Lutheran Essentials meets in the undercroft of the church on Wednesday evenings at 7pm. You can reach the undercroft by going around to the back parking lot of the church and descending the staircase to the kitchen. Knock on the door if it is closed and some one will let you in. You can also join us remotely via our livestream. Our current study is on “Ceremony and Celebration” by Paul H. D. Lang. We are handing out copies of the book for free as well as copies of the Book of Concord and the Lutheran Service Book.
We will open class with Psalm 121 and our catechism lesson will be on the Sacrament of the Altar. We will then read Chapter II: Ritual and Ceremonial (pg. 6-14). We will discuss what rituals and ceremonies are and why they are necessary. We will then look at historical considerations when it comes to rituals and ceremonies, looking especially at the Old Testament Church. We will then talk about how ritual and ceremony relate to faith, namely that worship style and practice both expresses and reinforces doctrine. We will then sing the hymn “I Love Your Kingdom, Lord” (LSB 651).
We will go on to read Chapter III: The Lutheran Position on Ceremonial (pg. 15-23). We will look at several references in the Book of Concord that relate to ceremonial, illustrating that the Lutheran Reformation was a conservative one. We will then talk about adiaphora and how it relates to ceremonies and practices in the Church. We will discuss how uniformity in practice is valuable for the sake of confession and catechesis. After discussing these things we talk about how are to take a Gospel centered attitude with respect to rites and ceremonies. We will close with the hymn “The Church’s One Foundation” (LSB 644).
As always new people are always welcome to this study at any point during the class. Please talk to the Pastor, Elders or Paul Edmon if you have any questions.