- Christian worship that is evangelical is nothing but “that our dear Lord
himself speaks to us through his holy Word and we respond to him through prayer
and praise” (LW 51, 333). Nothing else should ever happen there. [So Luther
preached at the dedication of the Castle church in Torgau Oct 5, 1544.] Christ
says, “I forgive you,” and we say, “Amen.” A little child knows this.
True worship depends upon getting a trustworthy word from God. You are at his
mercy in that regard. So what exactly does our dear Lord say to you when he
speaks? “In the former days, in many and various ways, God spoke to our
ancestors by the prophets, but in these latter days he has spoken to us by the
Son” (Hebrews 1:1). God who is extravagantly rich in his grace has given you the
following specific words for your worship (that is, for you to trust):
- First, the preached word: “Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, “was handed over to death for [y]our trespasses and was raised for [y]our justification”
- Second our Lord says: “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved;
but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
- Third Christ says, “given and shed for you for the remission of sins.”
- Fourth “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain
the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23)
- If these words were not enough, again Christ promises: “Where two or
three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
- True worship requires these specific words from God that sinners cling to
for life. The true Sabbath—your only “true holy relic, above all holy relics.”
(Large Catechism, 3rd Commandment, 91, 399, Kolb and Wengert): “By it all the
saints have themselves been made holy…all our life and work must be based on
God’s Word if they are to be God-pleasing or holy… for this Word is not idle or
dead, but effective and living.” Worship is God daily putting the old sinner to
death and raising the new saint and to both we say: Amen!
- But the history of worship is the history of not trusting his word—it is
always the most religious among us who run off looking for better words:
producing heaps of human traditions and enthusiastic, spiritual
personalities that we substitute for our Lord’s own holy word. That is,
idolatry. Why? Because we don’t like God’s given words and prefer our own.
Nor does the devil ever rest in this regard. One of Luther’s greatest
writings on worship (commentary on Deuteronomy) highlights this temptation
to false worship in the dramatic story of Baal Peor (Number 25):
- The Israelites were encamped at Shittim across from Jericho; while
waiting instructions to go in to the promised land, they took up with the
native women of Moab "These invited the people to the sacrifices of their
gods, and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked
himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against
Israel." (Numbers 25:2-3).
- God instructed Moses to hang all the chiefs of the people who led them
to this. And all Moab devotees of the Baal were killed.
- But One Israelite decided to flout this specific word from God, because
he was in love I suppose, and brought his Midianite girlfriend into the
camp, "in the sight of Moses and the whole congregation."
- [Now if this were a Hollywood movie, everyone would first be taken aback
by the foreigner in their midst, and then we would learn that she was really
a great person with a funny Midianite personality, and everyone would live
together in diversity and peace—just like “South Pacific”—as if worshipping
all Gods together makes for peace on earth.] But this story ends
- Phineas, Grandson of Aaron the high priest, took up a spear, "and
pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman, through her body.
Thus the plague was stayed from the people of Israel. Nevertheless those
that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand." (Numbers 25:8-9).
- From this I conclude: God is serious about this worship business! God must
be given his due! It is as serious as the first commandment, in which all the
others are found, "Thou shalt have no other God before me." So when people go
mucking with your hymnal and service book you ought to know.
- I also conclude that people constantly prefer something other than what
God says, and inevitably in their search for better words they reverse the
direction of worship—worship always becomes what we offer to God rather than
what God commands and gives us. Beneficium becomes sacrificium. Or as
Melanchthon once put it: we always prefer being “for” priests like the
Levites—who sacrificed for sinners rather than “to” priests who stand up
facing sinners and give God’s words to them (Apology XIII).
- God’s own direction for worship follows the line of the incarnation—from
heaven down to you while you are yet sinners. Lutherans are meant to help the
whole world (ecumene) get the worship direction right by hanging tightly to
God’s preached words: God comes down to us in his Son, then by sending his
preacher—we don’t go up to him. So we are to help distinguish what religions
constantly confused: proclamation is not prayer; faith is not love, gospel is
not law, a gift cannot be both given and received at the same time—and yet
churches and world are all tangled up in confusion over these by pursuing their
own words in worship.
- Lutherans should be helping the whole world and its churches, but we have
grown tired of being salt and want to be the meat, grown tired of being leaven
and want to be the loaf in what today is called “an ecumenical spirit.”
