Volumes I-VII.

Published by the Association Pittsburgh, Pa., 1906.

Copyright, 1906,


The Lutheran Liturgical Association.

[These volumes have been scanned and proofread, but may still contain errors. Original pagination has been indicated throughout.]

Volume III


III 1 The Administration of the Lord’s Supper in Different Ages of the Church (G. S. Seaman)

III 9 The Liturgical History of Confirmation (C. T. Benze)

III 19 The Church and the Liturgy (C. M. Jacobs)

III 35 The Church Prayer (C. A. Miller)

III 47 The Value of Liturgical Study for Organists (G. C. Rees)

III 59 A General Survey of the Book of Common Prayer (S. A. Bridges Stopp)

III 75 Means of Liturgical Reform (T. W. Kretschmann)

III 81 Liturgical Education of the Church’s Youth (R. E. McDaniel)

III 89 The Sacrificial Idea in Christian Worship (G. F. Spieker)

III 101 The Place of Liturgy in the Church’s Thought, Life and Art (J. A. W. Haas)

III 113 The Liturgical History of Baptism (H. S. Gilbert)




THE institution of the Lord’s Supper is described by the synoptists and by St. Paul. The latter, who received the revelation from the Lord, gives the fullest account. We have therefore the firm historic basis of inspired Scripture for the account of the institution, whilst that which pertains to the subsequent history and the churchly development of its doctrine and forms of administration is shrouded in considerable obscurity.

It was on the night of the betrayal, in the large upper room in Jerusalem, in the presence of the eleven disciples, that the Lord instituted the Supper. It followed immediately upon the paschal meal. The elements used were the unleavened bread and the wine upon the table at the time. The apostles reclined about the table according to the custom at meals. The Lord took the bread, gave thanks, brake it and distributed to the disciples. As to its nature and use, He said, “Take, eat; this is My Body, which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me.” “After the same manner, also, when He had supped, He took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; this cup is the New Testament in My Blood, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; this do, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.” Doubtless all the eleven ate and drank of it. Having further instructed them that through such participation of the Body and Blood of the True Passover, each believing communicant had a foretaste of that feast when he should eat and drink with Him in the Father’s Kingdom, they sang a hymn and went to the Mount of Olives. Great simplicity marked the administration of the Lord’s Supper in the first Christian congregation in Jerusalem. The services of the Church were homiletical or sacramental. The service of the Word was of a popular and missionary character, and was

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even held in the temple or in Jewish synagogues and usually in the morning. The sacramental services at the first took place in the evening and usually in the close circle of the Church alone, all others being dismissed. When the services were held in one place the first part was the Missa Catechumenorum, the second, the Missa Fidelium. In the fifth and sixth centuries, there appeared a growing tendency to separate the services of the Word and of the Sacrament. The former, whose forms were contained in the Breviary, became more and more the distinct type of service for monastics. The sacramental, especially the eucharistic, whose forms were embraced in the Missal, became the special service for the people, and preaching the Word fell into disuse. The importance of the homiletic services was recognized by the Reformers, and these were again restored to their proper place.

From the earliest period, probably in imitation of the paschal meal which preceded its institution, there was combined with the Supper the “Agape” or Love Feast. The Eucharist afforded the believers fellowship with their Lord; the Agapae were of a social nature, showing the fraternity and fellowship among believers. Much obscurity still hangs about this institution. But it is clear that the Agape was closely associated with and combined in form with the Eucharist. In the parent congregation at Jerusalem they had a community of goods, they assembled daily in the temple and from house to house did eat their bread. They were a new spiritual family. What more appropriate than to eat at a common table? At their meetings the Word was read and prayers made. Oblations (offerings) of common bread and wine were brought. After Thanksgiving and the Kiss of Peace, they joyfully ate the common meal. When this was done the leader took the bread, gave thanks, brake and gave, or assisted by the deacons, divided it and the cup among the people.

The Agape is mentioned in Jude 12. But St. Paul already refers to it in I Cor. 11, and seeks to correct certain abuses, as that “Each took before other,” (perhaps the rich before the poor) or that of excess in eating and drinking, whereby they were in danger of forgetting the Sacrament connected therewith. Paul did not propose to abolish the Agape but to correct its abuse as he did in reference to the homiletical services in the same congregation.

The whole service is sometimes called the Eucharist, some-


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times the Agape. The Didache includes the Agape in the description of the Lord’s Supper. The Epistle of Ignatius shows that they win celebrated together if not combined in one form. Probably the customcs differed in the several churches. Justin Martyr (ob. 165) who gives the earliest description of the Lord’s Supper, makes no mention of the Agape. He says, “On Sunday all gather in one place, the memoirs of the Apostles are read, the president instructs and verbally exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then all arise together and pray. After prayer bread and wine are brought, prayers and thanksgivings are offered, the people responding Amen. There is a distribution and participation by all present and a portion is sent to the absent. The offerings are taken and deposited with the president who succors the orphans, widows, destitute, and strangers among us.”

St. Paul’s rebuke of the Corinthian Church implies that the social meal or Agape was combined with the Eucharist. To avoid abuses, he teaches them to eat at home and to meet in the church for the Divine Service and Sacrament. This rebuke, together with the edict of Trajan against strange religions, prepared the way for the subordination of the Agape. A further, step is observed in Justin who tells us that the Sacrament was transferred to the Sunday morning service. The Agape was continued as the evening social or charitable feast of Christians. At Alexandria it was still connected with or followed the Eucharist in the third century. Its final stages were reached when the Agapae were prohibited in the churches, and at last were altogether suppressed by the second Trullan Council, A. D. 692. This was necessary that the Lord’s Institution might retain its proper place and meaning.

We have a description of the Lord’s Supper as administered in the third and fourth centuries: “After the common homiletical service and dismissal of all but the faithful, the deacons gather the oblations of bread and wine. One loaf is selected as ‘hostia.’ Then follows the Kiss of Peace, the clergy wash their hands, the bread and wine are placed on the altar, a subdeacon, stands at each end with fan in hand to keep off the flies, the robed bishop and priests approach. Then follows a long General Prayer and special supplications for various estates and conditions, the thirty-fourth Psalm is sung, after which, first the clergy, then the


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congregation receive the Sacrament.” The simple primitive forms of administration gave way to various and divergent enlargements called Liturgies, which, though often incorrectly, were ascribed to Apostles or celebrated Church Fathers. There are many details which need to be mentioned to complete the history.

Ancient paintings represent the priest consecrating the elements laid upon the altar, by extending both hands over them and doubtless using the words of institution.

Originally the Communion was celebrated every day, then every Sunday. Later it was restricted to the three great festivals and at the Lateran Council, 1215, the minimum was fixed at the Easter Communion.

The people prepared themselves by fasting, ablutions, dressing in clean clothes and the Kiss of Peace. In earliest times the deacons distributed to the people, later the people approached the altar, two by two, and received the elements standing (Apost. Const.). Afterward the women, then the men, were excluded from the altar and choir and the elements were handed to them over the rail which separated the choir from the nave. In earlier periods the bread was received with the hand, then it was put into the mouth in order to prevent the people from taking it home for superstitious purposes. Kneeling does not occur till the twelfth century.

The Eastern Church continued the use of leavened bread whilst the Western Church, referring to the circumstances at the institution, began the use of unleavened bread in the ninth century. The wine was commonly mixed with water with no distinction between red and white.

By heretical sects various substitutes were used for wine, as water, milk, honey, unfermented grape juice. The breaking of the bread in the consecration was the general custom and has been retained by all except the Lutheran Church which rejects it as a protest against the symbolizing tendency. Sometimes the bread was dipped into the wine, and the Greek Church even drops the bread into the wine and offers it by means of a spoon, to the communicants.

Since the third century children were admitted to the Lord’s Supper. Cyprian approves of this custom and implies that it was common. The Apostolic Constitutions and Augustine also mention it.


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The form of celebration developed in the Greek Church differs from the Roman. It is more symbolical, representing the Lord’s passion. Five loaves are laid on the altar. The priest selects one, pierces it with a lance, while the deacon pours wine and water into the cup. Amid solemn dirges, with lighted candles and burning incense, the elements are borne through the church, and then back to the altar and placed like the body of Christ in the tomb. A curtain is lowered before the altar, unseen, the bishop, with an invocation of the Holy Ghost, consecrates the elements. When the curtain is raised, the altar represents the tomb from which Christ is arisen. While the choir sings a hymn of praise, the elements are distributed without any special formula.

The Roman rite displays (if possible) a still wider divergence from the original institution. The name “oblation” or offering was indeed from the first applied to the people’s gifts of bread and wine. When the idea of a Christian priesthood, so earnestly advocated by Cyprian, came into vogue, the other related idea of a sacrifice also appeared. The consecrated elements were offered to God as a propitiatory sacrifice for sin. Gregory the Great, (A. D. 590), saw a sacrificial victim in the bread on the altar. Masses began to be offered for the dead, who could thus be delivered from purgatory, and magical effects also were claimed. Thus the Eucharist was divided. The congregational Communion began to be overshadowed by the sacrificial mass, which was celebrated with more than apostolic frequency and often privately. The thirteenth century brought radical changes. Transubstantiation was fixed in the Lateran Council, 1215, as the doctrine of the Church. Thomas Aquinas taught that the Sacrament is consummated in the act of consecration, according to the intention of the priest, not in the Communion of believers. The man is a propitiatory sacrifice whose benefits extend to the absent and to the dead. The Council of Trent established these doctrines in all their baldness. So far as the Eucharist is a sacrifice, it is the sole act of the priest, who is a mediator between God and the congregation. The words of consecration are spoken in Latin in an undertone and addressed to the elements. When the priest speaks the words, “This is My Body,” he bows his knees and prays to the Christ who is present in the host, and shows it to the people who may also adore it. Likewise with the


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cup. This is the elevation and adoration of the host. The priest then communicates and distributes to the people, if any are present.

Fear that the consecrated wine might be spilt, afforded the pretext for withholding the cup from the laity at the beginning of the thirteenth century, the real motive being a purpose to elevate the priesthood. Even before this, we meet with the occasional use of gold or silver tubes for taking the wine. The Communio sub unaque was further supported by the scholastic invention of the doctrine of Concomitance.

The doctrine of the Lord’s Supper decidedly affects its administration. Consequently in those branches of the Protestant Church in which the Supper is viewed as only a memorial, little importance attaches to the manner of its administration and the Sacrament itself falls into neglect. There is a wide divergence of method between those branches that are rooted in the past and the growths of recent days. Where the spiritualizing tendencies are very marked, the objective means of grace are but lightly esteemed. The Quakers have no sacraments, and many others are in danger of losing theirs, even if their false doctrine had not already practically destroyed them.

We will close with a brief excursus upon the Essentials of a Proper Administration.

1. The presence of the congregation which believes the Lord’s promise and is assembled in His Name to do according to His appointment, is necessary for the consummation of the Communion. The minister is but the organ of the congregation, which blesses the elements and receives the Communion. The validity of the Sacrament does not depend upon the intention of the ministrant, as Rome erroneously teaches, nor upon the faith of the individual recipient, nor upon the exact and literal repetition of the words of institution, but only upon this, that it is an act of the Christian congregation, performed according to the intention and appointment of Christ, in faith in His Word and for the purpose of its institution. “No human work nor any declaration by the minister of the Church can effect the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament, but only the omnipotent power and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2. With reference to the elements, bread and wine are essential according to the Lord’s institution. Christ without doubt


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used the unleavened passover bread. The ancient Church, however, used the common leavened bread. The kind of bread used, the breaking of bread in the consecration, whether the wine is red or white, pure or mingled with water, whether the elements are received by the hand or mouth, whether the communicants stand, sit or kneel, are adiaphora.

3. The elements are to be used only according to Christ’s appointment, that is, they are to be consecrated and distributed. Augustine’s famous dictum,—Accedit verbum ad elementum et fit sacramentum, is defective. This would make it a Sacrament, without its distribution and for other uses than that of its institution. It needs to be supplemented by the words of Luther and the Formula of Concord,—Nihil habet rationem sacramenti extra usum a Christo institutum seu extra actionem divinitus institutam. Requiritur consecratio seu verba institutionis, distributio et sumptio. According to ancient custom the consecration is by the solemn recitation of the verba testamenti. With this was combined the Lord’s Prayer as the filial and fraternal petition for the sanctification of the congregation, but it does not possess the nature nor has it the design of a consecratory prayer and its proper place is after the Words of Institution.

While there is no sacrament and no promise of Christ without the distribution, we must nevertheless, view the consecration as an integral part of the act and of the command, “This do.” By the explanatory addition “which we bless” (I Cor. 10:16), the Aposle gives special emphasis to the consecration through which the cup is set apart to become the “Communion of the Blood of Christ.” Hence we must regard it as an essential, and the words of institution should never be omitted. The plural form shows what it is the act of the whole congregation, which also indicates this participation and assent by its Amen. By the consecration, the bread and wine are separated from the ordinary sphere of natural gifts for bodily nourishment, and are transferred into the Service of Christ for the application of the gifts of redemption.

“The true consecration, “ says Gerhard, “does not alone consist in the recitation of those four words, “Hoc est corpus meum,” but in this, that we do as Christ did, that is, that we bless, distribute and receive the bread and wine as He appointed.” This is the chief thing in the Sacrament. For it the other acts are but a preparation. The giving and receiving are always neces-


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sary, while the mode of giving and receiving is left in the sphere of the Church’s liberty.

Not so weighty, but still of great importance is the formula of distribution. Here the aim must be, not only to promote pious feelings in the heart, but to speak for Christ Who gives, and in His Name to assure the penitent and believing communicant that to him belong the full benefits of the broken Body and the shed Blood of his gracious Lord and Savior. Here the Church should give unequivocal expression of its faith, as the Oriental, Roman and Lutheran Churches do in the use of the ancient formula of distribution, “The Body of Christ, the Blood of Christ, the cup of life.”


Homestead, Pa.

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JUST as the character of the works manifests the nature of the faith which produces them, and as the objective factors of worship are but the outward expression of the real life of devotion Itself, so also any liturgical observance is ever the outgrowth or embodiment of a corresponding doctrinal view. Therefore the history of any liturgy or part of it, is the history of the doctrine out of which it has grown and which is its life and spirit. To trace the liturgical history of Confirmation, is almost impossible without tracing at the same time the views which the Church has held concerning this rite.

The custom of Confirmation has its beginnings in the early days of the Christian Church, and while many outward conditions have changed since then, there is still much in the catechumenate and subsequent Confirmation of the present day that is closely connected with the customs of the first few centuries. It need hardly to be stated here that in the early days, catechisation preceded baptism, as the accessions to the church were principally through adults. It is this fact however, that accounts for the catechetical observances of that period. In early Apostolic days, the instruction was confined to that which was absolutely essential, and baptism, whether of adults or of infants, represented full entrance and admission into the Church of Christ, without any additional ceremonies. As the missionary activities of the Church extended and Christianity came into contact with Hellenic culture and Roman power, with philosophic thought and heretical doctrine, adults of all descriptions entered the catechumenate, and these needed both instruction and refutation by argument. During this period, which Zöckler calls that of the Ancient Church, the catechumenate consisted of two distinct periods: the actual catechumenate or period of instruction, lasting about two years, and the period of immediate preparation by fasting and prayer.


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During the former period the aspirants for baptism were called kathcouvmenoi, catechumeni, or catechumens; during the latter, fwtizovmenoi, competentes, i. e. eligibles. A further distinction was made as to their participation in the services of the church. During the catechumenate (of the first stage) they were distinguished as ajkrowvmenoi, auditores, or hearers, and govnu klivnonte", genu flectentes, or kneelers, i. e. such as had the privilege of joining in the prayers. While they were known as hearers, they had only the privilege of listening to the sermon and were required to withdraw before the acts of prayer and the administration of the Lord’s Supper. There are still extant, the acts of consecration by which the hearers were set aside as fellow-worshipers, genu flectentes, and were known specifically as catechumens. Frequently the transition from the first stage to the second was immediate, but separate acts of consecration were in use for the two stages, as well as a special prayer for the genu flectentes after the dismissal of the audientes from the public services. In these acts of consecration or setting apart, we must find the beginnings of the rite of Confirmation.

When the period of the genu flectentia was passed, i. e. after the two years of the catechumenate, the genu flectentes were set apart as competentes or eligibles, by a special act of prayer and benediction, occurring directly after the sermon. The final stage, that of competentia, was passed in special prayer-meetings in which according to the custom of the times, exorcism was repeatedly practiced. The congregation was entitled to take part in these meetings for prayer and as they usually occurred in the Quadragesima before Easter, they were for all a time of earliest fasting and contrition, known as the exomolovghsi", confessio, period of confession. This shows us a grand feature of the life of the early Church, for the preparation for baptism or ingrafting into the body of Christ, took place in the very midst of the congregation and was accompanied by the devotional acts of all. This meant especially much for the competentes, for while they could not take part in the celebration of the Mass like those baptized (this was the period of liturgical growth and establishment, consequently also of the Mass Service) they learned to look forward to higher mysteries and higher honors. This gave them a gradual participation in the liturgical acts of the worship and a special system of prayers, while also their names were already entered


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upon the lists of the congregation. The liturgical acts mentioned, took place during the period directly before baptism and while they wore learning the formulated “sums” of doctrine by heart, and occurred fit the public services during the service of the Mass and they were called in from time to time, for the participation in these liturgical acts. The acts themselves were called “scrutinies” and formed a beautiful to the periods of catechumenate passed through. The first scrutiny was the signatio cruces or marking with the cross. By it they had once been received as hearers. By it now they were reminded of the real import of the Cristianou;" poiei'sqa, the becoming Christians. The second scrutiny was the laying on of hands and corresponded to the second period of the catechumenate, the specific kathcoumevnou" poiei'sqa, becoming catechumens. Exorcism and prayer accompanied these acts and in many of our Lutheran orders the same prayers are still used for the same acts in baptism. The signing with the cross signified the negative moment of renouncing the devil, etc., by removal from heathenism, and the laying on of hands the positive moment, corresponding to the rearing in the faith and bearing the promise of God’s mercy and hearing of prayer. Corresponding to the two principal subjects of the instruction the baptismal symbol, traditio symboli, and the Lord’s prayer, trad. orationis dominicae, were now formally and solemnly delivered to them. Then followed the scrutiny in which an express deliverance of the key to the understanding of Scriptures was made in a special act, officium quattuor evangeliorum or evangelistarum. Finally, in the last scrutiny came the act of baptism itself hedged in with symbolico-liturgical acts. With all this development of liturgical forms, the practices of the catechumenate were far from being formal. The very fact of such a long catechumenate showed that the Church was not eager for promiscuous reception of members and while great stress was laid upon the foundation of a true Christian character, individual freedom was guarded to such an extent that many catechumens deferred their baptism until their time of death, for fear of the greater responsibility devolving upon them in the datio nominis at the time of entering the competentia. Special emphasis was laid on the renuntiatio before baptism and in all the acts it is evident that the catechumenate denoted the training of a real Christian life almost to the exclusion of the theoretico-dogmatical


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element, and that liturgical functions served to impress this fact while they were the logical crown of the work of the stages preceding them.

In the Middle Ages much of the character of the catechumenate was lost, while the liturgical acts were retained and developed. The soil was the Teutonic world with its individually ethic propensities. The Church herself maintained herself on the basis of her traditions. Infant baptism became almost universal. The task of missions among uncivilized races, favored a catechumenate of masses, and compulsion, not free choice, was often its characteristic. It was during this period that Confirmation as such became a distinct and separate rite and was finally declared to be a sacrament. As early as the time of Tertullian, baptism is described as consisting of three parts, viz., baptism itself, anointing with the holy oil, and the laying on of hands. The last act is said to bring down the blessings of the Holy Ghost and consequently to be the culmination of the whole act. The unity of the three moments (or acts) is dependent upon the person of the bishop. As the hierarchical system was more developed, while the administration of baptism was permitted to the lower clergy and others, the laying on of hands was regarded as the special privilege and function of the bishop. This gave to the laying on of hands a sort of sacramental character, against which Jerome and Augustine inveighed in vain. The fact remained, that the child which had been baptized, needed a still higher blessing, and this was bestowed in Confirmation. In the time of Innocence I. we meet with a distinction between the anointing at baptism and that at Confirmation. The special importance gradually given to Confirmation was due to the hierarchical interests of the clergy, and the episcopal act of Confirmation was finally declared a sacrament at the synods of Lyons (1274) and Florence (1439). This sacrament is the second in order in the Roman Church. As to its object it is called Confirmation, as to its success sigillum or consignatio (sealing), as to its matter chrisma (anointing), as to its form impositio manuum. It is accompanied by a host of formalities. As to its effect it is said to bestow the Holy Ghost as an augmentum and firmitas justitiae, as an armor in the battle of life, and in opposition to baptism as an entrance into the real activity of the gratia gratum faciens. This sacrament is not strictly necessary; but as giving a character it can not be repeated. The


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Greek Church considers Confirmation a sacrament as does the Roman; but this is administered by any priest and immediately after baptism, thus retaining ancient tradition and later development in unmitigated contradiction.

Of all the ancient rites of the Church none met with such opposition at the hands of the Reformers as that of Confirmation. It was not only considered that there was too little Scriptural authority for it, but what was more, there was so much unscriptural and even superstitious ceremonial connected with it, that it was thrown overboard with other Romish rites and institutions as being equally harmful. This being the general view among the Reformers, very few Kirchenordnungen of the earlier reconstruction period of the Reformation contain any provisions for its observance. Later on a few KOO purified the rite from objectionable features and retained it. While the Lutheran church hesitated between the objections to the Romish style of Confirmation and the necessity of a regulation for the admittance to the Lord’s Supper of only approved persons, they began to see the practical utility as well as the churchly suitability of a pure rite of Confirmation. During the subsequent times of the Interim, so many compromises were made with Rome, that anything originating in this period was regarded with suspicion by strict Lutherans. The disturbances of the Thirty Years’ War interfered so largely with all education and also catechetical instruction, that during this time nothing was done. When the Pietistic Movement brought about a revival of religious activity, Confirmation too, received more attention and gradually won its way in every land until it became an institution dear to all Lutherans and held in honor, not as a divine institution, but as a most efficient churchly rite.

Luther, as early as 1522, in his sermon on Matrimony, in speaking of the Roman rite of Confirmation (Firmelung) calls it an apish foolery and a play of lies. He concedes that we may confirm, if we maintain the rite as a human ordinance. He proves from Titus 3:5, that the Apostle does not recognize a sacrament of Confirmation, but that the Holy Ghost is bestowed in baptism. Melanchthon refers to the examination of doctrine made in olden times and says it was a custom most useful for the instruction of men and for distinguishing between the evil and the pious. “After this,” he says, “public prayer was made and


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the Apostles laid their hands upon them and thus the manifest gifts of the Holy Spirit were bestowed. But now the rite of Confirmation of the Bishops is an empty ceremony. But it would be useful that an examination and confession of doctrine be made and public prayer for the confessors, nor would this prayer be without avail.” The Augsburg Confession rejects Confirmation as a sacrament by implication, the Apology and the Smalcald Articles expressly. (Apol. Chap. 7, 6 and S. Art. App. Pt. II. 73.) At the Ratisbon Colloquium, Melanchthon, Bucer and Pistorius proposed (1541) “That Confirmation comprise reminding, admonition, prayer, blessing and thanksgiving and be administered only to those of sufficient age, who had been well instructed before their first approach to the Lord’s Supper. Thus constituted, they could and would readily consent that it be retained, and also allow the imposition of hands and the use of the sign of the cross in the blessing, as both these were unobjectionable observances and might suggest in any good thoughts.” In the Wittenberg Reformation (1545) prepared by Melanchthon, assisted by Caspar Cruciger and George Major with Luther’s approval, demand was made for a thus purified order of Confirmation and provision made for its observance.

At the Augsburg Interim (1548) Confirmation was declared a sacrament, its necessity conceded and the apostolic institution of it and the right of bishops alone to administer it, were maintained. To this the Lutherans objected vigorously and at last at the Council of Trent, Lutheran Confirmation was condemned. Naturally the Lutheran theologians defended themselves and among much written at that period, nothing sets forth the Lutheran position so clearly as Martin Cliemnitz’ statements in his Examen Concilii Tridentini (Pt. 2 L. 3 De Confirmatione). He declares there that the Lutherans, after freeing the rite from all superstitions and useless superstructure, insist on a thorough indoctrination of the catechumens after which they are to be presented to the bishop and the Church. Then follows first, the admonition concerning the efficacy of holy baptism and the sealing of the promises therein by the entire Trinity, by which act was included a renunciation of Satan, a profession of faith and a promise of obedience. Second, by the catechumen himself, a personal public profession of this doctrine and faith. Third, a thorough examination in doctrine. Fourth, an admonition that this implies a


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dissent from all heathen, heretical, fanatical and unholy opinions. Fifth a weighty exhortation to persevere in the baptismal covenant. Sixth, public prayer, that God should be pleased by His Holy Spirit to govern, preserve, and confirm them in this profession. To this prayer might be added the imposition of hands, without any superstition. (Schmucker.)

The Catechism was adopted in all Lutheran lands and churches. There was a diligent instruction of those admitted for the first time to the Lord’s Supper and a careful examination of their preparation, but a special act of Confirmation was left among the adiaphora or matters in which evangelical liberty was allowed. By many Lutherans Confirmation was not adopted, or, on account of interimistic and adiaphoristic controversies, positively rejected. By others it was retained, or its introduction desired, either because an ancient and wholesome usage, or in order to differ as little as possible from the Catholic Church, or for the maintenance of discipline. (Schmucker.)

