Must-Read Article on the New Lutheran Service Books

Lee points us to a must-read article by Philip Pfatteicher, one of the Grand Masters of American Lutheran liturgy.

He writes a devastating critique of the new ELCA work, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and damns the new LCMS Lutheran Service Book with faint praise. In particular, he focuses upon what these books have done to the Daily Office.

If you run in any sort of protestant liturgy circles (and if you’re reading this you do…), don’t miss this article!

Both the Lutheran Zephyr and Lutherpunk left notes at Lee’s place indicating they might say more; I’d be interested to see what they have to say about it.

4 thoughts on “Must-Read Article on the New Lutheran Service Books

  1. Christopher

    Sounds like a critique I’ve heard from another seminary professor. Remember only one seminary professor and one retired seminary professor of liturgy had much say in this work. There are criticisms here that I’ve made as well and that I think are on the horizon for us. Hence, my dispepsia.

  2. Scott

    Awesome and scathing! Pastor Pfatteicher knows the subject intensely, and he puts well what I could only wince about when I attended a workshop on the ELW daily-office materials and thought, “The ELCA isn’t committed to a daily-office liturgy.” I couldn’t articulate why I felt this way, other than seeing the meagre lectionary and feeling that the forms of the office were clouded with confusion. Here’s hoping many will discover Pr. Pfatteicher’s excellent Daily Prayer of the Church and its full provision for a true Daily Office in the Lutheran Tradition.

  3. Nurse Rached

    Wow, this is a concise and dismal review. I think Pastor Pfatteicher has much credibility. This news about the ELW is disappointing. My understanding is that many U.S. Lutherans eitheir celebrate Eucharist or Ante-Communion, although I have been to Advent and Lent Vespers/Evening Prayer in ELCA parishes. Are there any reviews on the rest of the ELW (especially Eucharist, Litany, and Reconciliation).

    I was gobsmacked watching the broadcast of the Tridentine (1962 Missal of Pope Blessed John XXIII) on EWTN. They did a good job with great music. The clergy did the fiddleback chasuble thing (as opposed to looking like the cast of Hair like the papal entourage in Austria). Alabama as a place of liturgical renewal! Who knew? I remember when I was a little girl and our Episcopal priests faced the altar (eastward). I think Episcopal folks could recover some sense of ”the beauty of holiness” in worship.

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