- I would much prefer starting in a different place than I do tonight, but
like a doctor lancing a boil I must first do some messy work before things
can get better and I can just tell you about Christ and what he has done for
you. Some of the same forces in the ELCA that brought you Called to Common
Mission (CCM) (and the Formula of Agreement) will soon make up their own
form of blessing of same-sex unions. And again some of those same basic
forces behind those two developments in our churches are now in the process
of giving you a new hymnal. The number of people behind this new hymnal is
small, but they are single-minded and determined to win the day by adhering
to the sworn oath of the liturgical and ecumenical movements:
lex orandi lex credendi—the way you pray is what you believe. “You
don’t have to believe it, you just have to do it,” should sound familiar to
you. “It doesn’t matter who puts his hand on you at ordination, just
concentrate on your mission.” Over time the way you pray, your repeated
ritual acts of liturgy produce new beliefs. CCM is already doing that with
our young people, next will be the new hymnal.
- As the stepping-stone to a new hymnal we now have a series of books
called “Renewing Worship.”
- These books (three of them already) are prepared by a very small group,
the key members being experts who call themselves “liturgists.”
- These liturgists are not your normal academic types. They are prophets
on a mission. They put most of us to shame for their willingness to work and
sacrifice for their cause, because in their minds they are God’s own
instruments to mend a broken church by instituting one
eucharist in each place presided over by one
authorized bishop so that when performed properly there will be
one church--visible on earth as in heaven.
- This small group operates with three basic principles that run throughout
the pinkish colored book published by the ELCA called
Principles for Worship:
- First, multiculturalism in song and liturgy is itself “mission.”
- They believe they are harvesting the seeds that were sown during the
“past three decades [that] have seen not only a growing ecumenical
consensus, but also a deepened focus on the church’s mission to the world.”
[A new movement!]
- They believe in what they call “a renewed understanding of the central
pattern of Christian worship” (this is an unfortunate search begun in a
handful of monasteries by erstwhile monks searching for the original shape
of all human worship in all religions—that original shape is then presumed
to be brought to its pinnacle in what is called the action of the
- These beliefs have present and future consequences for the way you worship.
Lutherans have a very clear teaching about church that is “the assembly of
saints in which the gospel is taught purely and the sacraments are administered
rightly” (CA VII). But in this new material we get new “principles” of worship
like this: “Because we cannot fully comprehend the mystery of God, the language
of worship on the one hand points to and evokes the God who surpasses all
Liturgy “points to and evokes God”—my, what have we Lutherans come to? We have
become peeping Toms trying to catch God in a moment of unguarded mystery while
unpreached! To the contrary, we already have a clear word from God that our sins
have been laid on Christ—and that is to be given for you
as a promise! Worship is not pointing and evoking mystery! It declares.
- The authority for teaching in these Renewing Worship books is given over
to what they call the “worldwide ecumenical discussion” as in Principle L-8
where they attempt to explain why we should keep baptizing in the name of
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit since so many people don’t like to say
“Father” anymore: "Most church bodies", following
Matthew 28, have baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and the
Holy Spirit.” Then they quote from ecumenical movement’s
Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry document: “While a worldwide
ecumenical discussion is now underway about such language [apparently with
the outcome in some doubt!], we have no other name in which to baptize than
the historic and ecumenically received name.” By what authority do we
baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
- Scripture is gone; your confessions vanish—when someone questions the
administration of the sacrament what authority do you call up? The worldwide
ecumenical discussion now under way, and in the meantime we do “what most
churches are doing”!
- The problems in this material are like Abraham going out on a starry
night and numbering the stars!
- We cannot name them all, but the main problem with the ELCA’s Renewing
Worship movement is that all these principles are built into one document that
surpasses all others in authority: The Use of the Means
of Grace statement accepted by the 1997 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA.
It’s argument is more pointed and directly opposed to the Confessions:
- The Use of the Means of Grace begins
with a quotation from the Apology XIII (in almost direct parallel with the
introduction to the LBW): We believe we have the duty not
to neglect any of the rites and ceremonies instituted in Scripture, whatever
their number. . . .”