As early as the 16th century we meet three distinct views of Confirmation, which differ according as they view the relative importance of the sacraments between which Confirmation logically stands and which are the two biblical pillars of churchly instruction, and as they view separately or emphasize specially the three essential and component parts of Confirmation, viz., Examination, Profession and Vow, Prayer (intercession) with imposition of hands. The first view is the catechetical. This is most closely connected with the Lutheran doctrine of the means of grace: Word and Sacraments. On the basis of baptism, the child is to be brought by instruction and training to the ability of giving a reason for the faith that is in it and when this end is reached, it is to be examined in church, is to affirm, confess and promise what the sponsors have done for it in baptism, and if it thus be proven prepared for the Lord’s Supper, it is to be admitted to the same. Among the representatives of this view there is never any mention made of a renewal of the covenant of baptism, but only of a reminding of this covenant. Another view, just as old, may be denoted as the sacramental one, in so far as it lays stress on the third point in Confirmation: the prayer with the laying on of hands. It looks upon this as an act that is sacramental, bestowing grace and salvation. It appeals to Acts 8:17; 19:6; 2 Tim. 1:6. It arose in such German churches as witnessed in their


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midst, especially in the beginning of the Reformation, Swiss Reformed ideas and German Lutheran ideas in constant intermingling, and in which beside the desire to apply grace and salvation to men by churchly means, there was a secret distrust of the complete efficiency of infant baptism. According to this view Confirmation is the completion of baptism. (Cf. Kassel KO. 1539 where occurs for the first time the formula of benediction: “Receive the Holy Ghost, protection and defence from all evil, etc., etc.”) A third view, in some instances approaching the sacramental view, is called the church-disciplinary view. According to this special stress is laid not as in the catechetical, on the examination, or as in the sacramental, on prayer and imposition of hands, but on the profession of faith and the vow connected with it. (Hessen-Kassel-Nassau.) This view looks upon the congregation of the baptized merely as the congregation of the called, from which the congregation of believers must be segregated. Thus Confirmation becomes the act by which a Christian is received into the narrower circle or congregation privileged to administer the power of the Church. This view depreciates baptism in favor of a churchly ordinance of human election, and leads to a separation or disjunction of the Church, which can not be admitted according to Art. VIII Conf. Augsb. Schmucker, in his article The Rite of Confirmation (Lutheran Church Review, April 1883) gives a list of the various KOO which either omit or reject Confirmation and those which adopt it and make provision for it. To give these lists, which have the merit of personal investigation by their author, would unduly swell the length of the present article but the following summary which Schmucker quotes from Bachmann, may perhaps be of interest, as presenting a brief geographical survey:

 “The original Lutheran churches (gnesio-Lutheran), that is, those of middle Germany distinctively, except Mansfield, know nothing of Confirmation as a special rite; it is found only in northern, western and southwestern Germany and there is not of universal acceptance. In Austria, in addition, it is found standing alone through the personal influence of Chytraeus and with much opposition from congregations and pastors. In North Germany it was carried from Pomerania by Bugenhagen to Stralsund and from Brandenburg by the relation of the reigning houses to Brunswick, where afterwards Chemnitz secured and enlarged its preva-

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lence. From Brunswick it passed to Hoya (Hannover). In the western countries it owed its acceptance partly to the Reformation of Cologne, but preeminently to Hesse, which under the influence of Strasburg, and especially of Francis Lambert, tended toward a Reformed type. Waldeck, Nassau and Lower Saxony received their order of Confirmation from Hesse.” (Bachmann).

“The efforts for the restoration or introduction of Confirmation began here and there early in the seventeenth century and increased in energy until in and after Spener’s time, they so influenced the action of the Church as to effect its official adoption in one land after another. Among its early advocates were Teleman Heshusius, Aeg. Hunnius, Polycarp Lyser, Leonh. Hutter, Fred Baldwin, Jno. Tarnow, Jno. Gerhard, Conn Dietrich, Geo. Calixtus, Theoph. Grossgebauer, Martin Heinsius, and preeminently in practical efficiency, Jacob Spener.” (Schmucker.)

It was Spener who after the middle of the 17th century introduced Confirmation. He based his views on the pietistic view of baptism, which in connection with 1 Peter 3:21 is regarded more as a covenant between God and men, than a laver of regeneration, so that infant baptism necessarily appeared incomplete and defective. The key-word now became “renewal of the baptismal covenant” and this was to be accomplished by means of conversion (piercing of the heart), for which the time of Confirmation was deemed to be the most suitable time. The main stress was laid on the vow, which was regarded as a sign of conversion and renewal of the baptismal covenant. The universal practice was to appeal to the emotions of the children and to work with all available means to bring about a conversion (Die Bekehrung zum “Durchbruch” zu bringen).

Rationalism finally voided Confirmation of its churchly contents. The renewal of the baptismal covenant now became an actual covenant-pledging, which the child itself performed in Confirmation. In a strange contrast to this inner voiding, the rationalistic Confirmation appeared in very pretentious garb. The inner emptiness and shallowness was concealed by outward pomp; the children were dressed up; they were marched out in solemn procession, grouped theatrically and were made to perform their vow to the covenant of virtue in the most touching manner. In this form Confirmation found its way into most congregations and became a part of their church life. But the influences of rational-


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ism upon Confirmation are seen also in another direction. While it had been officially adopted in various parts of Germany from 1646 to 1724, its actual insertion into the system of church life was not completed until the period of rationalism. In this period we find the regulations of age, time of the year, etc.; in it also the connection between Confirmation, catechisation and the public schools of Germany.

With the revival of religious life in the nineteenth century, Confirmation too, has had the gain of material advantages. Through this revival it received again its original import, and its relation to the sacraments once scripturally and confessionally established, has given its important parts correctly according to this relation. Still there is not yet a uniform view of the full meaning of Confirmation. The original three views of the 16th century have again found representatives, the sacramental view is defended by Villmar, the church-disciplinary view by Schleiermacher, Hoefling, von Hoffmann, Harnack, von Zezschwitz. The latter are influenced by the desire to prevent an unworthy participation in the Lord’s Supper, and to protect the church from violence by unbelieving majorities.

This closes the outline of the liturgical history of Confirmation. The writer of the article has endeavored to trace the development of the rite in its details historically and in their relation to the doctrines of the Lutheran Church. One feature still might remain for inquiry, namely, the relation of Confirmation to the doctrines of the sacraments, of catechization and of Christian life, and the successive development of each detail bearing upon these relations, but that would unduly increase the extent of the article and might best be made the subject of further inquiry.


Authorities consulted:—SCHMUCKER: Confirmation in the Lutheran Church; LUTHER: Liturgische Formulare; SCHAEFER: Evangelisches Volkslexikon; HERZOG-PLITT: Real Encyclopedia; MEUSEL: Kirchliches Handlexikon; PALMER’S Katechetik; ZÖCKLER’S Handbuch der theol. Wissenschaften; KURTZ’ Church History; etc., etc.

Chief Authorities:—BACHMANN: Die Confirmation, etc.; KLIEFOTH: Bd. 3; W. CASPARI: Die evang. Confirmation.



Erie, Pa.


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THE subject indicated in the title of this paper—The Church and the Liturgy—is so broad that there is need to preface the discussion of the theme, with a few words of explanation and definition.

There have been two great epochs in the history of church doctrine, the formative—in which the self-consciousness of the Church was developed from its rudimentary form in the minds of the Apostolic Fathers and their immediate successors with the elaborate corpora doctrinae of the later Middle Ages, and the reformative—in which the results of the earlier period were tested and sifted, emerging finally in the three or four types of dogmatic theology which are, in the main, the recognized standards of the present day. Similarly the liturgical idea has had its two epochs, the formative—during which the rudimentary liturgy, the earliest indications of which are found in the Didache, grew into the elaborate ritual of the Mediaeval Church, and the reformative—in which that liturgy—subjected to the same criticism as its contemporary doctrine, was tested and proved, emerging finally in the forms of worship used in the modern churches. This historical parallelism is not without its significance. It is, in fact, more than mere parallelism, for the two lines of development are closely related and the general relation is one of cause and effect. Unconscious this relation may at times have been, other than doctrinal considerations have certainly had their influence in liturgical development and practice, but the underlying principles of liturgical service, the decisive factors in moulding the Church’s forms of worship have been neither artistic nor aesthetic but doctrinal, and the mere circumstance that the greatest diversity in methods of conducting public worship exists among those denominations which are most radically different in dogmatical bias, furnishes convincing testimony to this fact.

Now the doctrines which have most vitally affected the litur-


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gy are four, viz., the Word, the Sacraments, the Church, and the Ministry; which fall into two groups, the first containing the logically precedent but historically subsequent pair—the Word and the Sacraments; the latter containing the logically subsequent but historically precedent pair—the Church and the Ministry. It is with this latter group that we shall attempt to deal, merely touching on the former when its importance is too great, or its bearing on the subject too obvious to be disregarded. The subject of this paper may, therefore, be more definitely stated as—“The Doctrines of the Church and the Ministry in Relation to the Liturgy.” That such a relation actually exists and is widely recognized is shown by a practice current among the unthinking and theologically ignorant—unfortunately also among some who should know better—I mean the practice of using the term “High-church,” the significance of which is essentially doctrinal, to denote a distinction in mere elaborations of ritual observance. The true relation, however, is an historical relation and must be treated as such. We shall therefore discuss our theme under the three heads:—A. The Formative Epoch, B. The Reformative Epoch, C. The Outcome.




1. The Church.

a). It is doubtful whether in the earliest times there existed any clear conception of a universal church. Certain is it that for a long while there was no definitely stated doctrine of the Church in our modern sense. The unit of church organization seems to have been the individual Christian congregation, these congregations recognizing the right of other similar congregations to the name Christian, but acknowledging, after the death of the Apostles, no authority higher than that of their own local officers. What the exact form of organization in these churches may have been is yet to be determined and is a matter of small importance except as it throws light on the development of the doctrine of the ministry. This much, however, we do know: 1). In each congregation there were two classes of ministers, the bishops or presbyters, terms used interchangeably in the New Testament and earliest sub-apostolic writings as names for the


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officers of the congregation, and deacons whose office was subordinate.*

*Footnote: A full discussion of the ministry in the Early Church is to be found in Lightfoot, Appendix to Comm. on Phil. to which cf. Hatch, Organization of the Early Christian Churches, and Allen, Christian Institutions, Book I; Rothe, Anfaenge d. Christenthums, though old (1837) is still valuable.


2). In course of time there arose a distinction between the bishops and the presbyters, the name of Bishop being applied to only one man among the presbyters of each congregation.

b). In the conflict with Gnosticism the emphasis laid on purity of doctrine caused the first great advance in the doctrine of the Church. Faith in the truth becoming the important thing, all those who believed the truth as handed down from the Apostles were to be considered members of the Church, and thus the way was opened for a broader conception of church unity. At the same time the authority of the Bishop was extended, for he was designated the officer of the congregation whose special duty was to guard the pure doctrine of the Apostles. Thus a beginning was made in the gradual advancement of the Bishop to the chief in the congregation, over which he became pastor, and the subordination of the presbyters to the secondary position of assistants.† So we find that early in the 3rd century the ruling conception of the Church was “the community of those who believe the truth,” the Bishops, in addition to their pastoral office, standing as sponsors and guarantors of that truth.‡

†Footnote: Cf. Hatch, in Dict. Chris. Ant. Art. Priest.

‡Footnote: Cf. Seeburg, Dogmengeschichte, I. 133.


c). The next considerable change in the idea of the Church was brought about by Callistus, Bishop of Rome 217-222, who asserted the right of interpreting and limiting the discipline of the Church as he saw fit, thus making membership in the Church to depend exclusively on the toleration of the Bishop, and the Church itself instead of the holy people of God became known as the society ruled by the Bishop who was now lord over life as well as over faith. It remained, however, for Cyprian (†258) to carry this idea to its conclusion and it was his view that proved deciding factor in moulding the old Catholic doctrine of the Church into its final form. His doctrine may be briefly summarized as follows:—

The Bishop is the successor of the Apostles§

§Footnote: The view of Irenaeus.


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2). According to Matt. 16:18, the Church is therefore built upon the Bishop, who is both a priest and “a judge in place of Christ.” As priest he conducts service and offers sacrifice on the altar, and as judge decides on all questions of church membership and reinstatement.

3). The Bishops form the collegium episcopatus in whose unity consists the unity of the church. In this collegium the Bishop of Rome holds the highest place as he is successor of St. Peter.

4). Rebellion against the Bishop is therefore rebellion against God. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

Thus obedience to the Bishop, not faith in Christ, is made the condition of membership in the Church, and the Church itself becomes an institution founded on law instead of a community based on faith. There needed only Augustin’s distinction between the visible and invisible Church to silence critics and afford theological justification, and the conversion of an Emperor to give an opportunity for the advance of Rome and Constantinople, and the hierarchical system was ready for occupancy, the “Catholic” doctrine of the Church was practically complete.

2. The Ministry.

The doctrine of the Ministry, as we have seen, was closely connected with the development of the doctrine of the Church, each step of that development being, in fact, the result of a preceding advance in the conception of the Episcopate, but there is one important feature on which we have barely touched. We have seen that Cyprian made much of the idea that the Bishop was a priest. The sacerdotal idea was not new with him, however. Clement of Rome had previously compared the Christian minister to the Old Testament priest, and Origen and Tertullian had applied the term sacerdos to Bishops and Presbyters, but there is nothing to show that they regarded the clergy as a separate class, and the original idea of the priesthood of all Christians still maintained itself, preventing any sharp line of distinction between clergy and laity. But Cyprian declared the Bishop to be a priest in a special sense. All the ministerial functions, therefore, belonged of right to him, and without the express authorization of a Bishop no one could hold office in the Church or perform any official acts. Such authorization, however, was conferred in ordination, by which men were set apart for those duties, and ordi-


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nation thenceforth became the line of distinction between clergy and laity, the clergy being thus constituted a separate class and convenient analogy of the Levitical priesthood was used to legitimate this new Christian order. From this time on the Christian minister was a “priest,” and the doctrine invented by Augustin, of a character indelibilis, conveyed in ordination was later used to give material ground for the distinction.*

Footnote: * Cf. Harnack, Dogmengeschichte I. 420 ff. Hatch, Art. Ordination and Priest, Dict. Christ. Ant.


3. Sacrifice.

The sacrificial is a necessary corollary of the sacerdotal idea. The sacrificial conception contained in the doctrine of universal Christian priesthood was of course eucharistic. The Christian sacrifices were faith, obedience and righteousness, which attained visible expression in prayer and charity. That there was from the first a special sacrificial idea connected with the Lord’s Supper is undeniable. The congregations brought to the Agape its “oblations” of bread and wine—the offerings for charity were also included in the oblations—and the bread and wine so offered were then used in the Lord’s Supper, but the “sacrifice” was made by the congregation as an expression of thanks, symbolic of the yielding to God of heart and life commanded by St. Paul (Rom. 12:1). The idea of propitiatory sacrifice found its first clear expression in Tertullian’s conception of asceticism as an atoning sacrifice, but it remained for Cyprian’s doctrine of the priesthood to give the Church a new sacrificial idea. If the priesthood is a specific order it must offer a specific sacrifice. This sacrifice, which the layman cannot offer, is the Mass, and the Mass is the Passio domini, even the sanguis Christi and hostia dominica. Though Cyprian, and even Augustin, was not quite clear as to the real object in the sacrifice the natural outcome was to regard every celebration of the Lord’s Supper as a repetition of the sacrifice of Christ and to attach to it a full propitiatory value.† When the doctrine of transubstantiation had been adopted to justify this view the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Mass was essentially complete.

Footnote: † Cf. Harnack, DG. I. 422. Seeburg, DG. I. 153 ff. Real-Encyclopedie, Art. Messopfer, also Hoefling, Die Lehre d. aelt. Kirche u. Opfer, Erlangen 1851.


Throughout this line of development there runs one consistent idea. It was all a part of that process of externalization


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which was to mean so much for the subsequent history of the church, exalting its temporal power at the expense of spiritual life, sacrificing the pure ideal for a glittering but empty reality. It belonged to what Hamack has well called the “Ethnisirung” of the church.



We pass, next, to the influence of these doctrines upon the liturgy, and here we meet a much mooted question:

1. What was the earliest form of worship? *

Footnote: * A list of works bearing on this subject is to be found in Allen, Lect. on Primitive Liturgy in Christian Worship, Scribner’s, 1897.


a). It is quite impossible to answer this question explicitly, for our knowledge of the most ancient rituals depends entirely upon a few brief fragments, but from the traces of liturgy in the Didache and Justin Martyr we know that the formal Christian worship was at first an accompaniment of the Agape or evening meal, and that it must have been, in the main, an adaptation of the Jewish synagogue service with the addition of the Lord’s Supper. It seems to have comprised the following elements:—Reading of Scripture, Sermon, Prayer, Consecration by Eujcaristiva, or Prayer of Thanksgiving, of bread and wine selected from the oblations, Distribution and Communion.

b). In course of time the Lord’s Supper was separated from the Agape, and as the Christian communities increased in numbers it became necessary to guard the Communion more closely. Bearing originally the name “Mystery,” it is likely that the example of the Greek Mysteries, from which the uninitiated were excluded, had some influence on the Christian practice,† but, at all events, only those who had been baptized and were not under discipline were allowed to be present at the celebration, which was known as the missa fidelium. But in order that those under discipline and those who were candidates for baptism might not be entirely deprived of participation in the service, the missa fidelium was preceded by a homiletic and didactic service known as the missa catechumenorem at which all were present.

Footnote: † A full discussion in Hatch, Hibbert Lectures for 1897, Scribner’s, though Hatch is an extremist on this point.


This is the form that is found in the earliest complete litur-


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gies that have come down to us. When the liturgy assumed this form we cannot say definitely since until after the conversion of Constantine the liturgy belonged to the disciplina arcani, and was held a profound secret, but it is likely that some such form had been reached by the year 250—the time of Cyprian.

2. The influence of Church Doctrine..

a). The “Catholic” conception of the Church directly established the theory that whatever liturgical form authorized by the Church—i. e. by the Bishops—might be, that form must be jure divino binding. Thus Christian worship was deprived of one of its greatest prerogatives, the freedom to choose the medium of expression best suited to its own spirit, and while the consequences of this deprivation may not have been immediately apparent they were far-reaching, and to the present day this theory remains the root of ritual formalism.

b). The “Catholic” conception of the ministry as a priesthood had a still greater effect, which made its appearance in three prominent ways:

1 ). It made public worship a ceremony performed exclusively by the priest in which the people were allowed only the part of silent spectators.

2). It caused all the emphasis of the public service to fall upon the sacrifice of the Mass, forcing the reading and preaching of the Word into the background.

3). Making of the Lord’s Supper a repetition of the sacrifice of Christ it opened the way for the introduction of Pagan and Jewish elements into the service. The ceremonies borrowed from the Temple service, prominent among which are the vestments of the priests, carried of course, the authority of the Old Dispensation, but in the “Catholic” theory there was no pomp or ceremony of Pagan sacrifice which could not be introduced into the ritual for Christian worship, since the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ so far surpassed in dignity and meaning the sacrifices to the heathen gods. Where no analogy could be found In the Old Testament these practices were legitimated by investing them with some symbolic meaning. Thus the Mass became laden with unchristian and anti-christian elements centering around the doctrine of the priesthood, and the result was the Mass of the Middle Ages which differs in no essential feature from the Roman Mass of the present day.


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The completion of the course of doctrinal development the beginnings of which have been sketched was a slow process. It took a thousand years to carry the premises of Cyprian to their logical conclusion. But after Ecumenical Councils and Church Synods had converted earlier doctrine into dogma and the scholastic theologians had elaborated and interpreted these dogmas into imposing systems, the result was only a stronger indorsement of the position of Cyprian, reinforced by the theology of Augustin and still further clinched by the acknowledged supremacy of Rome. Along with a theoretical distinction between the visible and invisible Church went the practical contention that the visible Church possessed by virtue of divine institution all the characteristics and prerogatives of the invisible. The Church was conceived as a divinely appointed earthly organization administered by a priesthood, whose forms were practically unlimited. This priesthood formed a hierarchy in which the Pope was the high-priest, to whom, as the representative of God and the earthly vicar of Christ, the individual was in all respects absolutely subject, not only in matters of faith and doctrine but in every thing that had to do with his daily life.

The Reformation was in this respect a protest against this conception of the Church, and stands for the emancipation of the individual from the domination of the institution. It brought to light an idea of the Church, new and yet closely approximating the most ancient conception of the Church as the holy people of God. Time forbids detailed discussion of all the factors which entered into the Reformation doctrine of the church and we shall content ourselves with a brief sketch of Luther’s doctrine which, though differing in detail from those of the Swiss Reformers, may be considered essentially representative. On the doctrine of the ministry, however, the divergence is so great as to call for separate treatment.

1. The Church.

a) Luther begins with the Augustinian doctrine of an invisible Church, which is the Church in the proper sense of the word,—the essential in contradistinction to the empirical Church. It is invisible only in the sense that the members of this essential


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church are unknown to all but God. Is it, therefore, no earthly organization and contains no hierarchy; it is the “communion” or “congregation of saints,” and the saints are those who in true faith receive and acknowledge Christ as their Lord. There are only two factors necessary to the existence of this Church—the Word of God and individuals to receive it—and individual reception is the sole condition of membership.

b). On the other hand, since the Word is necessary to the existence of the essential Church there must be some means of preserving and communicating the Word. This is the function of the visible or empirical Church which is the congregation of confessors of Christ, to which is committed the oral and sacramental administration of the Word. The existence of the Church in this sense depends not on form or continuity of organization, but solely on the fulfilment of its original purpose—i. e. the application of Christ to individuals through the medium of Word ‘*Ad Sacraments.*

Footnote: * An admirable outline of Luther’s doctrine of the Church is to be found in Sesburg, DG. II. 277 ff.  to which cf. Koestlin, Theology of Luther (Eng. trans.) II. 338 ff.


Where these means are rightly used the Church exists regardless of form of organization; where they are neglected the Church does not exist, the organization may continue but it is no longer the Church. The “marks” by which the true Church—empirically considered—is to be known are therefore the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments.

c). Furthermore, since the Word of God is always efficacious, the presence of these “marks” of the empirical Church is the guarantee of the presence of the essential Church. There has been no age in which the Church has been without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. One result of the Spirit’s guidance appears in the tradition of the Church, but that tradition must be tested by the Word of God. All that is found to be contrary to the Word must be rejected as human invention, but that which is not contrary to the Word should be received. It is this doctrine that makes Luther’s Reformation so essentially conservative, forbidding the wholesale rejection of the legacy of the preceding centuries of Christianity.

2. The Ministry.

Luther’s doctrine of the Ministry develops logically from


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his doctrine of the Church. Since the Word and the Sacraments—which are significant only as they apply the Word—are put into the hands of the Church they are the property not of any one class of the Church’s members but of the whole Church. By virtue of his faith in Christ every Christian is a priest, whose duty is to proclaim the Word, but in order that the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments may not suffer, it is necessary that men properly qualified shall be appointed in due order by the Church, to whom shall be committed the duty of representing the congregation in public functions—the public preaching, administration of the Sacraments and pastoral duties. These men are to be looked upon not as an order, a separate class who derive from ordination a specifically priestly character, but merely as the office holders or properly authorized public servants of the congregation, from which alone they derive their right of ministration. This conception of the Ministry as an office meant of course the absolute denial of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the priesthood and all that went with it.

3. Before concluding this survey a word is necessary touching the Calvinistic doctrines which bear on our subject.

a). Calvin insisted strongly on the distinction between the invisible Church—which he called the congregation of the elect—and the visible or empirical Church. Holding as he did the possibility of the ineffectual preaching of the Word, he could not make the existence of the empirical Church depend entirely upon the presence of the Word of God, as did Luther, and was obliged to fall back upon a divinely instituted ministry to ensure the existence of the Church. He rejected the priesthood of the clergy—maintaining the divine institution of the presbyterate instead—and affirmed emphatically the spiritual priesthood of the elect but never disassociated the empirical Church from the idea of the institutional ministry.

b). There is also one other doctrine of Calvin’s which touches closely on our subject and that is his conception of the Word of God. Starting as he does with the idea of God as absolute, sovereign Will, he is obliged to regard the Scriptures primarily as the revelation of God’s Will, therefore God’s Law, and this legalistic conception pervades his entire system.*

Footnote: * Cf. Seeburg, DG. II. 398 ff.


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The question now arises, what influence had these doctrines on the Reformation of the liturgy? And the question is not easy to answer. The Reformation in doctrine and liturgy was a process differing radically from the process which formed, doctrine and liturgy. The formative process was evolution. Starting with a mass of comparatively vague ideas, the conditions of the Church’s life rendered the definition now of one, now of another phase of doctrine necessary, and thus the emergence of the doctrine and its assimilation into a system was the work of centuries. The formation of the liturgy was a similar process. Small and simple in its beginnings, each succeeding age added its contribution to the, forms of worship until the sum was complete. The reformative process however, was criticism. Starting with one or two fundamental principles which were treated as criteria, it applied them in rapid succession to every feature of the Catholic system. Every truly reformative conception, therefore, either in doctrine or practice, bears the marks of those doctrines which were used as the standards of criticism. The great criterion with all the Reformers was the Word. Luther began with Justification and by it his conception of the Word is conditioned; Calvin began with the doctrine of Predestination, and with that in view formed his conception of the Word. Both Luther and Calvin then applied the latter doctrines to the Church as they found it. Thus, as we have seen, “Luther’s doctrines of Church and Ministry are the direct outcome of his doctrine of the Word and the same is true of his conception of the liturgy. He believed that every public service had but one aim—the proclamation and application of the Word—to which all else was subordinate, but despite the direct influence which this doctrine had on his liturgical conception we find indisputable traces of the doctrines with which we are dealing.

That this may be more fully apparent it may be well to state briefly Luther’s idea—which remains the Lutheran idea—of the service:—The service is a service of the congregation, led or conducted by the representative whom they have chosen, in which all the members are not only privileged but bound in duty, as one of the functions of spiritual priests, to take part. The essential factors of the service are the Word and the sacraments, the ritual setting in which they are placed belonging to the non-essentials, to be determined by the time, place, circumstances and


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spiritual needs of the congregation. The Church has no authority to command the observance in the service of anything save what God’s Word expressly commands, i. e. Word and Sacrament; on the other hand the Church has no authority to forbid the observance of any ordinances save such as are contrary to God’s Word or tend to obscure and obstruct the pure administration of Word and Sacraments; but it is the privilege of the Church to recommend for use those forms of public worship which history has developed as expressions of the idea of worship, and which are found to be not contrary to the Word of God.

