16 June 2006

Lutheran Corpus Christi?

From time to time, I am directly questioned concerning the propriety of certain ceremonies, usages, or other practices done at Zion. These range from the use of the parish's custom of honoring their pastors with the appellation "Father" to the celebration of daily mass to the use of Luther's Baptismal Order.

Often these questions are asked with curious courtesy, but occasionally condemnatory accusation frames the "mood" of the question. In either case, I am grateful for those who address me directly and for the questions they ask since I am always eager to give an answer explaining the history or theology behind such practices. (The questions also give me an opportunity to brag about Zion--the parish I'll always love with neverending love.)

However, I am non-plussed and increasingly irritated with those (some of whom I have considered friends) who assume certain information and criticize from afar. Often, they have never been to Zion; neither have they had the gentlemanliness to address a question before insinuasting an accusation.

No doubt I'm being sensitive, but it appears that this might be happening yet again concerning Zion's long-standing tradition of celebrating the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (commonly known as Corpus Christi). This feast was celebrated (as Western tradition would have it) on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday; i.e., yesterday. And what occurred this year is what occurs every year: Hymns were sung, a sermon was preached, the Sacrament was distributed, and the Mass was celebrated in the usual fashion. The one exception was that the congregation sang the Sequence (written by St Thomas Aquinas) according to the translation and melody given in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary (#321).

NOTE: A copy (in pdf format) of the propers and the day's ordo is available upon request (stjohnofkronstadt@gmail.com)

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