- “Not neglecting any rites and ceremonies” (Principle 1) is a phrase that
is then taken out of context to assert (Principle 2) that the Word and
sacraments are “given to the church.” The church then must see that they are
“not degraded by sin,” (Background 2C) and so exercises an authority over
the sacraments: “As a church in this time, we seek
to give and receive God’s Word and sacraments as full and
reliable signs of Christ.” [The same thing can’t be received and
given at the same time! God alone gives his word, the church receives it,
and this is hardly “signs,” but Christ himself.]
- Then we watch the given commands and promises of God fall like dominoes
before the church’s own vaunted authority: Any changes in worship have to be
for the purpose of “unity amidst diversity,”
not for “merely antiquarian or legalistic interests” [Goodbye Reformation
and good riddance!] (Principle 4, Background 4A).
- Then they give what they call the basic shape of liturgy in two parts:
Part I: Word “read and preached” and Part II: “sacraments
celebrated” (Principle 6) There is that word that turns the worship
direction backward: from us to God. They are not longer given, but
- Principle 34: Nevertheless the two parts “form one act of worship” –so
liturgy is a whole mystery action that we do.
- Principle 36 introduces the term “eucharist” “to see that the whole meal
is a great thanksgiving for creation and for
creation’s redemption in Jesus Christ.”
- Principle 40: Introduces a priest presiding at Holy Communion as a
“witness that this sacrament is a celebration of the Church, serving, its
unity…”and proclaims the Great Thanksgiving” (not
Christ’s last will and testament).
- Which finally leads to the purpose of this whole exercise: the holy
grail of the Renewing Worship plan that they believe will re-unite the
church into a visible whole: Principle 43: “The biblical words of
institution declare God’s action and invitation. They are set with the
context of the Great Thanksgiving. This Eucharistic prayer proclaims and
celebrates the gracious word of God in creation, redemption, and
- The only thing that was missing from this worship laid out by the
liturgical and ecumenical movement was to rejoin the historic episcopate so
that we could become closer to the basic teaching: one Eucharist, one
bishop, one church. There you have the foundation for your renewing worship
- But if this is not bad enough, we have two flanks for this fight, not one:
- This liturgical movement that has separated from the Confessions, with
its blessing of water before baptism, the required eucharistic prayer for
joint communion services with Episcopalians, affirmations of baptism,
removal of Lutheran catechetical hymns and the piling up of human traditions
like the oil, the ever-present laying on of hands, and metaphors galore
where once stood the name: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- But it is worse yet; on the other side of us we have the host of
American religions and the corrosive melting pot of culture that seeks God
inside yourself on your various spiritual journeys. They do not want a
preacher; they want a personal, spiritual guide with visible gifts.
Spiritualism like this wants no baked God, it rejects baptism, and does not
want to repent and be absolved, it rather seeks what it thinks are higher
and better words than Christ gave us, swallowing the Spirit feathers and
all—it seeks its own self that it expresses to the
outside world and demands that others worship their right to do so. [Luther
rightly called it Fanaticism]
- With a whole host of problems on each flank what do we do? Just what the
earliest Lutherans did: we preserve the Reformation and unleash the Gospel by
using the Small Catechism. We do what Luther saw was necessary for his poorly
taught German churches: “First, the German service needs a plain and simple,
fair and square catechism.”
Well, so does the American worship service. We sometimes observe that the
Reformation was preserved by the catechism, and so it was and so it must be
today. Though these forces are great, they are no greater—maybe even less—than
those faced by the Reformers. Despair is not allowed, since God’s word alone
will stand against them—even though we have three forces seeking to destroy true
worship and the teaching of it in the catechism.
- The self-named liturgical movement and ecumenical movement have
studiously removed the catechism from your hymnal in order to make worship
no longer an “ear house,” that hears the law and gospel in public
proclamation, but instead makes it an “eye house”—a koinonia mystery cult
called simply: “the eucharist.” It doesn’t want you to have the Apostle’s
Creed as God’s work alone given “for you” in the present. They want to join
your work and God’s.
- At the same time, the American spiritualists have removed your catechism
from worship because they don’t like categorical preaching and
sacraments—because they leave no room for the free will to cooperate with
the Holy Spirit. Fanatics hate the sacraments and so remove them for purpose
that they call getting “seekers” in or so that worship is not such a
- Our culture has also worked to remove your catechism because it hates
the Ten Commandments.