What place Luther’s doctrines of Church and Ministry have in this theory may be clearly seen:

a). His rejection of the specific priesthood of the clergy and his affirmation of the priesthood of all believers is evidenced in the importance he attaches to the fact that the service is the service of the congregation and the large significance he lays upon their participation, a pertinent illustration of which is found in the stress which he laid on the hymn in the service.

b). His rejection of the formal idea of the Church appears in small emphasis which he lays on the rigidity of the forms of service. The Church, he believes, depends on no form of organization for its existence but only on the presence within it of Word and Sacrament; so the service is a true service without the use of prescribed forms, if only the Word and Sacraments are administered.

c). The essential conservatism of Luther’s doctrine of the Church is seen in his liturgical conservatism. If the Church has always had the Spirit of God then the forms of worship long used by the Church are not to be lightly cast aside merely because they have been misused or have been covered over with false ideas. They are to be tested and proved by the Word of God. If contrary to the Word of God they must be rejected; if not, they should be retained.

d). Finally Luther’s doctrinal position is reflected in his absolute disregard for rules of liturgical practice. The kind and extent of ceremonial usage practiced in any congregation was a matter of utter indifference to him. Personally, he could not conceive that such accessories as incense, tapers, vestments and processions could affect the purpose of the service in any way so long as the pure Word was preached. It remained for the adia-


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phoristic controversy to discuss, and the Formula of Concord to ide the principle that such ceremonial might have a serious ect on the service, but that where it did not tend to interfere th the pure Word or obscure the pure conception of the Sacraments, its use was optional with the congregation.*

Footnote: * On this subject see Formula of Concord Chap. X, and Frank, Theologie d. Concordienformels.


So much for the influence of Lutheran doctrine on the liturgy. Space forbids a similar treatment of the Calvinistic influence which will, however, be touched upon later. We pass on to a view of the latest development of the liturgy.



The real meaning of the Reformative epoch can only be understood after a survey of its results. The criticism of the Reformative time furnished the Protestant Churches with an aggregate of doctrine and practice which the intervening centuries have busied themselves with assimilating and interpreting. The results have been similar to those which attended the development of the formative period, in so far that the doctrines have been crystallized into dogmas, and the dogmas elaborated into systems, while the practical life of the Protestant Churches,—one side of which the liturgy represents—has also attained fairly definite form. Excluding the Greek Church, which followed an independent line of development, the liturgical result has been to give the world four distinct types of Christian worship.

1. The first of these is the Roman Mass which retains all distinctive features of the Middle Ages. It is based on the same externalizing conception of the Church which permits it to prescribe invarying forms for even the smallest parts of the liturgy; it centers around the same doctrine of priesthood of the clergy and exhibits the same pagan attitude toward the sacrifice of the Mass. It is enriched with all the beauty of symbolic art and surrounded by all the pomp and ceremony of the empire under which it grew. It is artistically beautiful and aesthetically impressive, but it is a spectacle rather than a form of worship.

2. The second type is that which finds its expression in the ideal Lutheran service. It centers around the Word of God, and rests upon the conception of the Church as the congregation in


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which every member is a priest, who has his part in all the service. It lays all the emphasis upon the two essentials—Word and Sacrament, and while providing the forms which the constant practice of a thousand years has shown most helpful and the rigid test of God’s Word has sanctioned, it allows the widest liberty in the use of whatever forms may be best suited, in any given case, to the fullest expression of the idea and the most perfect fulfilment of the purpose of public worship. It lacks the artistic symbolism and sensuous ceremonial of the Roman Mass, but in simplicity, unity of purpose, and power to express and satisfy the needs of the heart, it is the nearest approximation to what we believe to be the highest ideal of Christian worship. Doctrinally it differs from the Roman Mass in its fundamental conception of the unity and authority of the Church and in the conception of the clerical priesthood and the sacrifice, no less than in the estimate it places on the Word.

3. The third type is the so-called “non-liturgical,” and is the child of Calvinism. Following Calvin’s legalistic conception of the Word of God to which reference has previously been made, it disregards set forms of worship because it fails to find them expressly commanded in Holy Scripture. Emphasizing the divine institution of the ministry but affirming the universal priesthood, it makes the pleasure of the minister the rule of the liturgy and subordinates everything to the sermon, sacrificing depth of feeling, beauty of meaning and unity of worship—everything to the pedagogical element. Its great doctrinal antithesis to Rome is the doctrine of the Church; to Lutheranism its doctrine of the Word.

4. A fourth type remains. It is the Anglican. What it represents is difficult to say, for it represents so many things. The doctrine of the Church and the liturgy are in fact the only basis of unity in the Anglican Communion, and both are differently interpreted by the two great Anglican schools. To the Low-Church Anglican the liturgy means very nearly what the Lutheran liturgy means to us. He holds a doctrine of the Church that is “Catholic” in the sense that it lays stress on the external form of the Church; he holds, in theory at least, a doctrine of the priesthood of the clergy which he fails to carry consistently into his liturgy; he retains the ancient forms of worship purged of their non-Christian elements and believes them binding because they are the latest authorized by his Church. But his Church


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doctrine and his liturgical practice are inconsistent, and his practice is better than his doctrine.

The High-Church Anglican, on the other hand, is more consistent, but he presents a peculiar problem. To what extent is his doctrine the result of his liturgical practice, and conversely, how much of his practice depends directly upon his doctrine? He holds with great tenacity to the Cyprianic conception of Church and Ministry. “The Church” is the Church founded on the successors of the Apostles, who are the Bishops; the clergy is an order, a specific priesthood offering the specific sacrifice of the Mass; the fact that the Church in its formative period surrounded the Mass with high ceremonial affords him abundant reason for using the same ceremonies; he fills his service with the same symbolism and strives for the same imposing aesthetic effect that is seen in the Roman Mass; he puts the Word of God into the same relatively unimportant place and reads his lessons in Latin when he dares. His liturgy is in fact the Roman Mass with Rome left out. He has long since discarded his Church’s doctrinal confession and professed to find his doctrine in his Prayer Book; now he has altered the liturgy of his Prayer Book and appealed to the Ecumenical Councils and the “unbroken tradition of the Church.” Laughed at by Rome, disowned by his own denomination, he is consistent with himself but with nothing else under Heaven. These are the two extremes and the Anglican Church exhibits every shade of doctrine and practice which can exist

If the limits of such a paper as this were coextensive with the limits of the subject it would be interesting to go a step farther and note how closely the worship of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches of the present day corresponds to type, and in what degree variations are due to doctrinal influence, but space and time forbid. Permit me, however, in conclusion to touch upon a very important question that connects directly with the subject in hand and is a matter of practical moment to all of us.

It is evident to all that the Lutheran Church in America is leaving the period of liturgical infancy and will soon enter the stage of adolescence. As the appreciation of our liturgy broadens, and deepens, its use becomes more wide-spread and more intelligent. The question, shall we use the liturgy?—a burning question within the memory of all save the youngest of us—is pass-


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ing, and in its place the question is rising,—How shall we use the liturgy? There are some who feel that the liturgy should be used in its simplest form, with as few accessories as possible; there are others who believe that the use of such accessories as may serve to interpret and emphasize its meaning is a distinct gain; there are some who would make use of every ceremonial precedent which the Lutheran store-houses of Germany, Denmark and Sweden—and they are capacious—contain. There is a strong feeling in certain quarters that a limit should be set. Who is to set the limit? Consistently with Lutheran doctrine the Church has no legislative jurisdiction in the matter. It dare not prescribe a minimum limit save that prescribed in its doctrine, i. e., the presence of Word and Sacrament, and just as little has it authority to say: “Thus far and no farther.” In either case it trespasses on Christian liberty by making an issue of an adiaphoron and so does violence to its own doctrine. But there is a limit and it is already set. It lies in the doctrine of the Word. All that is contrary to God’s Word must be summarily rejected; and whatever tends to cover over the clear teaching of the Word or to interfere with the pure conception of the Sacraments is, in effect, contrary to God’s Word. If liturgical practice needs regulation let it be governed by a few safe rules. 1) No accessory of the liturgy should be used unless it has a clear meaning. 2) That meaning must be understood by the congregation; 3) must bear directly upon the interpretation of the liturgy, and 4) must be consistent with Lutheran doctrine. Uniformity of practice cannot be enforced, nor is it desirable, since the varying needs and circumstances of different congregations call for a diversity of administration. In uniformity of doctrine and in that alone the Church finds its true unity—that unity of the Spirit which is the bond of peace.



North Wales, Pa.


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THIS title sufficiently denotes that the object of our paper is to examine and describe the prayer of the believing people of God in their assemblies for Christian worship, and not the general subject of prayer, or its particular use in relation to the individual disciple. It is not the question of how “thou when thou prayest” art to enter thy closet and shut the door and pray to the Father in secret, but the question answered by our Lord when He said, “when ye pray, say, Our Father.”

The distinctive grounds for Christian public or common prayer are to be found in the giving of the injunction and the form for such prayer by our Lord, in Matt. vi, and Luke xi, and the passages Matt. xviii, 19, I Tim. ii, 1-4, and the several instances of the practice of united prayer found in Acts i, 13, 14; ii, 46, etc.

It will be interesting and instructive to look with some detail at the earliest examples of the use and place of prayer in congregational worship.



The Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians* presents, at some length, the prayer of the Roman congregation at Rome about the year 96 A. D. The prayer is not presented as a mere incident of the Epistle, but has an important relation to the whole, which may be said to lead up to it. It bears all the marks of a careful composition. Balance and rhythm are carefully studied, and almost every alternate expression is selected and adapted from some part of the Old Testament. It is distinctly a general prayer. Beginning with an elaborate invocation of God, arranged, for the most part, in antithetical sentences, there follow special intercessions for the needy, the wanderers, the hungry, the prisoners, etc.

Footnote: * Appendix, Lightfoot, p. 269.


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After this comes a general confession of sins and prayer for forgiveness and help. It closes with a prayer for unity, (especially appropriate in view of the tone of the whole Epistle), “Give concord and peace to us and to all that dwell on the earth, as Thou gavest to our fathers when they called upon Thee.” After this comes an intercession for rulers. The whole closes with a doxology.

The prayer, again, may be analyzed as consisting of two parts, each beginning with a hymn to God. The first part has ten petitions, for the needy and suffering of every sort. The second part has nine petitions, essentially related to the development of the moral life, through the forgiveness of sins, and increase of spiritual strength.*

Footnote: * Meusel’s Handlexikon, sub. v. Kirchengebet.


Lightfoot concludes from the examination of the prayer that “there was at this time no authoritative written liturgy in use in the church at Rome, but the prayers were modified at the discretion of the officiating minister. Under the dictation of habit and experience, however, these prayers were gradually assuming a fixed form.”

As the prayer is found in an Epistle, and not in connection with any account of the regular order of worship in the Church, we have no indication of its place in the liturgy.

Justin Martyr, (b. 114, d. 165 A. D.), living at Rome when he wrote, gives an account in two passages, of the worship of the Church at his time. The liturgy, as he describes it, consisted of

1. The reading of “the Memoirs of the Apostles or the Writings of the Prophets.

2. The Sermon, “the president verbally instructs.”

3. Prayer, “then we all rise together and pray.”

4. The Oblation, “bread and wine and water are brought to the president.”

5. Prayer of Thanksgiving, “the president, in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability, and the people assent, saying, Amen.” †

Footnote: † Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. I. p. 186.


The prayer following the sermon, of whose contents nothing is said in the connection above, is further described in another place,‡ where he tells of the welcome given to the newly baptized, who is to be brought to the place “where those who are

Footnote: ‡ lbid, p. 185.


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called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized person and for all others, in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be good citizens and keepers of the commandments so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation.” After the prayer the kiss of peace is given, and then the order of the service is identical with that just given.

In the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, ch. 10, a work ascribed to a period as early as 120 A. D., the order of the celebration of the Eucharist is described as including first, a prayer of thanksgiving concerning the cup, then concerning the broken bread. Then, “after ye are filled,” (an expression which seems to render it evident that the Agape is understood as preceding), another giving of thanks takes place. The form here supplied includes thanks for God’s name, for knowledge, faith and immortality made known through Jesus His servant, for the creation of all things, for spiritual food and drink, and concludes, “Remember Thy Church, deliver, make perfect, gather it from the four winds, sanctified, into Thy Kingdom.”

The Apostolic Constitutions, (from the close of the third century, but undoubtedly representing largely the usage of an earlier date), offer us the “earliest form in which liturgical arrangement, to any extent, is found.” In the second book of the Constitutions,* one account of the Eucharistic liturgy is found.

Footnote: * Ante-Nicene Fathers, pp. 421, 422.


The order given is, first, the Scriptures are read. Then the presbyters and bishop exhort, and after this, all rise, and looking toward the East, after the penitents and catechumens have gone, out, pray to God, eastward. The oblations, the announcements, “Let no one have any quarrel against another,” “Let no one come in hypocrisy” and the kiss of peace follow, and then the deacon prays for the whole Church, for the whole world and the several parts of it, and for the fruits of it, for the priests and the rulers, for the high priest and the king, and for the peace of the universe. After this the “high priest” prays for peace upon the people, and blesses them with the O. T. benediction. Then the bishop prays for the people, and says: “Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance which Thou hast obtained with the precious blood of Thy Christ, and hast called a royal priesthood


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and an holy nation.” “After this let the sacrifice follow, the people standing and praying silently. And when the oblation has been made let every rank by itself partake of the Lord’s body and precious blood in order, and approach with reverence and holy fear, as to the body of their King.”

The eighth book is regarded as of later date than the others, but in the character of its material and the influence it had upon later forms of devotion, it is of great significance. It presents a much fuller form of worship, in which the exceedingly large place given to prayer, and the great length of many of the prayers is very noticeable. It may be thus summarized:

1. Scrifiture Reading, from the “Law, Prophets, Epistles, Acts and Gospels.”

2. Salutation, in the form of the N. T. Benediction, and Response, “And with thy spirit.”

3. Exhortation.

4. Dismissal of the Unbelievers.

5. Bidding Prayer for the Catechumens, who are then dismissed.

6. Bidding Prayer for Energumens. Both these prayers are to be said by the deacon. After each is a prayer by the bishop, and the dismissal of those prayed for, the following prayers after the same manner.

7. Bidding Prayer for the Baptized. Prayer by the bishop. Dismissal.

8. Bidding Prayer for the Penitents. Prayer by the bishop. Dismissal.

9. Bidding Prayer for the Faithful. This is a truly General Prayer. The people are called upon to pray for the world, all the holy churches, the Catholic and Apostolic Church, the parish in this place, every bishop and our bishop, other bishops and parishes named, for presbyters, deacons, readers, singers, virgins, widows and orphans, for all in the Church, for those in marriage and child-bearing, the sick, those that travel by water or by land, those in the mines, in banishments, prisons or bonds, in bitter servitude, for enemies and persecutors, for wanderers, for infants of the Church, and for one another.

10. The “High Priest” Prays. His prayer, however, not being nearly so long as the bidding prayer, nor taking up its objects in detail.


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11. Salutation, “the peace of God be with you all,” and Response.

12. The Kiss.

13. Salutation and Response as at first.

14. The Sursum Corda.

15. The Preface, continuing without interruption into the Thanksgiving. Of extreme length, containing within it, and as a part of it, the Consecration and Oblation.

16. Another Bidding Prayer for the Faithful, general in its character, followed by prayer by the bishop.

17. Distribution.

18. Bidding Prayer

It is noteworthy, in comparing this liturgy with later ones, that it lacks the Lord’s Prayer.*

Footnote: * Apostol. Const. Ante-Nicene Fathers, book VIII, p. 483, ff.


The liturgies of St. James, (Palestine), of St. Mark, (Alexandria), of St. John, (Gallican, Mozarabic and Ephesian), and of St. Peter, (Roman), all begin with a prefatory prayer; the first two provide for a prayer after the Lections, and the first three put the prayer variously referred to as the “prayer for all conditions,” the “prayer for the Church Militant,” or the “prayer for the Church,” in much the same relative position in reference to the whole service.

A glance at the material cited indicates that in the early worship of the Church common prayer had a recognized and prominent place. Its purpose and spirit were fully apprehended. Cyprian’s statement, “Publica est nobis et communis oratio, et quando oramus, non pro uno, sed pro toto populo oramus, quia totus populus unum sumus” is exemplified in all the forms which have remained to us. “The Church prayer always regards the need of the whole congregation, and therefore maintains a certain spiritual tone. According to their content and form the oldest congregational prayers that have come to us bear this character, as well as those in the agenda of the century of the Reformation. Not until the time of Pietism was the appreciation of the distinction between the subjectively-christian, and the churchly prayer gradually lost. The Illumination, however, no longer had any idea of what true prayer is.” †

Footnote: † Harnack, in Zoeckler’s Handbuch, Vol. IV. p. 432.


The distinction, referred to in the quotation, between the


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subjective prayer of the Christian, in his private devotion, and the prayer of the collected congregation is one that is of essential importance if this part of the public service is to be rendered in appropriate form and spirit. To confuse the scope and object of the two sorts of prayer is to impair seriously the beauty and fitness of our worship. Nothing can be more necessary than private prayer. Where there is no true, spontaneous reaching out of the inner life toward God, telling Him of the burden and trial, beseeching Him for the relief and defence needed, imploring His grace and goodness, laying before Him the perplexities and asking Him to give the promised guidance, there is no true life of the soul.

But there is a life of the Church which is as true and as much to be recognized as the life of the individual. The Church is an organism not an organization. It is the one body of the One Head. It has its own needs, its own duties, its own necessity for worship. Hence have arisen its own forms of worship, for it is evident that the Church as such cannot worship acceptably and unitedly through any form which is not framed to suit its needs, but which is merely the expression of the subjective condition of the one who leads its devotions. Hence the value of the fixed forms which have been subject to criticism and have been proven by the test of actual use, which being known to the congregation, and before their eyes, enable them to follow and to participate, as they could not do in any form of words arising in the mind of the person who was directing their worship. An extemporaneous phraseology has no advantage, because, for the most part, the things for which the Church is bound to pray are the same from time to time. The need of confession, of thanksgiving, of intercession, of supplication for the welfare of God’s people, for the ingathering of the wandering, for the rulers, for the distressed and the oppressed, is a constant need, and cannot be voiced in more beautiful and appropriate language than that in which for centuries the Church has given it expression. The distinction must be made between the Christian in his closet praying, pouring out before God, in spontaneous speech, all his private fears and hopes and needs, on the one hand; and, on the other, the worshipping congregation, uttering its common supplications, and it is the failure to make this distinction, that so often results in the entire lack of a true General Prayer, and in


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the painful spectacle of a pastor ignoring and misinterpreting his office and duty, as the mouth-piece of the congregation, putting some desires and hopes of his own, or even some moralings over the Sermon he has just preached, in the place that belongs to the people for their common prayer. And it is the ignorance of this distinction on the part of the people that is the ground for whatever prejudice may yet be found against a form of prayer for congregational use. In the closet we could never consent to confine our prayers to forms. There the heart must speak out in the words that the changing circumstances and duties and sins of every day suggest, there is the place for our personal entreaties and for the utterance in His sympathizing ear of what we could say in no human ear, and of what none else could say for us. God forbid that we should underestimate or fail to use that precious privilege. But when we assemble as the Church,

“Our hopes, our fears, our aims are one,

Our comforts and our cares,”

and we lose much if we do not understand the meaning of our common worship, or if we throw away the perfect forms in which our fathers have enshrined the common aspirations of the Church in the past, and the present and the future, until Jesus comes again.

The ancient authorities also indicate, as the proper place for the General Prayer, that which it holds in the Common Service, between the Sermon and the Communion. The posture was that of standing.

From the time of Gregory the Great the Church Prayer as an especial act of worship disappears, having been pushed close to the Consecration and offering of the Sacrament, under the influence of the development of the sacrificial idea of the Mass and of the thought that prayer offered in the offering of the Mass would be sure of all answer.* The Reformation brings back the Church Prayer into the chief service, and, with few exceptions into the proper place, providing different forms when the Lord’s Supper was celebrated and when it was omitted. The Reformed Churches, in their Orders, without exception prescribe that a formulated Church Prayer be read from the pulpit at each service. In the Deutsche Messe Luther gave a paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer which the Pastor was to read at the altar, after the Sermon and

Footnote: * Cf. Horn, Liturgics.


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before the Consecration. Almost all the Lutheran Orders give a form of the General Prayer, to be read from the pulpit, while a few, only, leave it to the pastor to extemporize. This is in case the Lord’s Supper is to follow. When there are no communicants the Prayer is to be read at the altar and in a form in which the congregation actively participates; praying with the pastor, the Litany, (in Luther’s improved form), or the Da pacem, or, in special cases, singing the Te Deum.*

Footnote: * Meusel, Handlexikon, sub. v. Kirchen-gebet.



The term Litany, (from lith;, livssomai), used by the pagans for a supplicatory form of worship, was early adopted by Christian writers. It was applied to earnest prayer arising from special necessities. Early litanies are connected with such trials as earthquakes, droughts, etc. Fixed litanies are first found in France in the fifth Century. An earthquake in 450 A. D. gave occasion to Bishop Mamercus of Vienna to appoint the three days before Ascension, dies rogationum, for processions through the fields, with supplications to God. Palmer † says that the form in which the prayers of the Litany are conveyed, is plainly derived from oriental models, and again that the “litaneutical form,” common in the East was sparingly used in the West. But it is to be noticed that as early as Justin Martyr the general prayer was responded to by the people with Kyrie Eleison, and that the Apostolic Constitutions give a prayer in which the resemblance in form to the Litany is very marked, the Deacon announcing the prayer, Prosphonesis, and the people responding, Kyrie Eleison. The Litaniae Minores, supposed by Bingham to consist only of a repetition of Kyrie Eleison, may well have been the original from which the Litania Major, developed, and if form, rather than the peculiar processional use, is to be regarded as the mark of identification, the beginning of the Litany must certainly be put back much earlier than the fifth or even the fourth century, the dates most generally accepted.

Footnote: † Origines, Vol. I, p. 267.


As has been suggested, the litanies were appointed for particular times. Rome fixed April 25, for the regular use of the Litany, the Litania Septiformis of Gregory the Great. The Council of Orleans, 511 A. D. appoints them permanently for the use of the Gallic Churches preparatory to the celebration of a


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high festival. In the Spanish Church they were observed in the week after Pentecost. Other Councils appointed them for various other seasons, till, in the seventeenth Council of Toledo, in 694 A. D, the use of them was decreed once each month. By degrees, they were extended to two days in each week, and Wednesday and Friday, being the ancient dies stationum, were set apart for that purpose. This usage was characteristic of the Western Church, the Eastern Church of ancient days and of the present not appointing stated seasons for their use, but confining such services to extraordinary occasions.

The text of the Litany was never directed to the special occasion. Hymns, the seven penitential Psalms, and the simple Kyrie were the basis. Later their use was so extended that the clergy intoned the single petitions and the people responded with, “eleison, miserere, exaudi, libera nos, parce nobis.” So the Litany received more and more the form of a general prayer.

A Fuldensian Codex offers the oldest form of the text of the Litany. It has no invocations of saints, (these, also, are not found in any of the Eastern litanies), and remembers the catechumens and penitents, as well as the Roman Emperor and army. A second form, from the ninth century, directs petitions to Mary, the angels and saints, and concludes with the Agnus Dei.

The full Roman Litany has, after the Kyrie, the invocation of Mary and the saints, and after this the petitions, deprecations, etc., concluding with the Agnus Dei. Then follow different responsories and prayers. It is to be noted that the response of the congregation to the invocation of saints is “ora pro nobis.” A large number of litanies also arose in the Roman Church which were directed only to Mary, or even to the heart of Mary, or to other saints. After the Reformation the Romanists prayed special litanies adversus haereticos.

Luther simply took out what was unsound and unscriptural in the Roman Litany, changed the order of some of the petitions and added others, enriching the ancient prayer. He prepared and published it in Latin and German. The two are not essentially different. The German Litany was taken up by almost all the Lutheran orders, with slight changes.

From an early period the litanies had been used in the Matins, Vespers and Hours. After Gregory the Great they had a place also in the Chief Service, at the beginning, after the Introit,


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on the Sundays of the Passion season, when the Gloria in Excelsis was omitted. This usage still exists in the Milan Church.

After the Reformation the Litany is found appointed for stated times, Rogation Sundays, prayer-services in the week, dies stationum, and also for special occasions, e. g. Ordination. But it also finds a place now in the Chief Service, as a general Prayer. This, according to Lutheran conception and practice, it properly is, and ought not to be conceived of as merely a prayer of repentance as the Church of Rome considers it.

The Reformed Churches entirely rejected the Litany. In the time of liturgical destruction, also, the use of the Litany as a General Prayer was almost entirely abandoned. But the appreciation of this prayer which Luther expressed, and the correct conception of its meaning and purpose, with the peculiar propriety of the active participation of the congregation in its common prayer, has brought this historically given form into ever increasing favor. Up to the 18th century the Litany was highly esteemed, so much so that in the 17th century several commentaries on the Litany appeared. After that it fell into disesteem. Its length was criticised. Its objective character was displeasing to the subjectivism of Pietism. In South Germany it was used without responses in uno tenore. The petitions were grouped together. It disappeared entirely from some hymn-books. Rationalism put it aside. The method is aptly described by Kliefoth, and has its counterpart in some experiences in our own land. “First they would not have the congregations sing the Litany with the necessary result that it became unfamiliar. Then they used the ignorance of it on the part of the congregation as a reproach against it.” To the liturgical awakening due so largely to Kliefoth and Schoeberlein we owe it that the value of the Litany has again been brought to the attention of Lutheran congregations, and that it has regained its due position.

Luther’s Latin Litany was used in Wittenberg, and was sung by two choirs of school-boys. The German Litany was also rendered by the leadership of two choirs of school-boys, one choir in the middle of the church intoning the single petitions, and the congregation led by the other choir, singing the responses. Another method was to have the pastor, facing the altar, intone the petitions, the congregation and choir responding.*

Footnote: * For the whole treatment of the Litany see Meusel’s Handlexikon.


