Thursday of first week of Advent
Even with the temporary lapse in the publication of THE BRIDE OF CHRIST we hear of liturgical renewal taking place among Lutherans on different levels and in various places. With the advance of the internet, online communications and social networks information about the liturgy is made quickly accessible. This is of benefit in teaching and learning the history, practice and theology of the liturgy as a whole and in its parts. We also hear of a lack of appreciation for the liturgical heritage we have received and abandonment and drastic revisions of the historic liturgy that undermine the content of the faith.
Liturgical renewal does not take place in a vacuum. While there are distinct contributions to the liturgy by the Evangelical-Lutheran Church, such as the Nunc Dimittis after Holy Communion, the liturgy belongs to the Church catholic. There is a rich and long history that reaches beyond the Reformation. There are lasting contributions from both East and West. Hence, Lutheran liturgical renewal and this journal underline Augsburg Confession, Article XXI which states, “There is nothing [in our confession] that varies from the Scriptures, from the Church Catholic, or from the Church of Rome as known from its writers.” As the masthead says, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST is committed to publishing articles, sermons and other contributions from a variety of viewpoints that encourage and exhibit “a catholic form of doctrine, liturgy and ministry.”
The divine liturgy of the mass remains tied to the life of Christ’s Bride, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, as she meets Christ, hearing the proclaimed Word and receiving the blessed Eucharist. The liturgy always leads us in that direction, towards the altar and the blessings of the sacrament which is the eternal sacrifice. By God’s grace in Christ we are forgiven, strengthened in faith and prepared for His coming. He prepares us with a foretaste of the feast to come. From beginning to end we participate in the life and worship of God, the blessed Trinity.
We hope the return of THE BRIDE OF CHRIST will be of encouragement to the reader and assist in renewing an appreciation of the liturgy and its use among baptized believers who long for and promote “a catholic form of doctrine, liturgy and ministry.” We invite you to join us.
Rev. Fr. Timothy D. May