- To combat these enemies in their own day, the Reformers did two things with
- They took out noxious elements that couldn’t possibly stand because they
moved in the wrong direction—from us up to God in the mode of sacrificing
and by dissolving the word of God into our own work as church (this happens
when the words being given by God end up as sacrifice, thanksgiving that we
make to remember God, or an action of the church mystically uniting us with
God). So they removed praying to saints, encrusting baptism with all sorts
of unnecessary and dangerous symbols, and most importantly the canon of the
mass or eucharistic prayer wherever it buried Christ and the publication of
his last will and testament.
- The Lutheran Churches should never forget what Luther did when he
first made the liturgy a “local option”–for there the canon of the mass
was removed, and when it was gone, so went the papacy. At the same time
it made the freedom regarding worship and liturgy an accomplished
fact—gone were ordo and structures or
“patterns of worship” that are supposedly done in all places and times.
- At the same time, local traditions all must be tested—“weigh it in
the pan of God’s Word,” Luther said. That means everything in worship is
tested as to whether it brings home the down-to-earth gift of our
crucified and risen Lord and makes possible the faithful “Amen,” to him.
Where traditions go in the wrong direction and oppose our chief article
they must go. And whenever traditions, however, venerable are
required, so too they must go. That means, whenever liturgical
“may-be’s” (human traditions) are turned into “must-be’s” they cease to
be free (adiaphora).
- Then the Reformers did another thing even more important:
they put in the catechism—in prayer and song and direct
proclamation to sinners that makes the justifying faith. They preached
the faith, and then they taught it that it might be learned and
retained. Our constant re-translating has ruined our memory. Our hymnals
have grown too large so that we might represent every possible group and
belief under the umbrella of the ELCA, but they have removed direct,
catechetical hymns, especially Luther’s. They also remove any reference
to your Confessions, including the Small Catechism. Why? Because such
confessional unity is viewed as the obstacle to visible union with other
churches, liturgy must unite by expunging
confessional particularity! Instead they put slogans: consensus of the
first five centuries, historic episcopate, and “ecumenical consensus.”
- Now to glimpse how this is done, we may start with the first petition of the
“Hallowed be thy name: God’s name
certainly is holy in itself, but we ask in this prayer that we may keep it
holy.” How does this happen? God’s name is hallowed whenever his Word is
rightly taught and we as children of God live in harmony with it. Help us to
do this, heavenly Father! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to the
Word of God dishonors God’s name among us, Keep us from doing this, heavenly
- True worship requires a prior, first and final word of God. Without
which you endlessly seek vainly inside yourself for God. But we have such a
first word from God: “I am the Lord your God,” This Lord says two things:
- You shall have no other God before me—demanding complete trust in
his word--and so this commandment includes all the others. [Law]
- But this same God who demands so much also gives all, and so we have
our Creed: “I believe that Jesus Christ—true God, Son of the Father from
eternity, and true man, born of the Virgin Mary—is my Lord. He has
redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, saved me at great cost from
sin, death and the power of the devil—not with silver or gold, but with
his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death.”
[Gospel: The faith we have not, he gives—at great cost to himself, but
declared freely to the ungodly he chooses by the proclamation itself.]
- This simple starting place for true worship reverses the direction of all
human “patterns” as liturgists call them.
- The direction of all worship is from God downward through the means
of preached word and sacraments. We call it—the sacramental reversal.
- In every way we resist seeking better words, especially by
multiplying of “metaphors,” creation of our own creeds, the flowering of
ever new symbols, blessings of everything that moves in the new ritual
de jour—laying on of hands, (which you are supposed to see as having
many, many uses, not only for passing on the historic episcopate)!
- God’s word is not only first, it comes in several specific, given,
historical forms, and so does our little “Amen,” our response of simple trust.
- God speaks to us presently, directly, publicly (sometimes even
individually), through the reading of Scripture, preaching, baptism, the
Lord’s Supper and absolution. The benefit of each is
Christ himself as our righteousness apart from works of the law, that
means: When worship takes this direction, Christ comes to forgive your
sin—and remember where there is forgiveness of sin there is also life and
- Our “Amen,” our clinging to this word comes out in spoken prayer, song,
praise, thanksgiving, confession and petition (asking God for help). In
- Thank Christ for his benefits.
- Confess our unworthiness.
- And ask for more grace, more grace, more and more and more.