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The origin of the Collects is involved in obscurity. Dr. Horn * conjectures that their model may have been given by Acts i. 24, 25 and Acts iv. 24-30. Their name denotes that they are prayers in which the wants and perils, or wishes and desires, of the whole people or Church, are collectively presented to God. They are comprehensive prayers, changing with the seasons and festivals of the Church Year, many of which our Church has adopted from the ancient liturgies, and some which she has formed for herself. They are either penitential or supplicatory Collects which as introductory prayers, (read before the Epistle and Gospel), express the fact of the day or the thought of the season and connect with it a supplication for appropriate grace; or they are Collects of praise and thanksgiving, which as closing prayers begin with thanks for the gift of grace received and end with a prayer to be kept in the same. They were used from a remote period in the Western churches, and are found in the earliest monuments of the Roman liturgy. † Most of those which we use are taken from Gregory the Great, or the Sacramentaries of Gelasius or Leo. The latter was used in the Roman Church, A. D. 483, and, according to Palmer, its Collects are much more ancient than those of Gelasius, (A. D. 494) and may be referred to the end of the fourth century.

Footnote: * Liturgics, p. 72.

Footnote: † Palmer’s Orig.


The Gregorian Mass gave a special Collect to every principal Service. Later the multiplication of Collects caused complaint. Löhe says: “the Lutheran Church retained in her most ancient liturgies the custom of praying a collect de tempore before the Epistle. She arranged festival collects for the first half of the Church Year, but made no provision for the second half, except to leave it to the ministers to select one of the common collects according to the character of the Sunday.”

Luther restricted the use of collects before the Lection to one, but favored the change of collect with the varying season. The Brandenburg-Nürnburg Order has fifteen common collects and one each for the festival of Christmas, the Passion season, and the festivals of Easter, Ascension, Whitsunday and Trinity; one for the coming of God’s Kingdom, one for the doing of God’s will and two Pro Pace. Nearly all the other Orders followed the same


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plan of giving a small number of collects. The objection to a change of collect for each Sunday and festival was that the people ought to be able to follow and pray them with the pastor, an objection which has no force when every member of the congregation has a book containing the appointed collect which is easily to be found. The sources of the collects, given in the Common Service may be found in “The Lutheran Movement in England.” *

Footnote: * Jacobs, p. 297.


The Church has ever used and provided for the united supplication of her worshipping people, and our forms of prayer are scriptural, historical and in fullest accord with the best traditions of the purest days of the Church’s life. Hallowed by the use of the centuries, tested and approved by their perfect adaptedness to bear the devotion of the saintly generations to the throne of grace, fragrant as the incense of the Temple with the odor of sanctity and with the associations that cannot be separated from them, they are vital to-day, to every devout spirit, and bear us backward in sweet communion with the Church of all ages, while they lift us Heavenward, in our purest aspirations.

“O where are Kings and empires now,

Of old that went and came?

But, Lord, Thy Church is praying yet,

A thousand years the same.”



New York, N. Y.


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THE church organist, by virtue of his position, is a person of more than passing importance, for upon him is largely dependent the proper expression of public worship, and in him is vested an educational power, which is wielded, not only over a few individuals, but over the entire congregation. It is true in case of necessity, we may be forced to ignore him, yet we all feel, under normal conditions, the value of his presence and services. From the organ-loft he rules, for weal or woe, over the most subtle influence temporally speaking, that is brought to bear upon the people. While in all else listlessness may be in control, yet music may permeate quietly and unobtrusively into the soul with the gentle touch of revivifying power. Gladness ought to be expressed and from the organ comes the jubilant invitation to “Rejoice all ye believers.” Penitence is to take possession, then by the plaintive sighings of the organ our emotions are led in the proper way. So, to all intervening states music adapts itself, and readily lends its power and influence to obtain the desired results. Unless deafness be our portion we can scarcely escape its influence, for where it is heard, there it takes quiet possession. How essential is it then, that this power should be properly and judiciously exercised; that its influence should be understandingly utilized and made most effective. In the church such understanding is of vital necessity to its proper use. Hence arises the question concerning the value of liturgical study for organists.

The value of such study is plainly evident to all who are interested in any way in the proper comprehension of the subject under consideration, and of these none should be more interested than organists. They, by their very position, are constrained to follow such lines of study. They are continually confronted by


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liturgical questions, theoretical and practical, and should be in a position to properly deal with them. This necessitates study, and study which is not of the superficial type, for here as in other relations

“A little learning is a dangerous thing;

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.”

To do this they must step backward into past ages, yea even beyond the dawn of the Christian cultus, for in the Jewish ritual we find the first established form of worship to the only true God. And as the prophecies preceded the Son of Righteousness and found in Him their fullest expression, so has the ancient Jewish ritual yielded to the spirit of Christian worship. This ancient worship of the Jews however, was not entirely destroyed but only superseded, and we find it in many ways coloring the more enlightened worship of the new era. This condition we note in the transfer of the Psalter bodily to the new form of worship,—in the merging of the Passover into the Festival of Easter,—of the Festival of Harvest or Pentecost into the Christian Pentecost or Whitsunday. Thus is seen the inception of the new cultus of worship, meagre in point of details, yet carrying over the Holy songs of the temple worship and infusing them with renewed life. Man realizes with pleasure that the Master Himself sang thus with His Disciples at their last Passover. And from the heathen Pliny in his letter to the Roman Emperor, we learn that the early Christians were wont to come together to sing their “psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs.” Soon certain great truths came into clearer light and about them were clustered forms of expression. These integral parts readily found points of contact and thus the liturgy was gradually woven into one harmonious whole.

The attention of the organist will then find an abundant field of operations in tracing the growth of the liturgy until it became overweighted and was returned in the Reformation among the Swiss Reformers to a bald, bare type of worship, and among the Germans to a conservative mean. In tracing the growth of the liturgy the organist, if he is thorough, will be led into a consideration of the ramifications of that growth as they group themselves into families, e. g. the Eastern and Western Church; and as these are again subdivided in the East into the Greek, Armenian, Nestorian, etc.; and in the West into Roman, Gallican, Ambrosian, Mozarabic and others. By thus approaching the


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subject in its broadest and most general aspects, the ground plan is laid according to an ample measure and of substantial material, so that the superstructure will not be endangered by the weakness of the foundation.

In this way is gained not simply knowledge but a glimpse is also obtained of the animating spirit of liturgies generally, and of its different manifestations. Liturgics is simply engaged with the proper setting forth of the worship of the Eternal God. It aims to put that worship in the most chaste form, to beautify it, as the Psalmist has said to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,” to invest every act with fullest significance, to impress the great truths of Christianity, to declare unto man in many ways that he worships, that he is in the presence of the Most High. The spirit of liturgics is essentially the spirit of worship. With organists, in a greater degree than with most men, should this spirit be present, that God may be worshipped in spirit and truth, and that all things may be done decently and in order. This spirit goes much further than simply to follow rubrical directions, but is a spirit moving upon the face of the waters bringing order out of chaos. It is a guardian angel protecting us from excrescences, from mutilations and extraneous matters. It guides and directs where there are no written laws and at all times and under all conditions it exerts its powerful, even if silent, influence.

It will not be long before the student organist will find that the liturgy is not simply a form of worship but is essentially a confession of faith. We see this in the differences between the Greek and Roman Church, and find it especially marked in the Nestorian liturgy where its parts are adapted to meet the arch-error of Nestorianism, namely, its Christological doctrine. The Reformers found abundant error in the Roman liturgy and among their early tasks was the necessity of purging and purifying the liturgy that it might give proper expression to the true faith. This confessional character of the liturgy must be ever kept in mind, so that we may not only possess the spirit of worship but also the spirit of true worship.

A general knowledge of liturgics, however, is not sufficient, for, as we intimated above, there are many digressions and many animating spirits. This should lead organists to more specific lines of study, that they may learn to know the animating spirit of each church body, the significance of their forms of worship,


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and the general trend of their teachings and practice. This will be especially valuable in the consideration of such church bodies as are immediately about the organist or even those of the same country. Each body will have distinctive characteristics and will disseminate its particular influences in a narrow sphere by its practices and in a broader sphere by means of its publications. Organists should know them well in order that they may avoid their extravagances, profit by their shortcomings, escape their weaknesses and not be led astray by the passingly beautiful. Rather be strong enough to influence them or they will surely influence you. This means that of all churches you must be best acquainted with your own. Information that is general should be reinforced by that which is specifically to your purpose. Here there enters that study of the church of the Reformation with her conservative tendencies, yet strongly contending for the truth; the central position she gives to the Word and at the same time not neglecting the place and power of the Holy Sacraments; the retention of much that was proper, lawful, beautiful and not contrary to Scripture—as opposed to iconoclasm,—her animating spirit should be thoroughly imbibed if we would comprehend her liturgy.

If we stop to compare the different church bodies we will find further reason for thought connected with our subject. In the non-liturgical church bodies we find the controlling power to be exercised mainly through the emotions. This naturally affects whatever form of worship they may have and has its influence over all that pertains to public worship, notably over its music. Hence we must not be too quick to adopt music which has sprung from such a source. The liturgical church bodies ordinarily adopt the educational mode of indoctrination and this is reflected in their sober forms of worship. But here again distinctions arise according to doctrine and according to the dominating spirit in worship, whether of display or of devotion. Thus by a comparative study we may know how to act judiciously. And here permit me to add we have a strong argument for distinctively Lutheran organists, i. e. organists imbued with the Lutheran spirit of worship.

The spirit of liturgics being the spirit of worship we can readily imagine that the best results will only be obtained by those who approach the subject with true Christian feeling.


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How an infidel or unbeliever can gain the best results is inconceivable. At the best it would be simply an intellectual process which could not adequately comprehend the hidden beauties alone revealed to believers. The mysteries of the Christian faith as expressed in the liturgy should be received into sympathetic minds and hearts, or else we will have nothing more than the senseless verbiage of lip-worship. This condition being present, it can not help but show itself practically.

As the organist proceeds in his study, he will learn that the liturgy does not stand alone, an isolated, forsaken creature, but is intimately bound up with many avenues of church activity, and has continually exercised its influence over them. Thus the cruciform style in church architecture arises from a liturgical consideration. The position of the altar, the painting of windows, and the other symbolical creations have sprung largely from this same consideration. But, what is more to the point of our subject, is the influence exerted by the liturgy over church music. If we step back again into the temple at Jerusalem we will find that the music is principally vocal, sustained and accompanied by instruments such as the harp, psaltery, horn, trumpet and cornet. Undoubtedly, the sweet singer of Israel in providing for the courses of priests to take charge of the temple worship, made ample provision for the musical portion of that worship. Music that would be adapted especially for the services of the temple to set forth the glory and honor of God. In the number of instruments, in the multitude of singers we see the indications of this elaborate musical arrangement. When we enter the Christian era we do not have this elaborate ritual, but it would be most natural for us to think of the Christians as appropriating some of the temple music. And, in that age of purity we would expect the thoughts of their hymns and spiritual songs to influence and modify their musical settings. A large repertoire of music they undoubtedly did not have, but what they did have we would expect to be marked by chasteness and simplicity. In the quickly succeeding centuries we have seen the growth of the liturgy and it is reasonable to suppose that its musical accompaniment did not lag far behind. When we come to clearer historical light we learn that music had become a very necessary part of worship and special efforts were made to properly render it by establishing schools for singers whose spheres of activity were


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within the church. At about the same time, and perhaps resulting from the special interest awakened in the subject, the ecclesiastical modes were established. These modes, ascribed partly to Gregory the Great and partly to Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, are the links uniting ancient and modern music. The modes were, without doubt, influenced by the liturgy. They seem to have been the special property of the church as they are to this day. Their use was to render vocal and more impressive the subject matter of the liturgy. From this we readily infer that music was not the dominating power but rather the liturgy, and that music was the obedient servant of a most worthy mistress, seeking to serve her to the best of its ability. This truth we see again exemplified in the productions of the classic period of figurated church music. When music had sunk so low as to give cause for serious consideration of its abandonment in connection with the liturgy, Palestrina arose, imbued with the spirit of the liturgy, which threw its influence about him to such an extent as to thoroughly permeate his works by its devotion. “This was the commencement of a revolution in sacred music, which by his influence became simple, thoughtful, aspiring, sincere and noble but destitute of passion and tenderness. The most spiritual of all arts it raised the heart into immediate communion with the Infinite … it found opportunity to express and to elevate by its various combinations of sounds every kind of Christian feeling.” Hence a proper understanding of the liturgy is essential to the proper and full understanding of church music.

Such liturgical knowledge proves its value when organists seek to express the liturgy in the best way possible. Music, be it remembered, is the most acceptable and effective means by which to obtain this end. For “a fervent spirit of devotion instinctively seeks to express itself in song. On the strains of poetry,” or prose, “joined with music it finds an easy and natural utterance of its elevated emotions.” This leads us to the thought of the purpose of music in the church. In the liturgy we render the sacrifices of prayer, praise and thanksgiving and receive the ministrations of the Word and Sacraments. The music of the liturgy should be expressive of the same emotions which are expressed in the liturgy itself. Such music should be able to express devotion, a devotion which reaches the heart of the believer and stirs it with the thought of God. It should be ex-


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pressive of praise which arouses the soul to honor God. Its ministrations should deepen the impression of prayer. And in thanksgiving it should find no difficulty in rendering vocal the outpourings of the appreciative heart. Whatever the liturgy demands that is the province of church music to express. If the piercing sorrows of Good Friday encompass us, to this the music is to adapt its cry; but if the joys of Easter strive for expression then shall the music break forth in joyful tones. Thus church music must first of all express the varying changes of the liturgy and in such a way that the thought of the liturgy is exalted and not the music alone as such. Such music must as well fill the requirements of devotion for its very purpose is to enhance, not to detract from the spirit of worship. In this connection we are reminded of Augustine’s definition of a hymn. “Know ye what a hymn is? It is a song with praise of God. If thou praisest God and singest not, thou utterest no hymn; if thou singest and praisest not God, thou utterest no hymn; if thou praisest aught else which pertaineth not to the praise of God, although thou singest and praisest, thou utterest no hymn. An hymn, then, containeth these three things, song, and praise, and that of God.” And thus does the proper expression of the liturgy contain these three things, song, and praise, and that of God.

The rigid requirements of devotional propriety will not relieve the organist from liturgical inquiry, but will rather enhance the necessity for such investigation. For only thus will he be in a position to make such a selection of music as will meet the requirements. By his researches he will find that liturgy and music have long been wedded, and in worship one is scarcely complete without the other. He will find what he may deem a peculiar kind of music but which has been in the sole possession and use of the church-music, which, as we have seen, has responded to the strong influence of the liturgy and thus is eminently fitted to express all the liturgy’s varying moods. To this source he will turn for his choicest settings of the liturgy, settings marked by simplicity, yet capable of utmost grandeur.

The worshipful spirit should as well be present in the hymn tunes, so that here the organist’s liturgical animus renders valuable aid. The tunes will thus be adapted to the thought of the hymn and will be selected from the very best sources made available by research. The major mode will not be made to express


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that for which it is not intended, but will be ably seconded by its sister, the minor mode whose plaintive strains will give voice to our feelings of penitence and sorrow. Neither will the one and same tune be made to do an endless multitude of tasks, now tripping along gladly, again suddenly assuming a dignified, sober countenance, then presumptuously called upon to wail forth in a funeral dirge, and in the next attempt rebounding to the first extreme of joy. Nor do we advocate an endless number of tunes, but at least one for the distinctive character of classes of hymns, suited to properly express that distinctive character. In the selection of responsories and anthems the same judicious care will be exercised by the organist who is liturgically instructed and he will allow nothing to find place which does not add to the devotional plan of that particular service.

In his individual work upon the organ ill prelude, interlude or postlude the same rule will confine him within the bounds of the proprieties of the worship of the Eternal One. Where there is a proper liturgical spirit on his part we will scarcely be called upon to listen to one of Rossini’s overtures as an accompaniment to worship, a selection from some symphony, an adaptation from Cavaleria, Rusticana, or, as is frequently the case, to find Wagner doing service through the medium of one of his operas which can scarcely be said to revel in a worshipful spirit. Quietly the music transports you from your pew to a large building filled with Grand Opera enthusiasts. You hear, their comments, on the singers, the orchestra, the managers, the unfortunate neighbor who has excited their curiosity or ire. A prelude is being played, you enjoy it, yet you are waiting patiently for the curtain to rise. The closing cadences fall upon your ears. Your eyes seek the stage. But—what meaneth that dark-robed figure.—Ah! it is the pastor and you are returned rather hurriedly, undecorously, and a trifle shamefacedly to your pew, to find the scattered threads of worship as you may.—Or perchance a living scene is conjured up before you, and you behold Lohengrin and his promised bride slowly moving along to the entrancing strains of music. You are ready to offer your congratulations.—But something has gone wrong, the music stops, the delusion vanishes.—The deacons have with becoming dignity collected the offerings of the congregation, and the organist has steadily marched them along to the strains of the Bridal chorus from Lohengrin.


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Enough is said to indicate the absurdity of such situations, which would scarcely be brought to pass by an organist who had been liturgically trained.

We, however, of this age are not alone in having suffered from the perversion of church music for even in the early centuries debasing influences were soon at work. We quote a passage dealing with that period as being not inapplicable to our own times. “It must have already become a matter of complaint, however, as well in the Western as in the Greek Church, that the ecclesiastical music had taken too artificial and theatrical a direction, and departed from its ancient simplicity; for we find the Egyptian abbot Pambo, in the fourth century, inveighing against the introduction of heathen melodies into the church psalmody. ‘The monks,’ says he, ‘have not retired into the desert to sing beautiful melodies, and move hands and feet;’ and the abbot Isidore of Pelusium complaining of the theatrical style of singing, particularly among the wonlell, which instead of exciting emotions of penitence, served rather to awaken sinful passions; and Jerome in remarking on the words of the Apostle Paul in Eph. 5:19, says, ‘Let our youths hear this; let those hear it whose office it is to sing in the church. Not with the voice, but with the heart must we make melody to the Lord, We are not like comedians, to smooth the throat with sweet drinks, in order that we may hear theatrical songs and melodies in the church; but the fear of God, piety, and the knowledge of the Scripture should inspire our songs; so that not the voice of the singer, but the divine matter expressed, may be the point of attraction; so that the evil spirit which entered into the heart of a Saul may be expelled from those who are in like manner possessed by him, rather than invited by those who would turn the house of God into a heathen theatre.”

Upon the proper rendition of even the best of music depends largely its effect. We recall the story related of the world renowned Miserere as sung in the Sistine Chapel at Rome. A copy of this famous music was at one time sent to a specially favored church, but the attempt to render it was so disastrous that accusations were made that the copy was not an authentic one. The cause, however, of its failure was finally located in the manner of rendition. Thus the entire musical part of public worship depends very much on the manner of rendition for its proper ef-


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fect and for this the organist is held responsible. Here again appears the value of his liturgical study coupled with his musical knowledge in properly adjusting the forces of the organ and choir to meet the requirements of the situation. And if he is wise, he will endeavor to inspire his choir with the same general liturgical spirit in order that they may co-operate with and not unknowingly oppose him.

A further value to the organist of consistent and constant liturgical study, is that it gives to him a proper appreciation of the dignity and power vested in his position. Not that the individual is to become puffed up in his own conceit, rather that his; attitude should be one of humility. He is the leader of the congregational musical and liturgical life and may, in a large degree, form a proper spirit of worship. But he first of all should be a devout worshiper or how can he properly form the worship of others. “Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?”—Having understood the responsibility of his position, the organist should earnestly seek the knowledge necessary to the proper discharge of his duties. This will give him a correct spirit of worship and will give him the power to properly express the same. A spirit of worship, however, which is not that of the individual but the “geist” of the church body, whose animating spirit he seeks to express. His ministration will not then be ruled by caprice but a masterful hand will rest upon the helm to guide the ship into the peaceful waters of devotion. No longer will he be imbued with the idea simply to entertain, even if the less enlightened would thus be pleased. He will rather elevate them than pamper to a taste vitiated by unwholesome food. His study will give him the necessary command of resources which will enable him the better to meet the obligations of his position. These sources are not all at hand but are coming to the light. The progress may be slow on account of the less studious and more effeminate influences which are all about us, but we bespeak success and a return to a robust, healthful spirit of worship.

To the church one of the greatest reasons for thankfulness will be the homogeneity of the service as a result of liturgical study among organists. No longer then will the organist be going in one direction, the pastor in another and the congregation, perhaps, in still another, but there will be unity of aim and pur-


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pose. The opening part of the service will be a gradual unfolding of spiritual worship until it reaches the climax, then gradually subsiding receives the word of peace. The Sermon will thus reach the hearts of the people who have been prepared to receive it, and its effect will not be nullified by the vagaries of an organist who is unable to rise to the dignity of his position. The thematic arrangement of the changeable portions of the services will not remain a matter of theory but will be reduced to practice. The liturgical beauty and consistency we have, but many musical excrescences and outrages are with us. The remedy lies largely with organists who have proper liturgical taste and feeling. Then their endeavor will be to give proper expression to every part of the liturgy and the much desired result will be unity and homogeneity of the services, liturgically and musically.

The advantage to the congregation can not help but be marked where served by such a consistent combination of forces. It will be as a strong lever uplifting the devotions of the people, while where this is not the case the lever is unable to sustain the weight and when it breaks returns the participants to their ordinary level. The heart of man seeks to be elevated to the proper plane of divine worship, and the higher that plane is, so is the greatness of his spiritual enjoyment. All matters, not leading to that end or distracting the attention, are out of place. Man’s sense of worship should be increased not diminished, and that sense should not be simply sentiment but a true relation to God, truly expressed in a true spirit of worship. The result will be a positive, beautiful, uplifting sense of the spirit and privilege of worship, which is to commune with God as becometh the sons of God. Hence the value of liturgical study for organists that, having obtained a proper comprehension of the subject, they may give an adequate and soulful expression to the spirit of true worship as incorporated in our liturgy,—that God may be honored in the hearts of men.


Gomer C. Rees.

Chestnut Hill, Pa.


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“LITURGICAL orders are as truly confessional as properly designated and regularly received confessions of faith. The Liturgy is the expression of the faith. It is the creed translated into terms of worship. The relation between confession and Liturgy, however, is far closer and more intimate than that of cause and effect. The Service, it is true, grows out of the confession but the longing of the heart after God and its crying out in prayer and praise and thanksgiving for the living God, resting its plea on His sure promises, certainly precede the formal expression of that belief in carefully-defined, logically-distributed terms and phrases constituting an ecclesiastical symbol, The heart’s worship is simultaneous with the heart’s faith, just as the child lisps its prayers long before it realizes their meaning, so by sacrament and prayer and Christian fellowship did the Apostolic Church express its devotion to the risen Lord many years before the completion of its first formal confession.

These facts of Christian experience in no wise depreciate the value of ecclesiastical symbols. They simply bring vividly before our minds the truth that the heart’s faith expressed in worship is its earliest confessional act and that in the growth of this faith and its constantly-increasing appropriation of revealed truth lies the beginning of the later scientific statement in the confession of faith. The symbol is the product of a historic crisis, laying hold upon the strength of the past in order to meet the dangers of the present, and in its determination no thoughtful student will deny that the Service, the expression of the common creed, has a recognized value. Many features of the Liturgy, especially the mystery surrounding the celebration of the Sacrament of the Altar resulting from the highly-developed sacerdotal doctrine, prepared


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the way for the formulation of the dogma of transubstantiation. Reverence for the saints and the Virgin Mary; the constant repetition of their names in the hearing of the people; the legends of miracles which soon grew up about their persons and appealed especially to the credulous; the chivalry of mediaeval knighthood and the poetry and romance gathered about the crusades; the hero-worship natural to every age but appealing with the greatest power to the childlike imagination of pre-Reformation times; and, above all, the almost total lack of the Holy Scriptures in their entirety in available popular form—how blessed the fragments in the pericopes, the very saving salt in the body of corruption!—all of these indicated the widespread belief in the invocation and the intercession of the saints and the clemency and protection of the blessed Virgin Mary hundreds of years before the ecclesiastical promulgation of these facts as dogmas. A number of the Lutheran Orders, including Luther’s own liturgical reforms, preceded the Augsburg Confession just as later the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. anticipated the Thirty-nine Articles.

The above facts not only emphasize the close connection between Liturgy and confession but also illustrate the truth that the attitude and spirit and life of a Church as expressed in its Services may differ widely from the statements of its received confession. The Thirty-nine Articles are far less the symbol of the Anglican communion in Great Britain, the United States and other parts of the world to-day than is the Book of Common Prayer. “The glory of the English Church,” the Book of Common Prayer, is still loved, quoted, referred to and used both in public and in private by probably a larger number of Protestant Christians than any other post-Reformation work of devotion. This is not an extravagant statement when we remember that the thirty million adherents claimed by the Anglican Church throughout the world use no other services and acknowledge in life and practice no other standard differentiating them from other Christians than this book, sanctified by the love, the faith, the prayers, the holy lives, of true believers during the past three centuries and a half.

Whence does the Book of Common Prayer derive its power? Wherein lies its widespread and constantly-increasing influence? Various answers may be given these questions, but passing by all other points of view, we believe that its power lies in these three facts; its large infusion of Scriptural material, its general harmo-


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ny with the ancient liturgies of the Catholic Church and its singular adaptability to various theological teachings. The first of these facts any one acquainted with the contents of the Book will at once acknowledge, for the pericopes, the Psalter and much of the other liturgical material are of course taken directly from the Holy Scriptures. The discussion of the second will take up a large part of the present paper, but the third is the unique fact. In regard to the first two the Book of Common Prayer does not stand alone. The Lutheran orders have always had that which is of the very essence of the true Liturgy, a large infusion of Holy Scripture, and our Service, we are abundantly justified in believing, expresses the pure worship of the Church of Christ from the very earliest ages. As to the marvelous adaptability of the Book, its doctrinal elasticity, so to speak, we need hardly do more than observe that it is the common platform of Churchmen, High and Broad and Low, so little stress is laid on doctrine in comparison with the imperative requirement of liturgical uniformity. This has always been the most marked characteristic, we may almost say the genius of the English Church.

