For your Advent observance.
- Introitus: Ad te levavi
- Responsorium Graduale: Universi
- Alleluia: Ostende
- Offertorium: Ad te levavi
- Communio: Dominus dabit
The traditional liturgy doesn't exist primarily to foster interpersonal relationships. It operates on a very different paradigm. In the liturgy we are, in a very real sense, objectively recognizing God for who he is. And in the midst of proclaiming who God is, we encounter God. At the end of the day, we may not be particularly drawn toward individuals, but in a good liturgy, we are drawn to God. We recognize him for who he is.Now that's really about as good as it gets. When describing liturgy for those who might not understand liturgical whys and where fores, one could not do much better (and probably worse) than to use that quote as a staring point.
As a community of a story, the church lives by tradition. That is, the church depends at any time on being told this story, and therefore on those who have already heard it; and the church cares for it own future by in turn telling the story. The reality of the church at any time is the reality of a link in the tradition; the reality of the church is a hermeneutic event of the move from hearing to telling. So also an individual believer belongs to the community as one who hears from others and then speaks to others: faith, to, is a hermeneutic reality, and occurs in tradition. Both the church and the individual believer therefore depend on "the" tradition, on the totality of witnesses from which, at any time, we have heard the gospel.
Under the authority of Scripture and the whole tradition, we will become free to worship in other ways than we have done, and, in whatever ways, for other reasons than that we have always done it so. The church cannot avoid being a social force; under the authority of Scripture and the whole tradition, the church will be a cell for the future rather than the past, and be free to alter its own social structure in order to be this. Any attempt to decree that a particular form of government, or of ministry, or of worship, or of social presence, is permanently necessary to the church is a declaration of independence from the Scripture and creeds.
|You scored as a Luther|
|You are Martin Luther. You'll stick with the words of Scripture, and defend this with earthy expressions. You believe this is a necessary consequence of an orthodox Christology. You believe that the bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Christ, but aren't too sure about where he goes after the meal, and so you don't accept reservation of the Blessed Sacrament or Eucharistic devotions.|
"Cheap Grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?
Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian "conception" of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins. The Church which holds the correct doctrine of grace has, it is supposed, ipso facto a part in that grace. In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God.
Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything, they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. [......] Instead of following Christ, let the Christian enjoy the consolations of his grace! That is what we mean by cheap grace, the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs. Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.
Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.
Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it cost a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.
Since Jesus is no longer living with us bodily, how can we actually 'hear' his voice or 'feel' his healing touch?
The heart of evangelical theology and preaching is that Christ is alive and present among us -- concretely and unmistakably. Jesus' word and presence are real, direct, graspable, and available for us -- today!....We do not act *as if* Jesus Christ were present in the Christian community. The gospel message is that Jesus, actually, is alive and is really present with us in Christian community as he promised. That's the good news. It's the great gift of salvation.
Now, the secret of Jesus' real presence is this: the way he freely comes to people today is through the proclamation of his word, the celebration of the sacraments, and the life and witness of the Christian community.
If we want to hear his call to discipleship, we need to hear it where Christ himself is present. It is within the church that Jesus Christ calls through his word and sacrament...To hear Jesus' call to discipleship, one need no personal revelation. Listen to the preaching and receive the sacrament! Listen to the gospel of the crucified and risen Lord! Here he is, the whole Christ, the very same who encountered the disciples. Indeed, here he is already present as the glorified, the victorious, the living Christ. No one but Christ himself can call us to discipleship...That was true in the same way for the first disciples as it is for us.
"Do you mind clarifying that distinction you make between "historic" and "praise" worship in the context of the Lutheran Church? Why choose the term "praise worship" to refer to it?"
"At the outset it is again necessary, by way of preface, to point out that we do not abolish the Mass but religiously retain and defend it. Among us the Mass is celebrated every Lord's day and on other festivals, when the sacrament is made available to those who wish to partake of it..... We also also keep traditional liturgical forms, such as the order of readings, prayers, vestments, and other similar things." [italics mine]
"Justification by my own righteousness is overcome only by a word that both declares my justification and is clearly and permanently not my own word. Justification by faith can only be opened by a word addressed to me, from outside of me. The gospel is intrinsically an "external" word; it is a word with a home out there in the world that stands against my subjectivity, and that is to say, out there in the world of objects, of bodies and places for bodies. It is, therefore, intrinsically a word "with" a body, with an undetachable nonverbal or more-then-verbal manifestation: a word "with" a bath or a meal or a finger-sign..."
"Words that are mere words, that could in principle get along without objects and bodily performances, are too mental to open the righteousness of faith. If all the word of promise does is convey the information that, let us say, Jesus lives, then once that information is in my head, I can forget the way I learned it. Then the bit of knowledge becomes my knowledge, that I can henceforth tell myself -- and if hearing it justifies, I can justify myself. Thus the word that Jesus lives does not occur as a mere conveyance of information, but as a word that includes such addresses as, "This piece of bread is the living Jesus, take it," thereby pinning me each time anew to what does not come from me, but is out there in the world and comes to me from it." (Lutheranism , pp. 81-82)