- By speaking the first and final word—God creates us anew in faith
itself; that means his word creates the church. [The Word alone creates
churches. Baptism is never initiation into Church, nor do we “renew it” with
our vows, nor does the event of eucharist make the church as a “ritual
- Enthusiasts of either the Roman or American spiritualists sort seek God
within themselves (or the church) rather than in God’s external, preached
word. You must rather come to worship to receive these gifts from God.
Liturgism’s current attempt seeks to make the Lord’s Supper the highest form
of “celebration”—preaching serving as only an entrance to this “feast.”
Instead, proclamation must come first, in its oral, public form as public
absolution of the repentant, public preaching, and in its form in the
sacraments themselves: Lord’s Supper and Baptism.
- That is why Luther once said, “To correct these abuses, know first of
all that a Christian congregation should never gather together without the
preaching of God’s Word and prayer, no matter how briefly…”
- Preaching is nothing else than God’s word in human
words. It is sacramental in the sense of having an actual,
red-blooded human using his or her voice to speak words into the ears,
according to Christ’s promise: “he who hears you hears me” (Luke 10:16).
- Not just anything any preacher says is
God’s word: The preacher must discern the law and gospel and not
commingle them, for this reason preaching is always from the Bible text.
- In the law God sets out what is required of us, and what he
holds against us—how he judges us. We hold the Ten Commandments ever
near and help the flock know plainly God’s most salutary doctrine of
- The Gospel then raises us to new life from the condemnation of
death by witnessing to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
for sinners. The Holy Spirit makes these preached words effective in
the heart where and when he wills, “for I cannot by my own
understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to
him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel,
enlightened me with his gifts and sanctified and kept me in true
- The Gospel in a nutshell always needs a giver—a proclaimer
doing what Luther called the right application of the pronoun
- Our catechism teaches as the Bible does, “Baptism is nothing else than
the Word of God in water.” It is God’s act for us in which he delivers us
from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe
what he has promised. The promise is the thing! “Shall be saved.”
- It is, of course, witnessed to by the community of believers, but is
not initiation into the group of the holy either by magical rites
[why we do not bless the water] or adults making vows of
fidelity to God.
- Baptism is never over and done with, but needs no “renewal,” instead it
means “that our sinful self, with all its evil deeds and desires should be
drowned through daily repentance; and that day after day a new self should
arise to live with God in righteousness and purity.”
- Use it, not renew it. Bring forward the gifts of baptism. It is not past
oriented, but future—not wiping the slate clean but the object to which you
cling in times of trouble so to cling to God himself for you.
- The Lord’s Supper
- It is nothing else but the Word of God in bread and wine. Faith feasts
on this promise “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” For
there Christ forgives your sin.
- It is not eucharist—not our celebration that makes it what it is. That
direction is wrong! The words of Christ at the Last Supper cannot be
confused with prayer up to God.
- Instead, the Lord’s Supper is Christ’s last will and testament, in which
the maker of the will is Christ himself, who names his estate: “the
forgiveness of sins,” and his heirs “given and shed for you”–who are after
all his very betrayers. He also bestows this in the promise itself: “Given
and shed for you,” beneficium, not sacrificium.
With the seal of bread and wine. The direction is always from God to us, the
act of his giving, his promising to sinners. Not prayer.
- The Absolution (or Confession and Forgiveness)
- Uses the keys of the kingdom given by God so that in human voice God’s
forgiveness is given to sinners. Absolution brings forward the gifts of
baptism, the Christian life being the daily return to the first promise of
- The declaration of forgiveness is the real
thing in absolution by which God works repentance and does not count the
trespass. The word accomplishes what it says—ending the sinner and creating
- And so we do not despise this promise, but give it and use it—publicly
- We do not think of starting our service here as “negative,” or
“premature,” nor is it a mere prelude to the Lord’s Supper as if you must be
made holy before receiving communion.
- For all these things that make worship we need an
external preacher, outside ourselves bringing the external word.
- The ministry is instrumental in God giving us his words—the instrument
of God to give these words. It is not part of our prayer or sacrifice of
praise to God. This confusion makes “for” priests rather than “to” priests
who believe they are mediators who sacrifice on our behalf—and is the great
problem for worship life of the CCM and romantic liturgical movement—for
they cannot distinguish our prayer from God’s
proclamation and God’s word is lost in a fog of ritual holiness that
is nothing more than a sect making its own form of worship.