To the truth and fairness of this characterization the Westminster Assembly, with its logically-elaborated Confession, its Larger and Shorter Catechism and greatly simplified Directory of Worship, eloquently testifies. Those Presbyterian divines, gathered in the Jerusalem Chamber, realized from their own experience the doctrinal indefiniteness and unsatisfactoriness of the Book of Common Prayer and presented to the Assembly a confession so positive and decided as hardly to be capable of misunderstanding, still worthy of respect and to-day the subject of much controversy and theological debate. Because of the externalism of eighteenth century religious life the Wesleys sought to enjoy a deeper spiritual experience and the work inaugurated by the “Holy Club” at Oxford spread with amazing rapidity and success throughout England and America. A century later the Tractarian Movement started from Oxford and its great leaders, Pusey, and Newman and Keble, endeavored to attain not only greater richness and fulness in the Service but especially a surer doctrinal position in closer harmony with patristic teachings and as far as possible, removed from dependence upon the Reformation. Had the Reformation in England been less involved in political meshes and more surely guided by the Word of God and


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its power upon the individual heart and life, the whole subsequent course of the English Church would probably have been changed, and-there might have been no need for these goings-out of thousands of her noblest children from her sheltering care.

The theology of the Book of Common Prayer, whatever it is, and it is almost impossible to characterize it, is the theology of the English Church. A product of the Reformation era as the took is, showing decided Lutheran as well as Calvinistic influences, there is much of the old Romanism still clinging to it, good m so far as it harmonizes with the Word of God and tends to preserve unbroken the historic continuity of the Church but dangerous because of its indefiniteness and capability of strange and almost unlimited contortion. Thus the teaching of prayers for the dead, of an intermediate probationary state and of the sacrifice of the Mass are based upon or perhaps rather read into certain brief and somewhat obscure statements of the Book by extreme ritualists who, in extenuation of their methods, lay great stress upon the hypothetically implicit teachings of the Book. According to such a method of interpretation a book may mean anything and everything and we can place but little value upon the doctrinal position of the Book of Common Prayer. Stretched to accommodate ultra-Romanistic teaching as well as the preaching of a religion sometimes little more than ethical and idealistic, the significance and power of the Book of Common Prayer to-day lie in its sterling devotional worth. That it echoes the very words of Holy Scripture and confesses in the ancient oecumenical creeds the incarnate, atoning, risen, glorified Jesus as the Lord, the Christ of God, these after all are the forces that have made it quick and powerful and salutary to loving, trusting, hopeful souls, age after age bearing their devotions Heavenward to the throne of grace and bringing them help from the mercy-seat.

Just as varied as are the views concerning the doctrinal teachings of the Book of Common Prayer are the explanations and applications of its liturgical rubrics. Congregations of the Low Church type, which usually celebrate the Holy Communion at least twice a month and on festival days, generally combine three distinct services into one on the morning of the Lord’s Day, thus making the so-called “long Service of the Episcopal Church,” against, which We hear so many complaints. Beginning with Morning Prayer, often with an elaborate musical setting to the


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Te Deum and on festival days to the Venite, the Psalter and the Benedictus, after the collects de tempore, for peace and for grace, instead of concluding Morning Prayer, the Service continues with the Litany—itself a distinct order—and then effects the transition to the Communion by the singing of a hymn. If the Holy Eucharist be celebrated, all except those who desire to receive the sacrament are dismissed after the prayer “for the whole state of Christ’s Church Militant.”

In ritualistic churches, on the other hand, so strange a liturgical Service is not met with. Morning Prayer is always kept distinct from the numerous celebrations of the Holy Communion and the Litany is not used just before the Divine Office. In churches of this type many additions are made to the Services and the rubrics are strangely twisted in justification of the innovations. By this process candles, vestments, incense, processions, the stations of the Cross, private Confession and Absolution, Lady-chapels and altars to the Virgin, the teaching of the seven sacraments, prayers for the dead, the sacrifice of the Mass, the reservation of the sacrament for the sick, extreme sacerdotalism and various other features abhorrent to the perhaps ultra-Protestant sense of Low Churchmen are declared right and proper. Many of them are covered by the frequently-quoted “vestments’ rubric,” not found in the American Book but repeated in the various editions of the English Book from that of 1559 to the last revision of the Book in 1661 and printed in a prominent place, in the Prayer Book of to-day. This rubric reads: “And here is to be noted that such ornaments of the Church and of the Ministers thereof, at all times of their ministrations, shall be retained and be in use as were in this Church of England by the authority of Parliament in the second year of the reign of King Edward VI.” No rubric, probably, has ever aroused so much discussion and certainly no liturgical system so elaborate as that of the High Church party ever rested to so great an extent on the basis of a more slender fabric.

In his excellent book, “The Lutheran Movement in England”, Dr. Jacobs refers to the mistaken conception that there was a general uniformity of worship in the Western Church prior to the Reformation. The uniformity in the Roman Church today is in large measure due to the work of the Council of Trent. In England just as in Germany before the Reformation various


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dioceses had their own orders, the most prominent of which and the one most frequently referred to was the Missal according to the use of Salisbury (the “Sarum Use”), Upon the ancient sacramentaries, the Leonian, the Gelasian and the Gregorian, as well as upon the numerous local modifications or “uses” of those old orders, the Church of the Reformation in England like the Church on the continent had to base its revision of the services. Many liturgiologists trace the orders of the so-called Gallican group to Which the British uses belonged, back to the Eastern Church, especially to Ephesus, and English writers are very fond of attributing as much as possible of their services to this source in their desire constantly to affirm the greatest possible pre-Reformation independence of the see of Rome on the part of the British Church.

Very little was done by way of purifying the services during the reign of Henry VIII., always a good Romanist in many respects, Only the Litany, purged of Roman errors, was translated into English by Archbishop Cranmer who followed Luther very closely, probably, through the Reformation of Cologne in which the Litany of Luther appeared. But from the very beginning of the reign of Edward VI. efforts were making for liturgical reform until the First Prayer Book, which bears his name, appeared in 1549. This Book to which so many of the High Church party both in England and in our own country long to return is of great interest because of the Lutheran origin of many of its parts and its close adherence to the ancient liturgies. It retains the Introits in the form of the entire Psalm and directs that the Agnus Dei be sting during the distribution of the Holy Communion. Its other chief points of difference from the present Book are the retention of the Gloria in Excelsis in its old place before the Epistle and the position of the Confession, the Absolution, the Comfortable Words and the Prayer of Humble Access after the Consecration and just before the distribution; In the Second Book of Edward VI, (1552), the book to which the gravest deviations from the ancient liturgical standards are traceable, the Decalogue was introduced into the Communion, probably because of Calvinistic influences, the Introits, the prayer called the Oblation and the Agnus Dei were wholly omitted; and the Confession, the Absolution and the Comfortable Words were placed before the Consecration. One of the strangest and most unac-


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countable changes was that of placing the Gloria in Excelsis after the distribution, a change wholly without liturgical precedent and robbing the early part of the Service of one of its most beautiful and appropriate features. All of these changes were followed by the Prayer Book of Queen Elizabeth (1559), and by the final revision of the Book in 1662 and are incorporated into the present Book in England. With regard to the points enumerated the American Book differs from the English only in the use of the so called Oblation in the Communion, following the Scottish Book which, of course, is based on the First Book of Edward VI. The orders for Matins and Vespers in the First Book of Edward VI. were almost identical with the old Lutheran Matins and Vespers restored in the Common Service, In the Second Book (1552) the General Confession and Absolution were prefixed to Morning Prayer and the Sentences at the beginning were added both to Matins and Vespers. The Prayer Book of Queen retained these forms but the General Confession and Absolution were not prefixed to Evening Prayer until 1662. The Scottish Book of 1661 gives the old Invitatories, Writers on the Book of Common Prayer always speak of the Sentences as constituted for them. The present Morning and Evening Prayer follow all these changes.

We notice then that the Introits are entirely lost to the Book of Common Prayer, The Invitatories, Antiphons, Responsories, and Graduals which, like the Introit, the Collect and the Lessons, always strike the keynote of the church festival, never found any place in the Book nor was the Agnus Dei ever restored after its omission from the Second Book of Edward VI. In America the Magnificat and the Nunc Dimittis, which the English Church had never lost, were not restored to Evensong until 1892 when the Suffrages, omitting the Miserere and a number of the Versicles, were again, added to Evening Prayer. They were first inserted in the daily services in the Second Book of Edward VI. In the English Book the Athanasian Creed is used on Christmas Day, the Epiphany, Easter Pay, the Ascension, Whitsun Day, Trinity Sunday and other festivals. Besides showing the close similarity of the Holy Communion Matins and Vespers in the First Book of Edward VI to corresponding German orders, Dr. Jacobs traces the connection between the forms for Confirmation, Marriage, the Visitation of the


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Sick and the Burial of the Dead and previously-published Lutheran orders. It is not within the scope of this paper to take up these services but the writer desires to call attention to the indisputable facts which Dr. Jacobs has so admirably presented, because they are usually either altogether overlooked or else very unfairly stated by writers of repute on the Book of Common Prayer. Dr. Blunt, for example, in his exhaustive and very interesting Commentary, never seems able to speak kindly or even fairly of the vast German liturgical development in the sixteenth century and whenever at a loss how to explain either what is of Lutheran origin or what is practically an innovation in the Book as the result of Calvinistic influences, always finds the Sarum Use very convenient as a last resource. In that spirit and with so unscientific a method it is not difficult to find suggestions of almost anything almost anywhere and to imagine adaptations wherever such suit convenient hypotheses and pleasing prejudices.

The orders for the Daily Morning and Evening Prayer in the English Book differ slightly from those in the American Book. In structure both services are similar save that the Venite precedes the Psalter in Morning Prayer. The General Confession and the Absolution here, just as in the Holy Communion, are unliturgical and some churches are going back to the old usage of beginning Evensong at least with the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer occurs twice in the services, here and again at the same place as in the Lutheran orders, before the collects at the close. The versicle Deus in adjutorium follows the Domine labia mea. A canticle follows each of the lessons. Only the Apostle’s Creed is used but for certain festivals the Athanasian Creed is prescribed. Besides the Lord’s Prayer the Kyrie and the Suffrages precede the collects. The Morning Prayer of the First and Second Books of Edward VI., of the present English Book and of the American Book is exhibited by the side of our own Matins in the First Table at the close of this article.

The Holy Communion in the present Book of Common Prayer begins with the Lord’s Prayer and the incomparable Collect for Purity, the one the divinest of prayers, the other in its form, its contents, its spirit, as nearly perfect as any prayer of man can ever be. These were originally the private prayers of the priest in the sacristy or before approaching the altar to offer


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incense at the Introit. Can any other prayers more appropriate and more helpful be suggested to our own ministers to-day?

The use of the Decalogue or our Lord’s Summary of the Law, of which only the former is found in the English Book, and the two prayers for the sovereign are wholly unliturgical. The Kyrie is broken up into ten responses, one after each of the Commandments. In the American Book when the Summary is used, the simple threefold Kyrie follows.

After one of the two collects for King Edward VII., the collect de tempore, the Epistle, the Gospel with the Gloria Tibi after its announcement, and the Nicene Creed follow in regular order. The distinction between the Epistle and the Gospel side of the altar is observed as in the Roman Church and the people always stand at the reading of the Gospel. The announcements, the publication of the Bans of Marriage and the sermon or homily here find their proper place.

At the Offertory the minister repeats appropriate sentences and places the offerings of the congregation upon the altar. If the Holy Communion is to be celebrated, the rubric directs the minister then to place upon the altar “so much Bread and Wine as he shall think sufficient,” after which he offers the prayer “for the whole state of Christ’s Church Militant.” Three exhortations in regard, to approaching the Holy Communion are given, one in anticipation of the Sacrament with notice of its celebration, another in case of the people’s neglect thereof, and the third to be used at the time of the celebration.

At this point of the service when Morning Prayer, the Litany and the sermon have immediately preceded and the congregation has grown wearied—as people so easily become in God’s house—many leave the church and sometimes only a few worshippers remain for the Communion. This annoying distraction is not customary in ritualistic churches even though only a few persons approach the altar.

The preparation for the Communion in the call to confession, the General Confession and the Absolution follow. These correspond to the Lutheran orders of Private and Public Confession and Absolution but, like the Litany, are altogether but of place from a liturgical point of view, at the joyous Eucharist of our glorified Lord. With the exhortations and the “Comfortable Words” (St. Matthew xi. 28; St. John iii. 16; 1st Timothy i.


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15; 1 St. John ii. 1) these forms are a novelty in liturgical usage and were adopted from the Reformation of Cologne in the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. Their present position of course is preferable to their earlier place after the Consecration and the Pax Domini, a strange liturgical sequence.

Then begins the Canon of the Mass. Of the Preface Dr. Blunt says: “It is found almost word for word in every known liturgy in every part of the Catholic Church from the earliest times and there can be no doubt that it is a correct tradition which assigns it to the Apostolic Age.” There are five Proper Prefaces, for Christmas, Easter, Ascension Day, Whitsun Day and the Feast of the Holy Trinity. Those for Christmas and Trinity Sunday differ from the Lutheran while we have shortened those for the Ascension and Pentecost. The Easter Preface is identical. The Sanctus immediately follows the Preface. It omits the Benedictus qui venit in Nomine Domini and has changed the Hosanna in Excelsis to the words, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord most High,” just as the place of the Hallelujah in the daily services is taken by the words, “Praise ye the Lord,” with the response, “The Lord’s Name be praised.”

The prayer of Humble Access beginning, “We do not presume to come to this Thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness,” very beautifully placed just before the distribution in the First Book of Edward VI., has preceded the Consecration since the Second Book of 1552. In the present English Book the Consecration consists of a prayer and the use of the Words of Institution together with the customary manual acts, followed immediately by the distribution. This is in exact correspondence with the Second Book of Edward VI. In the First Book the Prayer for the Church occurred here and was followed by a commemoration of the blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, a prayer for the departed and the Consecration in which the Oblation, the Lord’s Prayer and the Pax Domini as well as the Words of Institution were used. The American Book contains the Oblation which is not objectionable and the Invocation of the Holy Ghost before the distribution. In the English Book the Lord’s Prayer and the Oblation follow the distribution and the service closes with the Gloria in Excelsis and the Blessing. The Thanksgiving from the Brandenburg-Nürnberg Agenda of 1533 is found in both books. The occasional collects to be used after the Offer-


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tory and before the Blessing when there is no Communion are well-known and require no comment.

The Holy Communion in the Book of Common Prayer is not a unity. It is marked by unwarranted additions, unjustifiable omissions and unliturgical changes. Its harmony and its presentation of the great central truth of redemption, the one, all-sufficient, prevailing sacrifice of the Incarnate God, and its direct communication of redemptive grace in the mystery of the Real Presence are seriously impaired by the introduction of the Decalogue, the lengthy Exhortation and the Confession just before the Communion. The omission of the Introit, the Hallelujah, the Sequence and Gradual, the Benedictus and the Agnus Dei is a loss which English liturgical scholars keenly regret and which ritualistic rectors do not hesitate to make good in their services. There is so much to be said and done in the services of the English Church that in order to finish them in reasonable time their reverent use seems almost impossible at the rapid rate usually followed. Their beauty would be much enhanced were their excrescences lopped off and their omissions made good and in so far the work of liturgical reform in the use of the Book since the Puseyite movement and directly resulting therefrom is only commendable.

The Litany whose Lutheran source has already been referred to is considerably fuller than the Lutheran but does not gain thereby because of its redundancy of expression. It is used regularly on Wednesdays and Fridays and frequently on the morning of the Lord’s Day, sometimes at a special service on Sunday afternoon, at the Ordination of Deacons and Priests and the Consecration of Bishops.

The Gospels and Epistles have always been printed as an integral part of the Book of Common Prayer. The entire Psalter which is read through once every month, the Commandments and the Comfortable Words are still used in the words of the Coverdale Version.

The chief and distinguishing feature in the Lutheran Liturgy is its clearly-drawn distinction between the sacramental and, the sacrificial acts of divine worship. That which God offers and really gives us is the sacramental element. Acts of this nature are the reading and preaching of the Word, the Absolution, the Salutation, the Pax Domini, the Benedictions and the administra-


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tion of the sacraments. That which we offer to God is the sacrificial element. Prayers, the Litany, the Suffrages, confessions of sin, hymns, canticles, praises, thanksgivings, acts of adoration and of faith, these are acceptable offerings, sacrifices well-pleasing to God, our reasonable service. Not that there is always a hard and fast line of demarcation between the two, as certain acts such as the use of the Psalter and the preaching of the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit bear our praises and confessions Heavenward simultaneously with our reception of the divine gift of grace. Clearly to illustrate this principle in the use of the services at sacramental acts the minister as the representative of the Lord, turns to the people to declare to them the Divine will and promises while in performing sacrificial acts as the representative of the Church and the leader in the devotions of the priesthood of all believers, he turns to the altar to offer their eucharistic sacrifices to God. In the Book of Common Prayer while both elements are present the distinction is not appreciated and Blunt speaks even of the reading of the Holy Scriptures as an offering of praise to God in the words of inspiration. There must of course always be a holy joy and reverent thanksgiving in the performance of all sacramental acts but we wish to emphasize our belief that this is truly the means whereby God brings us grace and the power of an endless life. So also in the Holy Communion the Book of Common Prayer lays such stress upon the offering of the consecrated elements to God, the memorializing of the Passion, the presentation of ourselves, our bodies and souls, as a reasonable service, and the prayers for the Church—all of which are excellent and in no wise to be depreciated—as often to cause the people to lose sight of the main things in the sacrament, the Body and Blood of the incarnate Lord and the precious words of forgiveness and peace.

The whole consideration of any religious service depends upon our point of view and this again rests upon a clear apprehension of this distinction or the failure to recognize it. It is to be feared that the Romish error of the justifying power of good works may be latent in the tenacious adherence to set forms and the scrupulous observance of rubrical prescriptions characteristic of the devotees of the Book of Common Prayer even to the underestimation of the Word of Truth itself. The sacrificial element pervades not so much the letter as the spirit, the real genius of


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the system of Christian doctrine contained in the Book of Common Prayer.

As English Lutherans we should always be willing to acknowledge our debt of gratitude to the Book of Common Prayer for the beautiful rhythmical English into which the old Latin services were translated more than three centuries and a half ago. It is difficult to conceive of translations in the main more admirable—the collects are a notable example—so perfectly do they reproduce the innermost spirit of the originals. If the influence of the Lutheran movement in England is clearly evident in the original formation and the present contents of the Book, the whole English-speaking Protestant world is indebted to the Book of Common Prayer for its choice diction, its thoroughly devotional spirit and its glorious “form of sound words.”

Ours is a rich liturgical inheritance, a very treasure trove of inestimable worth, long unappreciated and neglected, it is true, but providentially preserved to us that in these latter days we may worship the one Lord not only in the beauty of holiness whose elements are truth and love, but in the holiness of a beautiful spiritual worship, expressing the loftiest truth of our faith. Let us then study our own Services so as to know them better; let us endeavor to bring our people to a clearer conception of their liturgical inheritance, and let us realize our personal accountability to God for our approach to the throne of grace in the services of His house, whether it be cold and careless and ill-informed or intelligent and reverent and all aglow with love divine. We need more daily services, the more frequent celebration of the Holy Communion, the more general use of the Litany and the Suffrages. We learn from the loving, intelligent use of the Book of Common Prayer by its faithful adherents many lessons as to the use of our own Services. May God use the Book, purified and clarified if need be, in the generations to come as He has so signally honored it in the ages past, to His glory and honor and the continued spread of His Kingdom among men.



Lutheran Theological Seminary,

Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, Pa,


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The Lord’s Prayer.

The Versicles:

   Domine, labia mea.

    Deus in adjutorium.

Gloria Patri.



Venite Exultemus.

Certain Psalms.

The Gloria Patri after each Psalm.


The Old Testament Lesson.


Te Deum Laudamus or the Benedicite.

The New Testament Lesson.

The Benedictus.

The Kyrie.

The Creed. 




The Lord’s Prayer.

The Suffrages.

The Salutation.

Three Collects:

     For the Day.

     For Peace.

     For Grace.

The Sentences.

The General Confession.

The Absolution.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Versicles:

   Domine, labia mea.

   Deus in adjutorium.

Gloria Patri.

Praise ye the Lord.


Venite Exultemus.

Certain Psalms.

The Gloria Patri after each Psalm.


The Old Testament Lesson.


Te Deum Laudamus or the Benedicite.

The New Testament Lesson.

The Benedictus or the Jubilate Deo.

The Creed. 


The Salutation.

The Kyrie.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Suffrages.


Three Collects:

     For the Day.

     For Peace.

     For Grace.

The Sentences.

The General Confession.

The Absolution.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Versicles:

   Domine, labia mea.

   Deus in adjutorium.

Gloria Patri.

Praise ye the Lord.


Venite Exultemus.

The Psalter for the Day.

The Gloria Patri.


The Old Testament Lesson.


Te Deum Laudamus or the Benedicite.

The New Testament Lesson.

The Benedictus or the Jubilate Deo.

The Apostles’ or the Athanasian Creed. 

The Salutation.

The Kyrie.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Suffrages.


Three Collects:

     For the Day.

     For Peace.

     For Grace.

The Anthem.

The Litany, or

Prayers for the King and the Royal Family.

A Prayer for the Clergy and People.



A Prayer of St. Chrysostom.

The Apostolic Benediction.


The Sentences.

The General Confession.

The Absolution.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Versicle:

   Dominus, labia mea.


Gloria Patri.

Praise ye the Lord.


Venite Exultemus.

The Portion of the Psalms.

The Gloria Patri.


The Old Testament Lesson.


Te Deum Laudamus or the Benedicite.

The New Testament Lesson.

The Benedictus or the Jubilate Deo.

The Apostles’ or the Nicene Creed. 


The Salutation.



The Shorter Suffrages.


The Collect for the Day.

For Peace.

For Grace.

A Prayer for all in Authority.

The Litany, or

Prayer for the Clergy and People.


A Prayer for all Conditions of Men.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom.

The Apostolic Benediction.


A Hymn of Invocation of the Holy Ghost or another Hymn.


The Versicles:

   Dominus, mea Labia.

   Deus in adjutorium.

Gloria Patri.


The Invitatory.

Venite Exultemus.

The Invitatory.

The Hymn.

The Psalms with Antiphons and the Gloria Patri.

The Lessons with the Response after each.

A Responsory or a Hymn.

(A brief Exhortation or Sermon.)

The Canticle. The Te Deum, the Benedictus or another Canticle.

The Litany, the Suffrages or these Prayers.


The Kyrie.

The Lord’s Prayer.


The Salutation.


The Collect for the Day.

Other Collects

The Collect for Grace.

The Benedicamus.

A Closing Hymn.






The Apostolic Benediction.


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The Lord’s Prayer.

The Collect for Purity.




A Psalm for the Introit.

Gloria Patri.

The Kyrie.

The Gloria in Excelsis.

The Salutation.


The Collect for the Day.

Prayer for the King.

The Epistle.



The Gospel.

Gloria Tibi.


The Nicene Creed.


The Sermon or Homily.

The Exchortation.

The Offertory.





The Salutation.

Sursum Corda.

The Preface.

The Sanctus.

Prayer for the Church.


The Consecration.

The Oblation.

The Invocation of the Holy Ghost.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Pax Domini.

Confession, Absolution, the Comfortable Words, the Prayer of Humble Access.

Agnus Dei during the Distribution.

The Thanksgiving.

The Blessing.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Collect for Purity.

The Decalogue.






The Kyrie.




The Collect for the Day.

The Prayer for the King.

The Epistle.



The Gospel.



The Nicene Creed.


The Sermon or Homily.


The Offertory.

Prayer for the Church.


Confession and Absolution.


The Comfortable Words.

Sursum Corda.

The Preface.

The Sanctus.

Prayer of Humble Access.


The Consecration.






The Lord’s Prayer.

The Thanksgiving.

Gloria in Excelsis



The Blessing.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Collect for Purity.

The Decalogue.






The Kyrie.



The Collect for the King.

The Collect for the Day.


The Epistle.



The Gospel.



The Nicene Creed.


The Sermon or Homily.


The Offertory.

Prayer for the Church.

The Exhortation.

The General Confession.

The Absolution.

The Comfortable Words.

Sursum Corda.

The Preface.

The Sanctus.

Prayer of Humble Access.


The Consecration.






The Lord’s Prayer.

The Oblation or the Thanksgiving.

Gloria in Excelsis


The Blessing.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Collect for Purity.

The Decalogue.

The Summary of the Law.




The Kyrie.



The Prayer for Grace.

The Collect for the Day.


The Epistle.



The Gospel.

Gloria Tibi.


The Nicene Creed.


The Sermon.



The Offertory.

Prayer for the Church.

The Exhortation.

The General Confession.

The Absolution.

The Comfortable Words.

Sursum Corda.

The Preface.

The Sanctus.

Prayer of Humble Access.


The Consecration.

The Oblation.

The Invocation of the Holy Ghost.




The Lord’s Prayer.

The Thanksgiving.

Gloria in Excelsis


The Blessing.

In Nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.

Versicles, the Confession of Sin, the Declaration of Forgiveness.

The Introit.

The Gloria Patri.

The Kyrie.

The Gloria in Excelsis.

The Salutation.


The Collect for the Day.


The Epistle.

The Hallelujah and Gradual.

The Gospel.

The Gloria Tibi.

The Laus Tibi.

The Nicene Creed.

The Hymn.

The Sermon.

The Votum.


The Offertory.

The General Prayer.

The Hymn.



The Salutation.

Sursum Corda.

The Preface.

The Sanctus.

The Exhortation.

The Lord’s Prayer.

The Consecration.

The Agnus Dei.



The Pax Domini.

The Distribution.

The Nunc Dimittis.

The Thanksgiving.

The Salutation.

The Benedicamus.

The Benediction.


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Page 75




As Christians we all believe in the service and worship of God. We believe in public worship and in the “communion of saints.” From the earliest days there has ever been such public worship among the people of God. This worship has always assumed some form. All substance is at present manifested to us, to our senses and perceptions in some form. Even the very substance of God was revealed in the form of words, or of the Word of God, in conjunction with certain experiences which could impress the senses. The Divine substance is especially revealed to us in the form of Jesus, the Son of God, Who was “God manifest in the flesh.” We must have form: and our worship must assume some form. This constitutes a Liturgy or a Liturgical Service, more or less developed or elaborated.

