries, Denmark and Norway, but never in Germany. It was found, however, that the popular taste in Iceland would not tolerate a literal translation of these, so they were shortened and softened down in a considerable degree, many of their most characteristic expressions being entirely left out. They have therefore lost a great deal of their force, and have neither the sober Catholic spirit of the old Collects, nor the fervent and almost defiant spirit of the original. The change was a mistake, done in perfectly good faith, but rather a loss than a gain from a liturgical point of view.

To remedy all these defects will be the duty of the future Service. The same movement will have to be inaugurated in Iceland as elsewhere in the Lutheran Church, to recover the lost liturgical treasures and reinstate them into their original place in


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the Service. Sweden has its Liturgy in almost ideal form. The Norwegian Church now possesses a revised and extended Liturgy, which is a great improvement of lasting merit, although it may be perfected still more and undoubtedly will. In Denmark the good work proceeds very slowly, other matters of vital importance engaging the attention of the Danish Church. But a good deal of work has been done and is now taking shape. In Iceland interest in these matters is awakening and a committee has the work of revision in hand. The Icelandic Synod in this country has already introduced again some of the essential parts which originally belonged to the Service, such as the Gloria in Excelsis, Gloria Patri, Kyrie, Hallelujah, Pro Offertorio. And it is sincerely to be hoped that the future Service will also contain the Confession of Sins, the Absolution, the Creed and a full General Prayer from the altar, and not from the pulpit, as now is the case, and that it will reinstate the Gregorian Collects.



Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.