- So the true church created by God’s word is commissioned by God to
witness in word and deed that salvation is by Christ alone by giving the
gospel in oral proclamation and the sacraments (CA 5). This is the right and
duty of all believers (the priesthood of all believers). But to assist and
enable the community in this proclamation there is the office of the pastor
whose particular calling is the public proclamation of God’s word in
preaching and administration of the sacraments (CA 14).
- Finally, after all this, we come to Faithful Response to the Words: Our
- God commands us to pray and promises to hear our prayers. Prayer is
nothing but opening your sack wide and asking for help, calling out to God
in expectation of his interceding graciously on your behalf (even with sighs
and groans too deep for words, Romans 8). Thanksgiving delights in God’s
benefits already given in Christ, and so waits with great anticipation for
seeing what we now have in faith.
- Offerings and “thanksgivings” of prayer do not complete a great ritual
circle or appease God’s anger—they are fruits of faith meant to help others.
- So here is my plea: Lutherans, let’s get the direction right in worship, and
refuse the religious sounding innovations of the Renewing Worship movement. The
church and world cannot survive attempting to worship a mysterious God that is
not preached by coaxing him out by our thanksgiving. So let us return to our
catechism and from it learn again how God has come down to get you while your
are ungodly. Ludwig Helmbold put it in this catechetical hymn (1594):
- Lord God, keep us for evermore
in catechism doctrine pure—
that through your Luther is made known
for simple youth to make their own.
- The Ten Commandment here we learn,
repent of sin, and so discern
to live by faith in you alone,
the Father, Son, and Spirit, one.
- Our Father, source of heavenly grace
we pray to you before your face,
that we (baptized) may come to be
fulfilled in Christ eternally.
- And when we fall, we seek relief
and make confession, with belief,
and take the Body and the Blood.
Amen. God grant our end be good.
 Principle L-5,
Principles for Worship, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2002.
 Changes in sacraments
should be for “unity amidst diversity,” not for “merely antiquarian or
legalistic interests” Principle 4, Background 4A,
Principles for Worship.
 In application 43A:
“The full action, from dialogue through the Lord’s Prayer, including the
proclamation of the words of institution, is called the Great Thanksgiving. Our
congregations, synods, and churchwide organization are encouraged to use these
patterns of thanksgiving.” The reference is to the
Apology again, article 24. 76—not actually printed out, but here is the
full quotation: “There are also statements about thanksgiving [among the
Fathers], like that very beautiful statement of Cyprian [pseudo-Cyprian]
concerning those who receive the sacrament in godly fashion: ‘He says, In
returning thanks to the Giver for such an abundant blessing, piety divides its
thanks between what has been given and what has been forgiven.’ That is, piety
focuses on what has been given and what has been forgiven; it compares the
greatness of God’s blessings with the greatness of our ills, our sin and our
death, and it gives thanks. From this the term ‘Eucharist” arose in the church.
Nor is the ceremony itself a giving of thanks ex opere
operato that can be applied for the benefit of others in order to merit
the forgiveness of sins for them, etc. or in order to free the souls of the
dead. The theory that a ceremony could somehow benefit either the worshiper or
anyone else without faith conflicts with the righteousness of faith.” But the
use in Means of Grace above misses that this
thanksgiving either comes after or is simply the whole “ceremony.” “Remembrance”
is not like seeing a play. It is not the “eucharistic prayer,” as it has come to
be used in modern liturgical renewal. In fact that is what “conflicts with the
righteousness of faith,” because it gets the direction wrong.
 LW 53, 64.
 But whenever local
traditions and liturgies meet the criteria—free and true to the gospel—then they
should not be altered by anyone without the consent of the congregation using
 Concerning Public
 So, Luther’s
catechetical hymn “Preserve us, Lord, by thy dear Word, from Turk and pope
defend us, [perhaps we could update, fanatic and liturgist]…. (Translation from
Robert Wisdom 1560, in Leaver, 397).
Her Gott, erhalt uns für and für for Teaching Children the Catechism from
Ludwig Helmbold (1594) (trans. Robin Leaver) In Robin Leaver, “Luther’s
Catechism Hymns,” in Lutheran Quarterly XI, 4 Winter 1997, 405-6.