Even so we believe in reform. The Church of the Reformation, in fact, the Church of Protestantism believes in reform. We believe in liturgical reform—if that is necessary. Perfection is our goal in every respect; so also in the liturgical service rendered unto God. In the Reformation of the 16th century this reform manifested a two-fold tendency; the one was destructive and radical, which could hardly lay claim to the title of reform; the other was eliminating and constructive-exhibiting the character of true reform. There is no particular reason why this work should cease. But there is every reason why it should be encouraged. Now the question arises, how shall this reform be effected?

1.) Some might reply—in whatever way possible, that is right and proper. But what is right and proper? The particular reform might be very much needed. Through an adherence to old forms the worshippers might be experiencing a serious loss. But the sudden introduction of a new and improved form might,


Page 76

cause such a shock to sensitive natures as to produce more harm than good. Here of course we must make a distinction between matters that are essential and unessential. In essential matters of reform the truth must be proclaimed at once, and proper means must be employed to effect the reform as speedily as possible. But in matters which have not the same essential significance it is proper to pursue another course. And the course that is recommended by the writer of this paper in what follows is strictly educational, because he believes that the forms for which contention is made in our day, and especially in our own Lutheran Church, are largely of the latter class.

II.) Education is needed among our people and congregations and pastors.

1) With the Church at large. Here there are two important channels of reform. The Church Press should be employed to set forth the principles of true reform and the elements in which the worship might be improved. And in this particular as well as in those efforts yet to be mentioned great care should be exercised by all concerned that what is proposed be done in the spirit of patience and love. Great care should be exercised to avoid bigotry, censorious criticism, narrowness of view, and downright error through the undue emphasis of what is unessential. General services, held under the auspices of a Synod, Conference, League or some other general body of the Church, as well as the services of worship conducted in our Theological Seminaries, should be, as far as possible, models in their arrangement of propriety and in their spirit of edification.

2) With the individual congregations. In the Lutheran Church, even as in the Church of Apostolic days, the local congregation representing the Church of that particular place—the assembly in the name of Christ with the promise of His presence, cannot surrender its responsibility, nor can it be deprived of its spiritual privileges or authority. The Pastor is the Bishop of his people. Reform in the Roman Catholic Church, and to a large extent in the Episcopal Church, proceeds from above downward; In the Lutheran Church, though some reforms might take that course, in the great majority of instances they must proceed in the reverse direction. We are here speaking of liturgical reform in matters that are not regarded as absolutely essential. And though the Pastor be first on the field of reform in his congrega-


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tion, it will be the evidence of wisdom on his part to make that reform proceed in the way indicated. The view here presented is not a theory, but one that will make the Pastor practically more efficient. Whether the reform come through the minister or through intelligent, educated laymen in the congregation, the greatest tact and care must be employed, because though a large and important part of the work must be done from the pulpit, and in special services, and with lectures and addresses both by the pastor and by those who can speak with special anthority, yet individuals must be dealt with. Here a leaflet, there a Church paper, a personal friendly interview and an exhibition of Christian self-submission in precept and example—all may be needed. “A bruised reed shall he not break.”

3) With the Ministry. Effective reform certainly must reach the minister himself, if it would affect his congregation. And he, with his superior education and training in such matters, should be more susceptible of reform. He has more opportunity to become acquainted with the significance of these things through his reading, by frequent intercourse with other pastors, attendance upon the general services of a typical character, and through interest in the proceedings and results of such a Liturgical Association. But it is exceedingly important that before he has entered upon his public ministry, he shall have received an acquaintance with the principles underlying all reform, and the spirit that must pervade all reformatory movements, and the elements in which, in any particular day, there is need of reform. This work is to be accomplished in his course in the Theological Seminary. Somewhere and somehow in the Seminary this elementary work should be done in the name of the Church so that the Church’s adherents shall not be left to the whims and notions of every new minister who may not have any fixed principles of the proprieties of public worship. Of course where it is possible and where the institution is of such development as to warrant it, a liturgical chair might be established with great profit. The Seminary in furnishing a satisfactory equipment of the young pastor cannot send him forth into that important part of his ministry, namely, the conduct of public worship, without a knowledge of sound liturgical principles. But there is the practical difficulty of adjusting in the Seminary all the various sub-departments, so that each shall have its due share of attention, and


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that no department shall be slighted. There are some departments which should receive the special attention of every theological student; and there may be others which should receive the general attention of all and the special attention of some. The greater institutions of learning recognize this principle, so that with the general culture of all, there is specialization of each according to his special aptitude and desire. Such work in a Theological Seminary might cost much labor and require much discretion, but it would be of inestimable benefit to the individual student and to the Church. It is impossible that all shall be specialists. There is not the time, nor sufficient aptitude to justify the expenditure of so much time. But we believe the time will come when the Theological Seminary will provide for the selection of specialties, Homiletics, Liturgics, Old Testament Hebrew, New Testament Greek, Missions (with special preparation for work in home and foreign fields), and special subjects in other departments.

We can never forget that the prime purpose of the Theological Seminary is to train pastors and not to turn out specialists. Such specialization of a scientific character must be reserved for a post-graduate course. There is, however, no reason why in some part of the regular theological course there should not be given to every student the opportunity of doing some special work in some selected department under the direction and instruction of his theological professors, whose object shall not be necessarily scientific specialization, and certainly not the development of a ministerial hobby (which may seriously affect the effectiveness of his ministerial labors). The fact is that almost every student in his own mind and work selects his specialty. And the contention of the writer is that the student should not be left to himself in the formation of the principles to govern him in his subsequent work, but he should have the special guidance of the Theological Seminary in his chosen specialty.

With such guidance in liturgical reform, the Church may be protected against excess and extremes in reformatory efforts. It is not suppression of individual effort for which we contend, but the guidance thereof by those who, by individual labors and by the call of the Church, are fitted for such work.

In conclusion let us not forget that God desires the spiritual worship of the heart, which may be encouraged by the use of ap-


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propriate forms. And if such forms hamper the soul’ s fellowship with God, (for all souls are not of the same disposition and inclination) we dare not, in a spirit of Pharisaic holiness of formalism, condemn such souls to a life of hard ecclesiastical and liturgical bondage. Let us educate and lead the people and show by our spirit of liberality and concession in regard to the less essential, the appreciation of the need of spiritual fellowship with God. Rather the simplest service of devout praise from the heart, than the most sublime service of formal worship with or without the understanding but not from the heart!



Buffalo, N. Y


Note.—The writer of this paper is exceedingly grateful to the Liturgical Association for the privilege of expressing his views on the above subject. He desires each one to supply for himself the material of history and of experience for further illustration. It was his purpose to state as concisely as possible facts and principles which might be easily recognized, and which he regards to be at the very foundation of all liturgical reform. They deserve to stand out in bold relief: and they should lot be hidden by a wealth of other material, interesting as it might be.

T. W. K.


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To comprehend the nature of Christian worship as a whole, and the elements constituting the same, and by which modified in particular, and directed in general, is the task of those who minister to the youth of the Church. Upon the manner, method and line of procedure in which the worship by the youth is performed, conducted and taught will depend a correct, stimulating and edifying form of worship in the congregation that develops from the youth in the schools of the Church.

The non-liturgical Sunday School grows the non-liturgical congregation. This is under the law “that which ye sow ye shall also reap.” It is a well established fact that “men do not gather figs from thistles.” Recognizing this law how can a liturgical congregation, one in full sympathy and spirit with every scriptural element in the liturgy, help being the outgrowth of a correctly taught liturgical youth?

There are several sides to every child that may be recognized: the subjective, the objective and the physio-psychological basis. These several sides enter into the growth of every child. In the subjective aspect it draws in, absorbs and appropriates ideas, notions, customs and practices which it applies objectively as the mode of expression; as the thought in action; as the feeling performed; as the deeper experiences developing his consciousness of God.

The average pupil in the Sunday School has not arrived at the mature age of reasoning, but accepts in pure faith that which is placed before it. The memory holds whatever may be taught, and the necessary action required in the mode of worship will be most readily acquired and utilized with utmost ease until it is part of the pupil’s life to “rise” in repeating those parts of the


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Sunday School Service that demand “rising,” and to participate in the parts that are “said” or “sung.” This “saying,” “singing” and “rising” have become parts of the child’s life when engaged in worship in either the Sunday School or that of the Congregation.

The child has a sense of things orderly. The Sunday School being conducted along lines of good order and decorum soon impresses this sense of order upon the psychical side of the child and it learns orderly methods and with growing years becomes impressed with the deeper meaning of song, prayer and Scripture teachings.

Through its objective sense it may quite unconsciously learn to approve and accept the purest form of worship and could give no intelligent reason why it would feel spiritually wronged to be asked to use any form with which it was not familiar.

It is well known that where there is physical order there will the more readily follow mental order. The mentality is affected. When this is done the lower basis for order is left, to enter a higher, the realm of mind, soul. From the sphere of mind it is but a step to the metaphysical, realm of pure spirit, the spiritual domain. Here again enters the law of good order which directs the spiritual man to the presence of Him Whose demand is that He shall be worshipped in the beauty of holiness.

There is a tendency to repeat the acts which have often been done. Herein lies the power of a fixed service in the schools of the Church. Services wrought out of the Scriptures, tried by centuries of usage and found helpful and edifying when once woven into the inmost nature of religious life by constant practice during the appropriating age of youth in the Sunday School will give zest and spiritual power not otherwise obtained in the congregation.

Habit gives facility in doing acts which have been often performed. At first it is quite a difficult task to repeat the multiplication table rapidly, but the habit of repetition produces the momentum that gives the velocity or rapidity. In the Sunday School the constant repetition gives the momentum required to render an acceptable service. Then back of it all lies the fact that the nature and character of the Service has become ingrained into the life, conscience and individuality of the pupil until the spiritual essence pervades his very being when he engages in the


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solemn acts of worship in either school, home or congregation. This law of habit was appointed for good by Him Who made all things and pervadeth all things.

Those ideas which are attended with deep feeling are called up more readily. The child that has learned its lessons at home, in the Church’s school, will, when at mature age, learn the meaning of the “Confession of sins,” sorrow and contrition, with pardon through the tender mercies of Christ the Redeemer.

It is another well established fact that the easily recited lesson is as easily forgotten and those retained longest required the greatest amount of intellectual energy. The song ditty, sung to “quick-step” time, vanishes with the martial music which is played to be forgotten. But the hymn, psalm and canticle that required time and energy to master will endure while life endures. When the principle of right worship and scriptural practice is carried through the very life of the Church’s school, it will grow into one of higher ideals, loftier conceptions of the dignity and spirit of holy worship,

It is important that the directors of thought in the Sunday School teach their pupils word for word the significance of every act in the performance of the different parts of the Service and the source and meaning of all the words in the Service in both Church and Sunday School Services.

As the Sunday School age of children is the recognized “memory-age,” it would be well to constantly keep in mind the fact that this is the golden age to teach all the truths of our holy religion. When once the form has been learned it leaves no room for those of an unchurchly and unscriptural character.

It is the duty of all parents to educate their children. Specially so with Christian parents is it to train them in “the fear and admonition of the Lord.” How, when and why to worship is a part of the training children should receive at home and in the Sunday School, and the catechetical class. Make the Lutheran Service an intellectual endowment and a spiritual possession more to be desired than “fine gold.”

We plant and water, but it is God that giveth the increase (I Cor. 3:7), and this saying is applicable to the teachings of the pupils in the Sunday School and class, and of their growth in a knowledge and practice of pure liturgical principles.

The psychic side of the child must not be forgotten. It is


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from this side the spiritual growth comes. Through this side the child is approached with a proper conception of liturgical development and orderly life in its acts of devotion both public and private.

There is a psychic power that lies in wonder, reverence and awe. It begets reverential attitudes of the mind toward the house of God, its altar, its lectern, its pulpit and its religious acts and sacred associations that appeal to its sub-conscious feelings, sentiments and emotions which are motor forces that grow into the acts of worship by the child, the man.

Christianity being life, its acts are exhibited in the moving springs of that life; its feelings. These, again, are seen in the orderly manner, the liturgical concept of religious devotion. The attitude toward the holy place of worship differs from that toward the public hall, as its use and purpose is different. In the approach to God’s house the modes of procedure are deferential, reverential. The advance to it is from the human side toward God. It begins in earliest sacred impressions and ends when life here ends.

The laws of repetition, of attention, and of reproduction fix the form and content of the Service in the Sunday School, also the Church Service, and exhibit themselves in religious action. These Services have become parts of the life that is full of faith and reverence.

By observing these laws and principles the Pastor will be able to develop the youth in a knowledge not only of Christian doctrine, as set forth in the teachings of the Church, but also in the meaning and significance of the great Festivals of the Church Year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost, and to impress the nature, character and peculiar feeling attached to, and connected with, each of these festival seasons, with the distinctive type of worship most suitably adapted to each period and best calculated to make a lasting impression and bring out the deepest and most heartfelt praise and devotion.

He will thus be able to teach those whom he is preparing for active membership in the Church, the hymns designated for each season of the Church Year; the use of the Psalter; the design of the Chief Service and the Minor Services; the purpose of the Confessional or Preparatory Service; the object of the Communion Service and the significance of each act in the Service, with its distinct meaning, scriptural authority and evident spiritual neces-


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sity. Also the distinguishing marks between the Church prayer and free, or private prayer; the object and place for art in developing and applying the different acts in worship; the arrangement of the church furniture within the chancel—of the pulpit, for proclaiming and teaching the Gospel; the lectern, for reading the Scriptures; and the altar, with its coverings, their colors and import, from which is the dispensing of the holy sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord; the setting forth of the marks of difference that distinguishes the sacred edifice dedicated to God’s service from one of secular use,—that “from its foundation-stone to the cross upon its spire, a church ought to produce the impression of a grand symphony proclaiming the great central truths connected with the redemption of man.”

Thought and language are mysteriously connected. Right use of liturgical language helps to develop correct liturgical concepts. It is the office of the teacher to convey and impress such forms of right use of liturgical language that correct liturgical ideas, concepts and essence of biblical truth shall be stamped indelibly upon the memory of youth that they remain as an enduring and blessed heritage.

The teacher should urge a search of the inner consciousness, that in worship may be found God’s highest expression of truth; that as beauty is seen in the flower, glory may be seen in the heavens; that as they sing of Divine love, they may possess Divine aspirations.

The mighty engine may have within it the potency of great work, yet it may remain idle unless the right means are employed to utilize it. Likewise the agency through which God is worshipped in spirit and in truth may lie dormant until it is awakened and directed into the best ways of making it tell for the highest usefulness to the soul.

“Progress is the condition of life.” Education and training, acquisition and utilization fill out the condition. “Childhood and youth is the period when tendencies are most easily established.” The mind is teachable and receives impressions readily; around those cluster kindred impressions, which if Christian, form Christian character and life.

It is said “To prepare for the highest moral life and a persevering religions life, early habits of the right kind are the only secure foundations.” Then to prepare for highest devotional


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life, and a constant religious life, should demand of the youth early training of his soul in all the elements of worship and the teachings of the Word connected with religious action.

Let the youth be taught that “if nature is a congeries of metaphors arrayed in a system of relations and constituting a sublime allegory, and we being the offspring of God, may interpret this allegory and thereby come to a consciousness of its verities, if there is a spiritual sense that may feel the presence of great truths and of a personal God”—then man pursuing his search, through the laws of his spiritual nature, for the pure and true expressions of holy worship through the words of Scripture and the beauty of its forms which have come down through the world’s history and the Church’s literature, finds the goal in an exalted and spiritual Service.

The love of art is necessary to the complete man. He sees a higher meaning than mere color in the rainbow. It speaks of God’s promise and love. The tints of faded leaf reminds him of God’s order in the universe. The sparkle of the limpid rill tells him of the river of life and God’s eternal fountains of love. He is taught to see the real spirit shining through material forms, and architecture, sculpture, painting, music and poetry follow with their interpretations and portrayals of the deeper and spiritual insight. Noble thought and action, right and truth of Divine things enables the soul to partake of holy draughts of pure worship from the stream of spiritual life.

The liturgical education is the development of a liturgical ideal, purpose and marshalling of the devotional forces for active service in the Church’s inner life. The liturgical ideal is needed.

“The Gothic cathedral, with its mullioned window, tapering spire, and upward-running lines, indicating the hope and aspiration of the middle ages, with its cruciform shape, typical of the faith of the Christian, is more than the stone and mortar of which it is constructed. The truly educated man in art perceives the adaptation, polish and perfection in literature; discovers the grace, the just proportions, the ideal form and typical idea in sculpture; views the expression, grouping sentiment, coloring, and human passion in painting; enjoys the harmonies, movements, and ideas m music, that combination of effects that makes subtile and evasive metaphors; discovers the conventionalized forms and mute symbols, the ‘frozen music’ of architecture; finds grandeur in the


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mountains, glory in the sunset, laughs with the morning breeze, finds strength in the giant oak, and sorrow in the drooping willow.”

The foresight of the Heavenly beauty is caught and transmitted to this earthly sphere, and taken up to be given back in highest forms of praise.

The spirit of this holy worship must be first caught by the teacher. This deeper nature, aye, spiritual feeling must be in the heart of the instructor. When he reaches beyond himself and sees in the Gothic building with its pinnacles, arches and curves of beauty an attempt, at least, to imitate the lines of beauty, grandeur and deeper feeling of adoration and sublimity in the heavens—creative handiwork of Him Whom men are taught to adore and worship in the most appropriate and soul-elevating manner possible.

The teacher possessing this spirit and mind will be able to lead his pupils out through the merely formal down into the very depths of heart to heart praise in the very essence of Scripture words, embodying the life of the Church doctrines of the Word of God. The very saving truths of Christianity will appear in every liturgical act of the youth, and thus will be founded upon the faith of the Word, but they will also be grounded in the vehicle and agency of that Word, that life in Christ, and their every thought will be developed from holy and established usage, consecrated by centuries of use in the Church’s growth and life. He will possess a concensus of the very best that has come down as a heritage. He early learns that the formularies of worship are but the expression, by the soul, of the faith, teachings and life of the Church. By connecting this fact with that other of the golden memory age will he prepare himself to make the most of his opportunities in fixing the truths of holy religion firm and deep in the minds of his class; knowing it is the seed, which is the Word, he is sowing into a soil that will be productive of a rich fruitage in days to come.

Primarily it rests upon the Pastor to lead, direct and instruct all who teach in the schools of the Church, and upon these teachers, secondarily, is the duty to study the nature and deeper spiritual meaning of the Church’s worship, and to invest themselves with the heartfelt devotional attitude toward true worship and be filled with its deeper spiritual feeling so they may “out of the


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abundance of the heart” speak sound words of life, and by precept and example show their pupils the “more excellent way.”

The instructor of youth being full of his subject, and feeling its importance, will the more readily teach the sacred song which soothes the sorrows, assuages pain, encourages the disheartened and lifts the soul God-ward. He will have his class commit to memory those standard hymns with which the battles of the Church have been fought and through which souls have been drawn to Christ, as also the psalmody of the inspired writer of Israel for soul strengthening and prayer. He will analyze and explain the hymns for the several seasons of the Church Year. Each part of the Catechism or statement of Christian doctrine, will be set forth and its relation to each part as an act of worship be fully defined.

In fact he will teach that every doctrine and every liturgical act have an inner harmony and unity, creating one beautiful and complete whole as the offering of the heart to God in solemn worship and praise.

“Here Thy praise is gladly chanted,

Here Thy seed is duly sown:

Let my soul, where it is planted,

Bring forth precious sheaves alone.


R. E. McDaniel.

Springdale, Pa.


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Over against all other forms of worship, Christian worship has a character of its own, the true realization of the communion between God and man. This character, although formally related to the worship of the temple and the synagogue, is distinct from them both as to its principle and its contents. Christian worship has all its springs in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The atoning sacrifice of our Lord is so clearly the centre of His person and work as to constitute the vital source of the two great elements of Christian worship, the sacramental and the sacrificial. Christian worship is a communion between God and man, based upon Divine communication of grace, followed by responsive acceptance of the Divine gifts. In the order of actual worship, the sacramental element of communicating grace has the precedence, and the responsive sacrificial human element follows.  But both as constituent parts of the Service flow from the fountain of Christ’s Sacrifice. In this Divine-human sacrifice, the two parts of the Christian worship have their original and originating point of union. The two essential factors of worship are to find their formal external manifestation in harmony with the rule laid down in Scripture: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” I Cor. 14:40. How this principle has been applied, as regards  the sacrificial element, will become apparent as we proceed. In this connection, it may be remarked, that this principle requires an official leadership of the congregation, which the Lord has provided for by instituting the office of the Holy Ministry.



The New Testament requires the whole man as a sacrifice,—all that he is and has by God’s grace. As a priesthood of believ-


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ers, enabled by grace to serve God acceptably, we are by Jesus to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Heb. 12:28; 13:15,16. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Philippians, rejoices at the prospect that he may perhaps be offered upon the sacrifice and service of their faith—Phil. 2:17, and he beseeches the Romans by the mercies of God to present their bodies a living sacrifice. Rom. 12:1. St. Peter also says that this holy priesthood is to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. I Pet. 2:5. As the entire man is to present himself as a sacrifice, so the whole of his life is to be the sphere of his offerings. But the individual is not to isolate himself in this regard. There is a communion of saints, a fellowship of believers, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, enjoying sacramental blessings in common, and uniting in the sacrificial expression of gratitude as a congregation. All the spiritual sacrifices of Christians, specified in the New Testament may be divided into two classes: on the one hand, the fruit of the lips, prayer, confession, praise, thanksgiving, and on the other, the fruit of activity—a holy walk, good works, the consecration of all one is and has to the service of the brethren.

The worship of the Pentecostal Church is described in Acts 2:42—“And they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Interpreting the word Koinwniva, fellowship, in accordance with its use in 2 Cor. 9:13 and Heb. 13:16, we have one of the elements of New Testament sacrificial worship, communication, liberal distribution, giving to those in need, an expression, a result of fellowship, of communion. This act includes the offering of the general prayer, in addition to which we have the prayers, proseucai;, which accompanied the other parts of the Service of the Pentecostal congregation. The Services which were held in the temple, were public Services apparently coincident with the usual hours of prayer, while the meetings held “from house to house,” were private gatherings. There is no reason to think, that the meetings in the temple, apart from the mere association with the place and the hours of prayer, indicate a distinction between Jewish and Gentile Christian forms of worship. All the elements of Christian worship named in Acts 2:42, were observed in the


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congregational gatherings in private houses. In all probability sacred song, at least the psalmody, and that in all likelihood antiphonal, formed a part of the Service, Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; James 5:13. There is here no confusion or perversion of the relation between the sacramental and the sacrificial elements of the Service. The first hint in this direction occurs in the “Shepherd of Hermas” where gifts to widows, orphans and the poor are spoken of as propitiatory, meritorious: “Tua hostia erit accepta Domino.” Justin restricts the sacrificial phase of the Eucharist to the offering of bread and wine for the Sacrament and before the consecration of the elements, but he does lay exceptional stress on these offerings over against prayer and gifts for the poor. There is no departure from the lines laid down by the Apostolic Church until we reach the Old Catholic Period.



The pioneer of the tendency toward confusion by perversion is the man who stamped the impress of his powerful personality on the language of the Western Church: Tertullian. At the close of the second century, however, we meet with a Church Father, who belongs to the East and the West, and who serves to a slight extent as a connecting link between Justin and Tertullian, namely Irenaeus.

His position is essentially, one might say, dogmatically speaking, equivalent to that of Justin. Irenaeus knows nothing of a sacrifice of the body of Christ or of a priesthood on which that sacrifice depends. He distinguishes three forms of sacrifice: first, the fruit of the lips; secondly, gifts of charity to the needy; thirdly, bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper, as the first-fruits of God’s creatures, to be consecrated by the eucharistic prayer. They are consecrated by the prayer to their sacramental use, after which they are eucharistic, i. e., the communion of the earthly, and the Heavenly. But, at the same time, the confusion of the sacrificial and the sacramental elements is noticeable in Irenaeus, and it is even more pronounced than in Justin. Irenaeus terms the entire Service of the Eucharist, from the prayer addressed to the Fabricator mundi, to the consecration inclusive, the Novi Testamenti nova oblatio, neva prosfora; ejn th/; kainh/; diaqhvkh/. He does not confine himself to such expressions as “we offer to God bread and the cup of benediction.” He goes a step farther,


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and views the act of consecration as a sacrificial act, the prayer of consecration as a sacrificial prayer, thus drawing the sacramental act in the narrower sense, into the sacrificial sphere. Further, he states that the Lord taught Christians to sacrifice, when He said: “This is My body, My blood.”

Finally, in his desire to prove that Christian sacrifice is not carnal but spiritual, he points out how Christians, after they returned thanks over the bread and wine for the gifts of God in creation, call upon the Holy Spirit to make this sacrifice as the body and blood of the Lord prove a spiritual blessing to those who partake of it. The consecration becomes a part of the sacrificial action. Yet all this must not lead one to infer that Irenaeus has in mind a sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ. Not in the least. The Eucharist is only a sacrifice, because it is accompanied by prayer, and all prayer is sacrificial. But in emphasizing the subjective side of the Eucharist, human action and prayer in such a way as to place the Sacrament on the same line with our thank-offerings, he goes beyond Justin. There is an advance in the general direction of confusing the sacrificial and the sacramental. In this particular instance, the Sacrament, notwithstanding the fact that it is known and appreciated, is put into the background compared with man’s function in connection with it, and human thanksgiving and prayer is the leading object of consideration. We notice that the sacrificial idea is being warped. Such expressions as: “Is, qui offert, glorificatur ipse in eo, quod offert, si acceptetur munus ejus,” and, “Deus in se assumit bonas operationes nostras ad hoc, ut praestet nobis retributionem bonorum suorum,” indicate that the pure, unselfish spirit of responsive gratitude is being alloyed by the introduction of human merit. Before leaving Irenaeus our attention may be directed for a moment to the antiquity of the expression, “world without end,” ei" tou;" aijw'na" tw'n aijwvnwn, which was then already used as a concluding formula of prayer in the administration of the Holy Communion.

