Skip to main content

Worship Reform

This is the second installment on a series on reforms from the Reformation that we enjoy today.

Prior to the Reformation, worship was in Latin, no matter the native language of the people. Most did not understand what was being said and were unable to participate in any meaningful way in the mass. Any singing that was done was also done in Latin and by a choir. There was little, if any, lay participation in the service. The people were passive observers. Those of us who were raised Roman Catholic and are old enough to remember the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II may well remember that time.

With this reform came understanding of the service and of the gospel because of hearing it in the vernacular. German chorales and hymnody were also written for use in the service (with parts sung by the people) so that by still another means the Word would be declared and more easily learned by parishioners. Worshipers moved from being passive observers to active participants.

flickr picture


LawAndGospel said…
Though raised Presbyterian, I attended Catholic school for Kindergarten and first grade as a child. In spite of Vatican II the Mass I was required to attend was in Latin. Ironically, 40 years ago today, I was placing the wreath of flowers on the BVM in a handmade lace dress while the Catholic children's parents groused that the monsignor selected me.
Ivy said…
Wow! I'm glad to hear I'm not alone. Ray said that in RI they changed to English right after Vatican II, but in Upstate NY, I remembered the mass in Latin and that was after 1963. I thought that I had remembered it wrong.

Interesting that you were chosen for placing the flowers. Hmm. I guess that makes you very ecumenical then.

I'm just grateful that we can worship and sing in a language we can understand.


Popular posts from this blog

Come To The Light To Become The Light

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, Jan. 6, Epiphany at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The gospel text is Matthew 2:1-12
Now, this is a story we know. We’ve seen the scene of the wise men bringing gifts to Jesus so many times in so many pageants. Epiphany is a time when we celebrate the in-breaking of God’s light in God’s way. The Magi are drawn from the east to come and pay homage to the Christ child. There are many theories as to who the magi were: from Zoroastrian priests to astrologers to magicians to kings, while some believe that the Magi were simply a literary device utilized by Matthew. They may have been any or all of the above, but the point is that they were foreigners and gentile outsiders and yet, God spoke to them through a star, through the light and they followed that light. 
Unusual astral phenomena were associated with the birth of a new ruler according to pagans of the time. There were Jewish traditions as well connecting the hoped-for Messiah to the “star out of…

Go Big or Go Home

This is the homily I shared with the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church for Ash Wednesday. The gospel text was Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
The first time I heard the expression, “Go big or go home,” was my senior year of seminary. A dear friend mentioned how during a children’s sermon at her internship site, when she was talking with the kids about how God wants all of us, this young man explained it as “Go big or go home!” It really struck all of us who heard my classmate relate this story.

Today’s gospel lesson is like two bookends with a bunch of information between them. The first verse is the first bookend. Then Jesus talks specifically about different faith practices and how they should and should not be practiced. Finally, the second bookend surround the words in between with the final verse regarding the treasure of our hearts.
Before Jesus gets into the nuts and bolts of various aspects of piety, in the first verse he spells out the gist of the entire teaching, “Beware of practici…

Centered in the Spirit

This is the sermon I preached last Sunday, 12/27/19 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The gospel was Luke 4:14-21.
In the time after Epiphany, we see more revelations of Jesus in the gospel. Today’s is Jesus’ controversial proclamations in his home town. We see the centrality of the life of the Spirit in Jesus’ life of ministry.

The Holy Spirit descends on Jesus after his baptism (3:22), then fills Jesus before he was sent out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil and in this passage of Luke the Spirit fills Jesus with power.
The role of the Holy Spirit is central in Luke’s Gospel. Jesus’ first public words were “The Spirit of the Lord.” The first three phrases in Jesus’ reading tie his ministry to the work of the Spirit: “The Spirit…is upon me…because [the Spirit] has anointed me…[The Spirit] has sent me.” In Jesus’ repetition of “me,” we hear his claiming of Isaiah’s words for himself.
Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit. Anointed is the English word that means the same as…