In Tertullian the Eucharist from the sacrificial point of view, controls the whole situation, the entire Service. The sacrifices, indeed, are prayers, thanksgiving, alms, good works, and bread and wine. He knows nothing of a sacrifice of the body of Christ. But he looks upon the entire celebration of the Eucharist as a sacrifice, and the idea of the Service, and that of this eucharistic


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sacrifice are practically identical. We must not forget that the disciplina arcani originated at this time, and that the line was drawn between the homiletic-didactic Service to which non-Christians were admitted, and the eucharistic sacramental Service which was private, and restricted to those who were baptized. Tertullian is very guarded in his allusions to the Lord’s Supper. The comprehensive view taken of the Lord’s Supper as a sacrifice is best illustrated by the advice he gives to those who are fasting. He advises them to be present during the celebration of the Communion, but not to partake of the bread at that time, but later in their homes, that in this way the participation in the sacrifice would be assured, participatio sacrificii salva. Thus the whole act belongs to the sphere of sacrifice. Besides the sacrificial idea is applied to matters outside the Service, such as fasting and penitential observances. The notion of merit has infected the entire Church in the time of Tertullian. Prayer, fasting, alms, as works of penitence, possess a meritorious power and significance. They are works of satisfaction. According to Tertullian: “Non enim oramus tantum, sed et deprecamur, et satisfacimus Deo Domino nostro.” No Roman mass as yet, no sacrifice of the body of Christ for the forgiveness of sins,—but prayers and oblations are offered to obtain the forgiveness of sins and every needed grace. Why not apply the meritorious power thus connected with the Eucharist to the martyrs and others who had departed this life? The step which leads to this goal is not a long one. Ignore the sacramental, regard the Service chiefly as worship, overemphasize the sacrificial, and the way to Rome is open.

Up to this time we have heard nothing of sacerdotalism in its relation to the sacrificial element. How does Tertullian view this relation?—In the first place he lays great stress on the universal priesthood of all Christians. Clearer and stronger language than his is not found, “Nonne et laici sacerdotes sumus? Scriptum est: regnum quoque nos et sacerdotes deo et patri suo fecit,” and, “Sed ubi tres, ecclesia est, licet laici.” All Christians are priests, and as such originally authorized to exercise the functions of the priesthood, and in case of necessity may do so, but for the sake of order in the Church, one takes the place of all, and does that which all are entitled to do. If the office of the ministry is an outflow of the universal priesthood, if his functions are sacerdotal, if the minister of the Word, only officiates


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as the organ of the priestly congregation, then the office of the ministry is a priesthood, a sacerdotium. The idea of a minister of the Word and Sacraments, a dispenser of the means of grace, is foreign to his conception; but the one who presides is a sacerdos, a priest, and offerre, to bring sacrifice, is his office and his service. Here, again, in the office of the ministry, we have the sacrificial point of view made prominent over the sacramental.

The sacerdotal character of the ministerial office retains its paramount position in the view taken by Cyprian, but the bearers of the office are not regarded as priests because they bring the prayers of the congregation before God in its name; they are not the priests of the congregation; they do not officiate before God in the name of the congregation; on the contrary they are the priests of God, who act in the name of God for the good of the congregation, The prayers they offer are not the prayers of the congregation, but rather acts enjoined by God, for the spiritual welfare of the congregation, for the forgiveness of their sins, and their reception into the good will of God. Cyprian voices a false realism in his estimate of prayer, which in itself is too spiritual, lacks contents, and must be supplemented in order to be a true offering. Gifts, alms, fasting must be added, and fill up the void. Moreover Cyprian extends the sacrificial view of the Eucharist so as to include the passion of our Lord. The old view that bread and wine are offered by thanksgiving before the consecration as the primitiae creaturarum disappears entirely. “Passio est Domini sacrificium, quod offerimus.” Again in the institution of the Holy Supper the Lord as the High-Priest offers up His body and blood to the Father, under the bread and wine which is an imago dominicae passionis. The institution of the Sacrament is a part of the passion, and is termed “Sacrificium quod Christus obtulerit,” and the Lord Himself is “Sacrificii hujus auctor et doctor.” The passion of our Lord was accomplished once for all on the cross, but the celebration of the Sacrament is a constant repetition of the sacrifice of Christ, a commemoration, in which the Lord’s passion is offered, presented, brought before the Lord. This view is not identical with the doctrine of the Church of Rome. Cyprian places a part of that which belongs to the death of Christ into the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The death of Christ includes both the presentation of Himself by Christ, and the sufferings of the Lord in His sacrifice. Cyprian


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separates the former from the death of the Lord, and includes it in the Sacrament, hence our Communion is only a repetition of the first, and of the High-Priestly self-presentation which took place on that occasion, but not yet a repetition of the sacrificial death of Christ.

A detailed discussion of the development within the Greek Church is unnecessary. Our object is to trace the perversion of the sacrificial sphere, and its reformation. Suffice it to say that the Greek Church has, in this regard, taken essentially the same course as the Latin, which has surpassed it in logical thoroughness, dogmatic precision, liturgical fulness, and formal development. The difference in the liturgical evolution of the Greek Church begins to show itself already after Cyprian and the Eighth Book of the Apostolic Constitution. The language of Cyril of Jerusalem, and especially of Chrysostom are indicative of the increasing confusion respecting the character of the Sacrament.

The line of Latin continuity lies in the North African Church, and Augustine is the next to take up the thread. How does Augustine differ from Cyprian? In theory, or rather by his deep knowledge of sin and grace, Augustine stands in opposition to Cyprian, as the representative of the prevailing ideas of merit and satisfaction. In practice, however, he was not always consistent. Not infrequently we find him yielding to the popular practice, upholding, extenuating, defending it. This accounts for the limitation of his salutary influence on the development already in progress. Hence his deep and often correct views, compared with those of his time, have no immediate future. Cyprian and Augustine start from different points of view. Cyprian’s view of the Service begins with the sacerdotal office, whose essential function it is to offer sacrifices for the congregation. Augustine here interposes the idea of the Sacrament. He holds that every Service is carried out by means of sacrifices, which we offer to God; but every sacrifice, in so far as it does not stop with the inner offering of the heart, but expresses itself in external acts, is a sacrament; in other words, every Service, in so far as it is not purely internal, is tendered by means of sacraments, which are sacrifices. Thus Augustine views the idea of the Service from the subjective point of view, a human function before God, service and reverence shown to God. The other side, the dealing of God with man by means of the Word, Bap-


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tism and the Lord’s Supper, is not ignored, but is simply regarded as the prerequisite of worship, in which the Service consists. The means of grace are virtually outside the conception of the Service as such. Divine Service is not God’s doing in relation to man, but man’s doing before God. This is his argument: God is the highest good; only by a vital connection with this highest good can man find the salvation he craves; and the worship of God consists in all that man does in order to put and maintain himself in vital communion with God.

And this constitutes his conception of sacrifice: All that man does in order to bring about and preserve his living communion with God is sacrificial. Deum colere and Deo sacrificare are synonymous. The Divine side is almost lost from sight. One might think that Augustine’s subjective conception of the sacrificial would find a corrective in the fact that he terms every sacrifice a sacrament. But Augustine’s definition of a sacrament includes every visible and real manifestation of spiritual and Divine things. Of course the sacrifice, in order to be called and to be a sacrament, even though it be only an offering brought by man, must have and present something Divine and spiritual. “Etsi enim ab homine fit vel offertur, tamen sacrificium res divina est.” But this need not be a Divine act affecting man; it need only be an act of man directed toward God; it is sufficient if man’s sacrifice is offered for God’s sake,—to make the sacrifice a sacrament. For example, a work of mercy done from a mere philanthropic motive, would not be a sacrifice, because it is not a res divina, but a work of mercy done for God’s sake, is a sacrifice, Accordingly a sacrament does not necessarily imply a Divine act, but even a mere human act becomes a sacrament when it is done with reference to God. In this sense Augustine is to be understood when he says: “Sacrificium ergo visibilis invisibilis sacrificii sacramentum, id est sacrum signum est.” The result is that by this peculiar combination Augustine preserves a sacramental idea in the Service, and in a new way lets the sacramental be absorbed by the sacrificial, the act of God by the act of man.

If we now enter into the extent of the sacrificial sphere as viewed by Augustine, we find that fasting, ascetic acts, martyrdom, Are sacrifices as well as the works of mercy and love, as they are all done for the good of one’s own soul. All must be done for God’s sake, for His glory, if they are to have any sacrificial value. All


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these works are sacrifices because they proceed from within, are external signs of our internal consecration to God. The real sacrifice consists in the complete consecration of ourselves with all that we have and are to God Who has redeemed us through the one Mediator and High-Priest, and all those external acts, alms as well as prayers, the fruit of the lips as well as the fruit of works, are only the individual signs and activities of this real and true sacrifice. Herein Augustine reaches back with depth and decision to the older views of Christian sacrifice, which in Cyprian, had already fallen into the background. But Augustine does not continue in this right path, but departs from it in two directions. First, he makes all that transpires in the Christian Service to belong to his conception of sacrifice. Every act of the Service is viewed from the standpoint of the self-consecration. Even the celebration of the Christian festivals. His view of the character of such a festival is not that God, on those days by His Word, renews the memory of His great deeds and faith in them, but that we celebrate those great deeds of God, and offer thanks to God for them. And this applies to the Lessons, and the Sermon, and the Sacrament of the Altar. Here believers offer themselves up to God by offering up the body of Christ. The sacramental yields to the sacrificial. (De Civ. Dei, X. 6.) In the second place, we find that all the offerings of prayers, good works and the like are instances of devotion, but not a responsive yielding up of oneself to God, but when man has been born again by baptism, are of an atoning character, man offering up himself in Christ to God, as Christ has offered Himself to God by the complete sacrifice of our nature as the atonement and propitiation. In the Eucharist the Church offers itself up to God.

In the Church of Rome at the time of Innocent I, according to a letter written by him in 415 to a bishop named Decentius, we find in the Roman liturgy a conscious, logically consistent formal application of the sacrificial theory as applied to the Lord’s Supper, at a period when the liturgies of all other churches were still oscillating between the old forms and those which corresponded to the sacrificial theory. Half a century later Leo I. holds that consecration effects, brings about the body and blood of Christ: “Sacramentum corporis et sanguinis Christi conficere.” What took place in the death of Christ, the sacrifice of Christ, is repeated in the Lord’s Supper. Gregory the Great, (590-604),


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concludes the theory as such even in its practical bearings. He applies the efficacy of the sacrifice of the Mass to his doctrine of purgatory. The conclusion is evident: If the Holy Supper availed for the dead, the presence of those who were to be benefited by it was unnecessary, and the Sacrament was simply a sacerdotal, atoning act, performed by the priest for man, however distant, reaching even into the depths of purgatory, if it were only done in behalf of the person whom it was intended to aid the sacrificial idea had reached the climax of its distortion, and the misdirected current flowed on in unchecked force throughout the entire mediaeval period.



The Lutheran Reformation of the sixteenth century paid due regard to the historical continuity of the Christian Church. Where the correcting touch of revision was needed the work of restoration was conducted deliberately and carefully until the result was reached. As early as the year 1518 Luther begins to develop the principles on which the restoration of the Service depended. In discussing the existing arrangements he uses the Word of God as the guide and touchstone. His tractate on “The Ten Commandments preached to the people at Wittenberg,” gave him the opportunity to refer to the Service in treating of the third Commandment. With increasing clearness he continues along this line year after year, until he could embody the results in his “Deutsche Messe und Ordnung Gottesdienstes” in the year 1526. Most of the Lutheran orders of Service in the first half of the sixteenth century are based on Luther’s “German Mass.” The principle which dominates the entire Lutheran cultus is this: Every Service must contain a sacramental element; no Service dare consist of the purely sacrificial element; the sacramental is the fundamental; the sacrificial is the accidental element. The sacramental leads the way; the sacrificial follows. Luther expresses this very clearly: “If man desires to be in touch with God, and to receive aught at His hands, this is the proper course: Man dare not begin and lay the first stone, but God alone must first come, without any quest or desire on the part of man He must first come, and give man a promise. This same Word of God is the first thing: the foundation, the rock, on which the works, Words and thoughts of man are built; this


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Word man is to receive with thanks and to divine assurance with a true heart, and in no wise doubt that it is and comes to pass, in accordance with the Divine assurance.” The two elements of public worship are here recognized together with their relation. The Service is a responsive one. In some acts the two elements are found together: hymns are not always purely sacrificial, nor are sermons always exclusively sacramental. The reading of the Word, on the other hand, and the administration of the Sacrament are entirely sacramental, while the offering of prayer is solely sacrificial. Bearing this qualification in mind it will be easy to distinguish those parts of the Service, whose distinguishing character is the expressive attitude of the recipient worshiper to the Divine Giver of grace. The distinction is as obvious as the difference is real and one might say necessary in the nature of the case. The false sacerdotalism of the deterioration disappears, and the congregation resumes its proper functions in the entire order of worship.

A glance at the constituents of the sacrificial sphere impresses one with the fulness of the responsive opportunity. All mutilation is at an end. The Sacrament is administered in its completeness, and the Sacrament itself marks the completeness of the full Service. Reverently we enter the vestibule of sacrificial worship. The Introit has its devotional culmination in the Gloria Patri, and prepares the way for that cry out of the depths, the supplication for mercy addressed to the Lord in the Kyrie filled with the same burden as the Agnus Dei. And now arises the great Gloria in Excelsis, an angelic outburst of adoration and prayer to the Triune Source of grace. The brief prayer for the presence of the Lord with the minister is followed by the collective presentation of all the wants of the Church in the Collect for the Day. The note of joyous praise is continued after the Epistle and the Gospel, the hallelujah of the Old, akin to the victorious shout hosanna, and the New Testament ascription of praise to Christ. Faith, the centre of the human movement throughout the Service, finds special utterance in one of the Creeds, and then the hymn, representative of that wealth of responsiveness in which the Reformation Church abounds and rejoices. After the offertory, the General Prayer, so comprehensive, so majestic in its simplicity, so beautiful in its dignity. The model prayer given by the Lord is the fitting conclusion of this sacrifice. Nor


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dare the Litany be forgotten, that gem which Luther says is the best after the Lord’s Prayer, that has come upon earth, or that may be thought out by man. Before the closing hymn the material offerings are placed upon the altar, denoting the consecration of the least as well as the greatest. All thought of merit, of atoning efficacy is absent from the sacrifices thus offered, and the Service has been restored to its original purity. All in all, the Service shines out in the beauty of holiness, radiant in all its many jewels of praise, whether of intonation or responsory, from the Adjutorium to the Nunc Dimittis, so suggestive of the sacrifices of the Church on high.


Principal Source:—KLIEFOTH, Liturgische Abhandlungen.



Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, Pa.


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IT is of no small importance to attempt an outline of the place of liturgy in the whole sphere of the thought, life and art of the Church. Such an attempt will indicate the wide relationship, the far-reaching dependence, and the deep and necessary influence of liturgy. Perhaps it may serve to impress some, to whom liturgics appears as one of the appendices of practical theology appealing to certain aesthetic souls but of very minor value to the whole Church, with the error of their position. Others, in becoming more fully conscious of the dependence of liturgics and seeing it in the whole organism of Christian theology and life, may be prevented from an enthusiastic overestimation and an excessive emphasis of liturgy in practise.

If liturgy is considered in its place in the Church, it is with no necessary theory of the Church as a presupposition, but simply for the reason that in the Church liturgy has its place. This is to be marked in the thought of the Church, i. e., its theology; in the life of the Church, which theology comprehends in its intellectual unfolding and which it influences through its divine content; and in the art of the Church, which, in the beautiful, gives expression of the truth of thought and life.

The thought of the Church arises from the interpretation and understanding of the message given her by her Founder and Cornerstone, and His Apostles, guided and led by His Spirit. Whatever preparatory and prophetic message the whole and the parts of the Old Testament contain, is normative only in the light of the fulfillment of the New Testament. The shadows of the old covenant are determined by the substance of the new, but the new covenant is not to be interpreted by the forms of the old. But the New Testament contains the germs of new fixed forms.


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Christ, Who fulfilled the law and the prophets, not only reveres the Old Testament forms and the Old Testament Temple-service, but He also indicates that the new wine of the Kingdom is not to be without vessels, but is to be found in new skins. (Matt. 9:17; Mark 2:21; Luke 5:37). The new spirit of the Kingdom is not to be formless, but to have new, adequate forms. Jesus looks forward to the worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23), and yet He teaches His disciples upon their request, not simply a model but also a form of prayer. (Luke 11:1 ff. cf. Matt. 6:9 ff.). And the very “Abba” of the Spirit in the heart of believers (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6) is the echo not only of the Lord’s own prayer (Mark 14:36), but of the Lord’s Prayer given the disciples. The Spirit takes Christ’s form of “Our Father” and uses it to move the heart to cry out in childlike confidence. And is it not an indisputable fact, that the most anti-liturgic churches have kept the very words of this form of prayer, and contend for the words “debts” and “debtors” as against “trespasses” used by liturgic churches. This simply proves that the Lord’s Prayer is universally accepted as a form. In baptism the command “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:18) has been and is generally received as a formula. The free homiletic utterance of Peter, “in the name of Christ” (Acts 2:38) is neither the starting point of Matt. 28:18, which is textually so well established, nor its abrogation. The other institution of Christ, His Supper, to be held in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24), is the nucleus for a form, and the prayers and celebration which grew out of it are indicated in the word “testament” and furthered by the command “this do.”

If we enter the assemblies of the early Apostolic Church, we find the disciples met for “the prayers” (Greek text, Acts 2:42), which seem to be not Jewish prayers, though these and their hours were still observed (Acts 3:1), but the new Christian prayers, connected with “the fellowship” and “the breaking of bread,” i. e., the Communion. The more certain are we of this as the congregation at Jerusalem “with one accord lifted up their voice” to what is the earliest known psalm of Christian thanksgiving, kindling the new praise by the old promise as they said. “Lord, Thou art God, Which hast made Heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; Who by the mouth of Thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people


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imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus, Whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word, by stretching forth Thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of Thy holy child Jesus.” (Acts 4:24-30.) Could this beautiful psalm have been prayed in common, unless it had been a form commonly known and prayed by the body of believers? Did the Holy Spirit ever produce psalms and hymns and prayers through the voice of a multitude, or not always through the individual? The further development of the liturgy of the Apostolic Church is not merely indicated by “psalms, hymns, spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), pointing to the retention of Jewish psalmody and the beginning of Christian hymnody, but there is evidently in the announcement of the mystery of godliness (I Tim. 3:16) the rhythm of an early hymn to Christ, (cf. Pliny’s letter: a hymn to Christ as God). There is in this hymn the ring of confession. The confession at baptism is beginning to grow into a creed. And it is highly probable, as Theodore Zahn contends, that in the light of subsequent history we may conclude from the comparison of I Tim. 6:12, 13; 2 Tim. 2:8; Rom. 1:3; 2 Tim. 4:1; Acts 10:42; 1 Pet. 4:5; 2 Tim. 2:2; 3:10; 1:13, 14, that Timothy confessed Christ is a creed, which contained according to clear evidence “of the seed of David,” standing “before Pontius Pilate,” and to come “to judge the quick and the dead,” and probably it contained more, if we give due consideration to the researches of Kunze. At this same time of Paul’s late labor we can also note the growth of the general prayer as seen in I Tim. 2:1.

All these exegetic facts placed in the light of New Testament freedom furnish the foundation as well as the norm for liturgy.

But not only does the whole liturgy rest on such proofs, but individual parts are exegetically defensible. If we take “The Kyrie” of the Morning Service and the common objection to its place, we shall find upon examination, that the liturgy has kept


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the primary meaning of “Kyrie eleison,” as a cry for mercy in bodily misery. (Matt. 9:27; 15:22; 17:15; 20:30; Mark 10:47; Luke 17:13; 18:38). Though other individual features may not show such literal usage, yet in the freest sacrificial echo of the Word there is an aptness and correctness, which often has not at all, or at least very slightly, been touched by exegetic aberrations. The truth is kept much more correctly than in the freedom of homiletical employment. There is a large opportunity for minute investigation and proof of this fact in showing the correct transmission of much Bible truth embedded in the liturgy, which was kept during the darkest period of the Church’s deformation. Therefore the Reformers, despite their fundamental change of attitude, could use so much of the liturgic material of the Roman Church.

It has become evident, that the interpretative thought of the Church, showing the inception of development, leads into history. The Church’s thought was unfolded in time. Liturgics cannot be understood unless we trace its growth; how it developed to the third century as a Service of the congregation, prayers and hymns first clustering about the Lord’s Supper, and how, soon after, the degeneration begins with the growth of the hierarchic idea, the change of the sacrament into a sacrifice, the introduction of heathen ideas of mysteries, and how, later, the written fixation takes place in the fourth century, and the priestly cultus is gradually developed into the rich symbolism of the Eastern and the present Russian Church, for which liturgy is a constituent exponent of its elemental ceremonialism, or how it degenerated in the West where the idea of sacrifice gains even larger practical import, and where the Service must also lend itself to express the Latin rule of the Latin priest. In this history it is of interest to note the influence of Gregory I. in wedding most closely the growing liturgy to the growing Church Year. Both belong together, both co-work. The truth and justification of one implies that of the other. Gregory with all his errors has in this helped to shape a true union and given a proper impulse. But the Church Year and the liturgy in their interrelation of development and character have not yet been adequately described. The coming back of the old Gospel necessitated the removal of many unevangelical barnacles in liturgy, but it as such was not repudiated at Wittenberg or Geneva. Later, radicalism from Zwinglian impulses,


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one-sided spiritualism, leveling rationalism have given many a wrong conception of the attitude of the Reformers and the necessity of evangelical truth, and these and cognate influences still enable uninformed and prejudiced men to interpret the evangelical freedom of the Reformers as rejection of the historic Service of the Church, while here as everywhere the programme was: reformation, not revolution; purification, not rejection.

Liturgy was conserved by the Reformers as a legacy of history, as a gift of the Spirit leading into truth despite error. All those rites were to be kept, which could be kept without sin. Evangelical truth cleansed, it did not destroy the historic liturgy. It has been, it appears to me, one of the errors of later systematization to place the historical study of liturgies into the practical department. On the basis of its direct practical application and its use in the congregation it has been subjected to much disfigurement. The present demand is made regulative of liturgy. Some late writers on liturgics, influenced by the conception that the liturgy is predominatingly a practical science, are beginning to suggest changes in the essential elements and thoughts of the Service, because their conception of evangelical does not measure up to that of the Reformers. This is a part of that individualism which still claims large rights in determining liturgic questions and usages on the plea of the present condition and state of the churches. Individual choice adds, removes, transposes with the claim of the right of individuality in practical theology. All this flows from the erroneous position of liturgics. If it were assigned to the historic department, it were not only removed from these dangers, but it would be where it belongs by its genetic, determinative, and characteristic principles. These principles and not the application determine the place of a science. In our land the Lutheran Churches, who have adopted the Common Service, have virtually been moved thereto by historic reasons. The fundamental rule for the formation of this Service, the common consensus of the pure liturgies of the 16th century, is a historical rule. Why do we hesitate to emphasize in thought what we have affirmed in practise? Historical character does not mean archaeological exactness. The truly historical in Christianity ever influences the living present and has never been impracticable. The conservation of the great, fundamental, historical principles means no slavery to antiquated forms, but it guarantees


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for the present the objective majesty and power of the grand old forms and prayers, which still appeal to the human heart and by their very dignity and simplicity stand for the unchangeable verities of Christianity. Whatever minor changes may be contemplated can only be made by those, who, understanding fully the historical character of liturgy, are also competent to judge of the practicability not by the standard of defective conditions but of educative possibilities.

The historical character of liturgics is irenic. It voices the harmony of the great common centre of faith. In it saints of every age have prayed, and it expresses a wonderful communion of saints. Polemics may have their place in the sermon, but the language of the liturgy, the language of devotion, does not attack. It cannot, when true to its principles, permit the sanctity of the Communion to be marred by any formula like “this is the true body of the Lord,” which savors of discussion and controversy. Nevertheless it is not undecided. It is a clear expression of the symbolic position of a Church. In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds the old common rules of faith voice the faith once (a{pax) delivered to the saints. In the very Holy of Holies, the sacrament of the altar, definite formulas give forth a clear sound of a definite faith. It is this confessional import, this living impress of faith and creed, which the liturgy bears, that explains how it can be attacked by those, whose difficulty finally is not with the liturgy but with the creed upon which it rests.

This symbolic value of liturgy, especially when seen in the historic development, at once shows how the full understanding of liturgics necessitates a knowledge of the History of Dogma and Doctrine. In this its own history is fully bound up. The doctrine of the Church and the ministry have ever influenced worship. The sacrifice of the Mass, the invocation of saints, the purgatory and other wrong doctrines, beside the true, have always acted and reacted upon the liturgy.

The whole historic character of liturgics forms its theoretical apologetic. This derives its force when compared with the forms of other religions. The most corrupt form of Christian liturgy will be found immeasurably above the ceremonies of all other faiths. Apologetics has not yet begun to use this argument together with other lines of reasoning, as cumulative in the defence of Christian faith.


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The truest apologetic within Christianity was given by the doctrinal impress of the Reformation. Its reconnection with the original faith made the liturgy correct and put it on the proper doctrinal foundation. Three great evangelical doctrines serve to explain it. The doctrine of the Word of God, the Word as it lives in the Gospel and as the sacraments individuate it, while resting on its power, is the truth and strength of the sacramental side of liturgy. God’s gifts come through His Word. Whatever is imparted of grace, forgiveness, faith, is through the Word, in which the Spirit dwells and through which He works. There can be no difficulty in understanding the sacramental, the God-giving side of liturgy, where the doctrine of the Word is really believed. The second great doctrine is that of the priesthood of believers. The evangelical Service is that of the congregation. The royal priesthood prays, responds, sings. This thought of the right of the believer, as a priest, in the Service was very fundamental with the Reformers. Because of it the Service was rendered into the vernacular, and the people were given back their ancient privilege. Wherever this truth is really alive, there can be no misunderstanding of the sacrificial, the man-giving, side of the Service. It is only where it is perverted in a Romish manner, or where the Reformed minister usurps the right of the people in worship, that it is objected to. The priesthood of believers is the safeguard against liturgy being imposed as a yoke. But it must be clearly determined, that royal priesthood does not mean the right of majority, the Messrs. Omnes, as Luther called the indiscriminate and indiscriminating mass. The true priest is only the believer. Not the whole, actual congregation, but the spiritual core of the congregation is the priesthood. Even this may be weak and its weakness must be respected. Yet the more a believer out of faith grows in love he will be ready upon information to surrender individual preferences and to receive a common Service even when he does not at once fully see its bearing, as long as he is assured that the faith is pure. Intermediate and connecting the doctrine of the Word and the priesthood of believers is the doctrine of the ministry. It was given to the Church with the Word and for its preaching, with the sacraments and for their administration. But it is filled from the spiritual priests, who elect to the ministry those whom Christ marks by His gifts of grace. When the minister announces the Word,


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whether in preaching or sacramental administration, he is carrying out the sacramental part of the Service. Christ speaks through, His servant. Whoso heareth the minister heareth Christ, provided that the minister announce only Christ’s message. When the minister confesses sins, prays, he is carrying out the sacrificial side of the Service, bringing the spiritual sacrifices of the people as one of the spiritual priests, at times speaking for them, at times only with them. This conception changes much, which in Roman and Anglican liturgy has a different meaning. In such an incidental matter as the attitude of turning to and from the people the evangelical doctrine gives the true explanation. When the minister turns to the people, he speaks as the messenger of God. How the meaning of this attitude is misconceived; for while it elevates the minister it is commonly regarded as Protestant co-ordination. On the other hand, when the minister as one of the spiritual priests turns to the altar, bringing at this symbolic place the sacrifice of prayer, the dignity of his office is not at all emphasized. This turning to the altar is in evangelical liturgy a sign of the very freedom, which some fear to lose in this symbolic act. Thus in a very minor point we can note the influence of doctrine upon evangelical liturgy.

Nor does the dogmatic alone influence liturgy. It is finally in its totality prayer. But the whole subject of prayer is an ethical question. Ethics determines the source of prayer, it shows its freedom, it unfolds the necessity of the use of forms, and portrays by psychological analysis the growth of a form out of the ethical life, which in prayer but specializes the formative character of virtue in the whole of ethical life. Ethics develops in its communal part the relation of the Church in its prayers as well toward God, as toward itself. The edification which liturgy offers, in the whole edification of the body of Christ, is an ethical question. Errors in understanding liturgy very often arise from a lack of thorough and balanced study of the subject of prayer and its place in Christian life of the individual and the Church.

The practical part of theology also stands in closest relation with the liturgy. Homiletics is determined by the fact that the sermon follows the creed, and that it must express the faith confessed. “Yet at the same time the sermon adds the element of individuality and freedom. The pulpit is the place for much which is erroneously done at the altar. The work of the pastor is aided


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by the liturgy, his care of souls is easier, when he has seen the reflection of the soul-life of centuries at its height in the out-breathings of prayers and collects. His strength is rekindled at the fire of many a saintly intercession. He finds in the Service—points of contact, through which he may pass from that which is familiar to a soul to that which is less familiar. The very dignity of the liturgy gives the pastor in the freedom of pastoral work a power, which is not possessed by those not thus inspired. Liturgy truly used makes good praying ministers and people. The form does not kill, but as the form of sound words adds power and comfort. This influence of liturgy is its practical apologetic known to those who employ it, and never imagined by the prejudiced who have not fairly attempted to find its true spirit.

Liturgy, though it cannot be used in the beginning of missionary effort, among the heathen or at home, yet may be a powerful educator, if it be wisely and judiciously introduced. It can lead to order and by its stately power impress, incite, inspire men.

The indication of these relations in theology have everywhere touched on questions of life. But the life of the Church is peculiarly seen in liturgy as devotion. Liturgy is the common expression of the experience, that God has come to men, and that men may come to God. This approach in evangelical worship is a free one. It rests on grace experienced, to which God ever testifies anew. Every Service helps and furthers devotion. It is true that devotion is not circumscribed by the fixed acts of worship, but through them, if they are true, it receives its deepest impulse. Devotion has created the liturgy, which is the outcome of soul-life in petition and praise on the basis of God’s promise and gift. Devotion can alone understand the Service. It is only where there is no Christian life, no reality corresponding to profession, or where this life is unsound, that liturgy becomes a dead letter and an idle form. It duly kills where men do not live in the Word. It is a savor of death to the dead. But the living Christian, whatever his intellectual attitude, the prejudices of his education, or the warp of his ecclesiastical position, must, if he honestly looks into liturgy, find in it gem upon gem of the purest water of spiritual life and true devotion.

The truth of this life can and ought to come to beautiful ex-


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pression. This is art. Christian art must begin with the Word. It must grow out of its beauty of spirit and form. How fully does this beauty appear in the depth of devotion, which the Psalms breathe. The reflection of this beauty, augmented by the sublime art of the structure of the Lord’s Prayer, has fallen upon the Church’s Service. The knowledge and understanding of its beauty can impress the sermon with the beauty of truth, and make it a very poem in prose. Translations, sometimes made by men without artistic perception, have taken away from the beauty of the ancient forms of the liturgy. But it ought to be our endeavor, in whatever language we worship, to carry with us something of this wonderful beauty of the Service. Nearest to the art of the Word, and seeking it in its highest triumphs is the art of music. In the Church it can never be pure tone, but always word-tone and tone of the Word. The character of the Service must determine the character of the music. It must be objective, simple, grand, churchly, majestically monotone in its sacramental part, and can be freer, richer in the sacrificial part, but never with the involved harmony of worldly music, expressing the wild and passionate throb of the natural man. The harmony of sound, which must appropriately clothe the word, ought to be accompanied by the harmony of structure, the harmony of architecture. Stones can and ought to be words. They ought to tell what the Service says. Liturgy should determine architecture. Whatever form is best adapted to our liturgy cannot be so easily decided, though the preference seems to be for the Gothic style. The great objectivity despite all freedom, the great majestic lines and arches must somehow speak of the heavenward sweep of prayer, while the minor arrangements must tell of baptism, communion, preaching in accord with the great historic principles of worship. When art becomes plastic or pictorial it ought to avoid the modern realism, which is too often critical individualism or photographic historicity, and adhere to the historical idealism of ecclesiastical forms. Art ought to speak of the great eternal truths in no whims of the individual artist. It may have its sacrificial place, where freer motives are expressed, but these dare not usurp historic objectivity in sculpture, painting, and stained glass, as little as in music. But the historic in art must be used in no spirit of servile imitation nor of uncritical importation. It must agree with the Evangelical Service in


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character and spirit. Roman and Anglican models are not adequate to the full and true expression of the Lutheran liturgy. Therefore this must finally create its own art, equally distant from unchurchly individualism and ecclesiastical slavery of sacerdotalism. The great fundamental principles of the sacramental and sacrificial must be worked out in their proper unity and separateness. Only with these guiding principles clearly in mind, can the Church rightly use art to speak in every form of beauty of Him, Who is the most beautiful of the sons of men, by spiritualizing all material into the pure and lofty echo of its prayer and praise.



New York, N. Y.


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WHEN our blessed Lord said to His Church, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” He as positively gave the essential part of the form to be used in the administration of this sacrament as His command was positive for the institution of Baptism. Widely different doctrines have been developed, untold volumes have been written, bitter discussions have constantly been raging, and the Church has been divided by schism and sect all because men have been determined to prove that Christ made full provision for every part of the liturgy to be used, including the mode of applying the water, and the particular class of Christians who are to be baptized. All the bad fruitage that comes from such planting would not have had to be gathered, if the professed followers of Christ could only have taken Him at His Word and realized that the Savior positively commands all to be baptized, that He positively promises grace through this sacrament, fully declaring the benefits that come to all who truly receive it; but that Christ has left it to the choice of men—to the taste and development of the Church—to determine how the water is to be applied as well as the form that is to be used in addition to the words of Christ by which He instituted this blessed sacrament of regeneration. But the doctrines that underlie the great subject of Holy Baptism have no direct place in this discussion; and yet, since the Liturgy is always founded on positive doctrines, and is expressive of those doctrines, it is impossible to ignore the doctrines in discussing the liturgical history of Christian Baptism.

The very nature of existing conditions determined that with the beginning of the Christian Church, the vast majority of those who were baptized must have been adults; but this is no argument that children are not to be baptized. Jesus plainly ascribes


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saving faith * to infants. He declares the child to be the model Christian.† And the Apostles often baptized entire households.‡ This makes it very probable that children were baptized by the Apostles; and there is nothing in the teaching of Christ, or in the practice of the Apostles, by which any one has a right to draw the conclusion that the children are not to be baptized. Therefore the burden of proof rests with those who teach that children are excluded from this sacrament (and hence from the Church), which is a doctrine that cannot be established from the Word of God, even though it had been the practice of the early Church, and is well supported by the teachings of the Church fathers. But it cannot be proven that there ever was a time when infants were not baptized.

Footnote: * Matt. xviii. 6: “Whoso shall cause one of these little ones which believe in Me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea. The word mikrw'n certainly means very little children. And the word pisteuvw is the general word for faith used all through the New Testament. It means to adhere as well as to trust.

Footnote: † Mark x. 14: Suffer the little children to come unto Me; forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Footnote: ‡ Acts x. 48; Acts xvi. 15, 33


The mode of applying the water in baptism has also been a great bone of contention. And it is very plain that the practice of immersion was due to custom and taste, since there is nothing in the history of the early Church that denies the validity of sprinkling and pouring; and the earliest writing of the fathers plainly shows this: namely, “And concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if thou have not living water baptize into other water; and if thou canst not in cold, in warm. But if thou have not either, pour out water thrice upon the head in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.” This statement of the Didache is acknowledged by all as having been written at least between 100 and 150 A. D. This shows that the early Church never looked upon immersion as essential, but that it was a matter of taste only. And it is also evident that Christians were always conscious of this fact; and hence the practice of immersion gradually went into disfavor, and sprinkling and pouring began to be more popular with the Church. But still for about thir-


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teen hundred years, immersion was all but the universal practice. The common people, however, became the champions of pouring and sprinkling; and hence this became at last the general usage. And after this reasonable change had been made, and had become the mode by which baptism was generally administered, and since the practice had become permanently fixed, then the Council of Ravenna (1311) decreed that the mode of baptism should be left to the choice of the officiating minister. Immersion still lingers in the Roman Catholic Church in the case of the cathedral of Milan; among Protestants, it is feebly and vainly defended by the numerous Baptist sects; the Oriental and the Russian orthodox Greek Churches require even a threefold immersion to this very day, in the name of the Trinity, and they look down upon all others as being unbaptized heretics. The Church of England also still observes immersion in theory. The rubric in the Book of Common Prayer says that the minister shall inquire if this child is too delicate to be immersed, and upon the statement of the parents he is to sprinkle water upon its head.

The practice of immersion had evidently come into use at a very early date. For, by the opening of the fourth century, special baptistries were built in all the leading cities. The baptistry consisted of an outer and an inner chamber, having separate apartments for the males and for the females. The candidates undressed as if entering a bath; but Höfling says that those parts which nature and reason demand to be concealed were always kept covered during the reception of this sacrament. The deacons waited upon the male candidates, and the deaconesses attended the females. These attendants rubbed the bare limbs of the candidates both before and also after the baptism. Each of the newly baptized was given a taste of honey and milk; and also received the kiss of peace. This sacrament was generally only administered on Easter and on Whitsunday; and at first took place between the hours of one and two in the morning. The administration of this sacrament at such special times was called “Solemn Baptism,” especially that which was administered on the above named days, and even here, the decided preference was for Whitsunday.

The liturgy used by the Apostles themselves must have been very simple; and we have nothing in the New Testament that, indicates that any preparation was ever made to administer Bap-


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tism by any special mode. They evidently did not place much importance on the manner in which the sacrament was administered; and it was not at all necessary that they should. There was enough in their own lives, and their experience with Jesus, that would make the administration of the sacraments solemn to all to whom they ministered. For, there could not help but be a great reverence shown them by all classes of Christians, on account of having been those whom the Savior had chosen to walk with Him and, to be His holy Apostles. And. with each coming generation, this respect would even be greater, since as the Church became older, Christians would be able to under-stand what a distinguished privilege had been accorded to the Apostles in being chosen to be the companions of the Lord.

But immediately after the days of the Apostles, we have evidences of a churchly disposition in everything that pertained to the Church of Christ; and this tendency was not due to a desire to please the world, or because the Church was losing spirituality, as is sometimes intimated. One need only study carefully the character of the ancient catechumenate in order to realize that the discipline of the Christian Church never was so rigid as then. It seems a wonder that with such requirements as the Church then made of those who sought to enter her communion, together with the terrible heathen persecution which appeared constantly about to crush the Christians out of existence, that so many came into her communion, and that the Church grew so rapidly. The catechumenate, like almost everything in the discipline of the Church, was a growth and not something suddenly adopted. But that it had a rapid development is evident from the fact that there is much said about the reception of catechumens, as early as the third century. The period of instruction lasted from one to three years, during which time the candidate was passed from one period to another by a special service for each period. At first, these people who were thus undergoing preparation and instruction were not permitted to be present at many of the public services of the Church; and when they were present during part of the regular services, they had a special place assigned to them. But as they advanced toward the close of their period of probation, they were permitted to be present during more of the public service, and those who had completed the course, and were received as candidates for baptism, could remain during all the ser-


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vices. When the catechumenate was fully developed, there were seven distinct steps through which one had to pass before he could be received into the communion of the Church by the sacrament of Holy Baptism. These steps through which the catechumen was required to pass, were named from the parts* of the divine worship in which they were permitted to take part, or be present.

Footnote: * For the liturgy of each step in the catechumenate, see Hoefling, Vol. I. pp. 303-318.


St. Cyril of Jerusalem (347 A. D.) gives a very full account of the liturgy of baptism as used at that place. On Easter, the candidates assembled in the outer chamber of the baptistry. Facing the west, they said, “I renounce Satan and all his works.” Then turning toward the east, they said, “I believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost, and in one baptism of repentance.” They then went into the inner chamber, where the baptistry itself was, put off their garments, were anointed with oil from head to foot; advanced to the font. Here they were asked, “Dost thou believe in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?” In answer they witnessed the saving faith of their confession; and dipped themselves thrice in the water. And coming out of the water, they were clothed in white, and were anointed with holy oil, on the forehead, on the ears, on the nostrils, and on the breast. Then followed the Holy Communion, of which the newly baptized all partook.

One of the most curious of all the ancient baptismal services that has come down to us is the Book of Christianity (Baptismal Book)† of the Ethiopic Church. It is interesting in every way, following the order of all of the liturgies of those times, and yet differing from all of them in most of the material that composed it. The service is arranged to be administered by a priest and aided by a deacon; seven different Scripture lessons are read, or recited; a multitude of symbolic acts are provided in the rubrics. Then the priest leading the candidate from the west toward the east (in the font), takes water, saying, “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and in the name of the Son, and in the name

Footnote: † Published by Prof. Trumpp of Munich, in the Abhandlungen der Koen. bayer. Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1878, ICL. Vol. XIV. Sec. 3, pp. 155-167. It was translated into English by Prof. Geo. H. Schodde, Ph. D., Cap. Univ., Col. O., and appeared in the Lutheran Quarterly in 1882.


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of the Holy Ghost.” This is repeated three times. Then the priest at once begins with the confirmation service without any interruption.

The Gallican liturgy is different from all other ancient orders in the peculiar figurative language used in the opening address. A synopsis of this venerable service is not only interesting but also valuable. “Standing, dearest brethren, on the bank of this crystal-clear font, bring ye from the land to the shore new-comers to ply the traffic whereof they have need. Let all who embark on this voyage make their way over this new sea, not with rod, but with the cross; not with traveller’s staff, but in sacramental mystery. The place is small but full of grace. Happy hath been the pilotage of the Holy Spirit. Therefore let us pray the Lord God that He will sanctify this font, and make it a laver of blessed regeneration in the remission of all sins; through the Lord.” Then follows (1), Praefatio antequam exorcidietur; (2), Collectio; (3), Exorcismus aquae fontis; (4), Praefatio ad benedicendum fontis; (5), Benedictio fontis; (6), Contestatio fontis; (7), Postea facis cruces super aquam de chrisma et dicis; (8), Interrogatio; (9), the act of baptism itself, Baptizo te credentem in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, ut habeas vitam aeternam in saecula saeculorum; (10), Infusio chrismae; (11), Ad pedes lavandos; (12), Post baptismum.

The best account of the liturgy of the sixth century is preserved in the Sacramentaries of Gelasius and Gregory. It was very much the same as the more ancient liturgies (only more lengthy), with this notable exception that it was rather arranged for children than for adults. And it is stated that a great deal of pomp attended the administration of Baptism. At 2 P. M., the clergy and people assembled, the ministers being clothed in the usual vestments. The ministers went within the sacrarium and a lighted taper was held at each corner of the altar. The choir sang the Litania Septena; a reader went up to the ambon and read eight Scripture lessons, after each lesson a collect was sung, and before the last lesson was sung the collect, “Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks.” A procession was formed from the altar, ad fontem, with the taper-bearers, a minister carrying the ampulla of consecrated oil. At the font, the bishop was supported by a deacon on each side. The prayers for the benediction of the font were said by the bishop, who at one place


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divided the water (with his hands) in the form of a cross; at another place, he held a lighted taper in the water; at another place, he breathed upon the water three times; at another place, he poured in chrism in the form of a cross, and spreading it with his hands. Then those who presented children were asked, “Vi baptizari?” Response, “Volo.” This question was, however, preceded by four questions, into which the creed* was divided for this purpose. Then the children were baptized, first the boys, then the girls, with the words of Christ, “Ego baptizo te in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.” One of the priests now made the sign of the cross, with chrism, on the crown of the head, saying, “Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath regenerated thee by water and the Holy Ghost, and hath given thee remission of all thy sins, anoint thee with the chrism of salvation unto eternal life. Amen.” Then all the newly baptized were confirmed, their names being given them in the confirmation. The service was concluded with the Holy Communion, which was administered to infants as well as to others. This was likely a very primitive service; and upon it were founded all the leading mediaeval offices for baptism. But the service was still made far more lengthy by the addition of many ceremonies and symbolic rites. Hence the liturgy for baptism was finally divided into three parts: “Ordo ad faciendum Catechumenum,” “Benedictio Fontis,” and “Ritus Baptizandi.”

Footnote: * See Hoefling’s discussion on the development of the Creed, Vol. I. p. 208.


The Church administered the sacrament of Holy Baptism to infants in the same way as to adults, only in the case of infants sponsors made reply for the child; and this is how the custom of having sponsors came into vogue. So closely was the regular order of service followed that children were not even relieved from the liturgical action of the catechumenate. In short, the entire service of the catechumenate was simply transferred over without change (except the addition of sponsors) and used for infant baptism. Hence it naturally followed that “child-communion” was practiced, which was the general custom since the third century, and is still the custom of the Eastern churches. The early Church regarded confirmation as the title given to the unction which accompanies baptism; and the Eastern Church so holds it to-day. But the Western Church finally made confirmation the title given to the open adoption of the Christian faith


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and life in maturer years. And this change laid the foundation for catechetical instruction before confirmation, as we have it today. But the separation of baptism and confirmation also brought about another important change; namely, as originally constituted, baptism could only be administered by a bishop; but after these services were separated, the privilege of administering this Sacrament was at once extended to presbyters, soon to deacons, then to laymen, and finally also to women—in case of extreme necessity. But the liturgical acts of the catechumenate and of baptism itself were united into one service. And also since the practice of infant baptism was almost universal, the tendency, as Höfling says, was to draw together the liturgical acts of the catechumenate, of adult baptism, and of infant baptism, into one complete service. Traces of this are visible in some liturgies for baptism at this very day: for instance, the expression in many liturgies is still made; “The Lord preserve thy coming in and thy going out,” which was in ancient times addressed to the competentes who for the first time entered the Church privileged to take part in the entire Service.

The intention of the early Church in the strict discipline of the catechumenate was no doubt good; the idea of instruction was all right. But to keep the children out of the fold, which Christ prepared as much for them as for adults, was certainly all wrong. This wrong notion, together with the corruptions that crept into the Church and her liturgy, as Roman Catholicism began to rise, divested baptism of much of its Scriptural meaning, and at the same time well-nigh ruined the rite of confirmation. For, during the Reformation, when the reconstruction of the Church was going on, confirmation was almost abrogated for a time; and Protestants seemed opposed to it because the papacy had declared it to be a sacrament, second in order to baptism. And it is hardly too much to say that the abuse of the ancient catechumenate, together with the Romish ex opere operato doctrine concerning the sacraments, were the leading things which made the Christian life so low during the Middle Ages.

When the Reformation came on, we find that the liturgy for baptism was well based upon Scripture, and the historical liturgies of the Church, but so intermixed with symbolical ceremonies, and surrounded by false doctrines, that the true significance of the sacrament was almost hidden from view. For, while the an-


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cient Church used a long liturgy, and administered the sacrament with many symbolic rites, she kept the true meaning of baptism before the people. The Romish Church placed more stress upon the power of the Church in administering the sacrament, than upon the Word of God, together with instruction and admonition, as did the early Church.

Luther’s first Taufbuechlein (1523) was simply a translation of liturgies then in use. But it is evident that he selected with great care and wonderful wisdom the liturgies from which he made his translation. And even then, the result was not such as he personally liked, but on account of the weakness of many consciences, he did not deem it prudent, at that time, to revise the liturgy, which contained many ceremonies that obscured the simplicity of this sacrament. But in 1526, he published his second Taufbuechlein, from which he omitted the distinctively Romish features. This liturgy was based on the Scriptural idea of Holy Baptism, and is in accordance with the ancient usage of the Church. This Service was at once received with favor. Its influence was immeasurable. The numerous independent Kirchenordnungen of the Reformation period almost without exception and with but the slightest changes give it as their form for the administration of the sacrament. The Order of Baptism in the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England was largely determined by it,* and through this liturgy its influence has also been felt in many other parts of the Christian Church. No liturgy framed independently of this order of Luther’s, has been satisfactory; as is evident from the fact that these newer liturgies have continually been undergoing alteration, or else have been discarded altogether. Luther’s liturgy makes the most emphatic distinction between sin and grace—between the kingdom of Satan and the Savior’s kingdom. As above indicated more than a hundred of the leading Lutheran liturgies of the 16th and 17th centuries contain no other form befit this, with occasional local variata. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the disposition was just as strong to cling to this form which Luther arranged from the ancient sources. And the very latest Agenda almost invariably give it first place under this head of services. The Dresden Lit. Con. (1854), composed of representatives from Bavaria, Hannover, Würtemberg, and both Mecklenburgs, unanimously

Footnote: * See especially Dr. Jacobs’ Lutheran Movement in England, Chap. XXI.


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agreed upon this form. The Prussian Church, though composed of Lutheran and Reformed, yet in 1894 adopted this as her first form, which is worthy of note since the Prussian Union Church probably represents more scholarship than any one branch of the Church in the world. And since the spirit of the Lutheran Church is conservative, not revolutionary, being disposed to keep in the line of history in so far as this is not contrary to the Word of God, this form should ever be retained.

The only part of Luther’s second Taufbuechlein that has furnished the basis of much discussion is the matter of addressing the questions, some contending that they should not be addressed to the child, but to the sponsors.* But by far the larger majority of theologians have always been decidedly against such a change. The Lutheran Church baptizes a child, not because it is presented


Footnote: * The Cologne Liturgy of 1543 addresses the questions to the sponsors. The Erbach Agende of 1560 omits all questions. The Augsburg Kirchenordnung of the first half of the 16th century omits the questions. The Austrian Liturgy of 1571 addresses all questions to the sponsors. The Strassburg Kirchenordnung of 1598 addresses all questions to the sponsors. This is also the case with many Liturgies that are in use in the United States. The eight Liturgies of the Pennsylvania and the New York Ministeriums all address the questions to the sponsors. And again in 1860 the Ministerium adopted an order for baptism, in which all the questions are addressed to the sponsors. The English Liturgy of the joint Synod of Ohio, adopted in 1874, also addresses the questions to the sponsors; but the German Agende, however, has two forms—the first addresses all the questions to the child, and the other, all questions are addressed to the sponsors. In 1855 a change was also made in the Swedish Liturgy in which all questions to the child were omitted; but after the confession of the Creed the sponsors were asked, “Do you desire that this child shall be baptized into this Christian faith, and through its baptism, shall be received into the fellowship of Christ and His Church?” In 1895 the Swedish Augustana Synod adopted the same form. And the Lutheran Church in Iceland has no questions at all. But the orders prepared by Luther addressed all the questions before baptism to the child; and Hoefling, who is the greatest authority on this subject, strongly defends this form of address. The latest Liturgy adopted by the General Synod (at York, Pa. in 1899) addresses all questions to the sponsors, otherwise it is a translation of Luther’s second Taufbuechlein. The Church of Prussia (Germany), in its form adopted in 1895, has its first form arranged with all the questions addressed to the child, which are to be answered by the sponsors. The Liturgy of the General Council is arranged with all the questions addressed to the child; this Liturgy is also based upon Luther’s second Taufbuechlein, with additions from the, Kirchenordnung of Duke Henry of Saxony, 1539; the KO of Saxe-Coburg, 1626; Wuertemberg KO, 1553; Brandenburg-Nuernberg KO, 1533. The United Synod South also uses a translation of Luther’s second Taufbuechlein, and addresses all questions to the child.


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by any one, but solely upon Christ’s own command. It is also claimed that a change of the liturgy would actually create two baptisms; one for infants, and another for adults. Also that such a change in the liturgy is only desired by the rationalist who wishes to reduce everything to the level of his own reason. These differences of opinion in regard to the liturgy come from differences of belief concerning what is known as “infant faith,” which, after all, does not absolutely necessitate the questions addressed to the sponsors, no matter which view is taken.


Authorities consulted: The International Cyclopædia, The Encyclopædia Britannica, The Lutheran Quarterly, The Lutheran Church Review, Baptizein by E. GERFERN, The Lutheran Movement in England by JACOBS, The Annotated Book of Common Prayer by J. H. BLUNT, The Lutheran Cyclopedia, The History of the Christian Church by P. SCHAFF, The Ante Nicene Fathers, the Didache, Dictionary of Christian Antiquities by SMITH AND CHEETHAM, Christian Institutions by A. P. STANLEY, Das Sakrament der Taufe by HÖFLING, and, Theses on the Order of Baptism by H. PETERS AND DR. E. J. WOLF.

Chief authority:—HÖFLING.



Allegheny, Pa.