Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mass &c

These January days, lately, are long. Well, they are short in terms of sun light, but you know what I mean. It seems I am not accomplishing anything some days, outside of work. Tomorrow, I have a day off, & I plan on using it to try to catch up on some matters that have been waiting on deck for me.

One of the redeeming aspects of many of these work days is the Mass. Can there be a better way of starting one's day? Last Saturday we had Mass for St. Timothy's Feast. Yesterday, my Polycarpian pastor celebrated Mass on Saint Polycarp's traditional feast. So it was very meaningful for us. Today we have Mass for the feast of St. John Chrysostom (which means I have to get ready to leave soon to catch the bus). And tomorrow we have Mass for Saint Agnes' Second Feast. The sanctoral cycle is alive & well after all. Thank God for His gift of the Blessed Eucharist, and the rich evangelical treasure of the Holy Mass.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a fortunate night on the East Side

Ruth & I ate dinner tonight at Chin’s on Locust. Just thought I’d share our fortunes here. Mine was “When one door closes, another will open.” Ruth said, That’s true, because in our house, you have to close the bathroom door before you can open the bedroom door. Her fortune was “A romantic mystery will soon add interest to your life.” Ruth said that sounds like we will soon see a romantic movie.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

what I've been up to

I woke up this morning and realized that I was actually dreaming about the rubrics of the Mass. That is because of a little project I've been working on. I am assembling a Lutheran Mass booklet, which will have several forms of Mass: English Low Mass, Latin Low Mass, English Sung Mass, Latin Sung Mass, prayers for preparation for Mass, thanksgiving after Mass, vesting prayers, and maybe another feature or two. The purpose, the reason, the occasion, for this endeavor, is that while I do not condemn what Paul McCain calls the "accepted worship resources" of the LCMS, such as the LSB (though of course I condemn aspects thereof), it is a plain truth that the LSB dropped the ball in its efforts to preserve the Common Service tradition in its "Setting Three." That is, traditionalists ought to have available to them a consistently traditional form of the traditional liturgy. It would also be very good to have a resource which will enable and encourage the increased celebration of Low Mass. The Mass settings in the hymn book at best must be adapted for such a purpose, and our churches and schools ought not be left guessing as to just how to do this. So I'm just about finished with this project.

(To be clear, it is in no way a missal. We could use one, and my friend, Deacon Muhlenbruch, has been talking about perhaps working on one. For such a development I pray.)

My prayer book project is just about ready for public eyes, but I am looking into getting it illustrated.

At my parish, we have been continuing to keep saints' feasts with the Holy Mass. The weekday morning Low Mass, as I have said before, is a wonderful evangelical practice, which more of our churches will surely be inspired to introduce as they see how the Spirit of God is working through it in the churches that use it. My pastor's practice in regard to the Low Mass is getting smother and smoother all the time, and I'm grateful that he's so willing to expand his liturgical practice in this regard. Last week, on the 13th we had the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, then on the 14th the Feast of Saint Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, who fell asleep in 368. Yesterday, the 19th, we had the Feast of Saints Marius, Martha, Audifax, & Abachum, who were martyred in 270. Tomorrow, the 21st, we will keep the Feast of Saint Agnes, a virgin who was martyred in 304.

I have also been busy with various other writing projects, all of which I wish I were not so behind on. And most of all, I have been shelving and selling books at the infamous Downtown Books, on the corner of Milwaukee & Wisconsin.

I have more on which to blog, but must do that later, perhaps tonight.

Until then, press on through this winter, and remember that there is much to be enjoyed even in winter. I'm even thinking I'd like to go ice skating down at Red Arrow Park before winter is over.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Talking Theology With Friends

My thanks to Fr. Dustin Anderson for sharing this picture with me. I like it because it brings to mind that I do have many good memories of my time in Fort Wayne. I made many good friends there. I must say, in particular, that this photo captures some (many others could be listed as well) of those friends which I treasure most precisely because they are true and passionate theologians. Theology results not from jumping through bureaucratic hoops, but it results from truly struggling, wrestling, and arguing with the Word, and having your whole being altered because that Word finally has His way with you. That is the approach to theology which the men in this picture take, men like David Preus, Mark Preus, Ed Killian, Mike Grieve, and Dustin Anderson.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Milwaukee Ale House Christmas Tree

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, just when you were beginning to think that Christmas was gone for the season, I would like to share this image with you. Last Friday, Ruth and I dropped in at the Milwaukee Ale House for the Friday Fish Fry, and not far from our table I noticed this most unusual Christmas tree. Of all the non-Christmas tree Christmas trees I have ever seen, this one might be the coolest. It was one of those many moments I have had since moving back here, in which I wished that I had a camera. Then, I noticed that over at MKEimages.com they have posted a picture of it. So here it is. Of course you can't fully appreciate it unless you are there, just as you can't fully appreciate the food, beer, and atmosphere at the Milwaukee Ale House by merely reading about it. So the next time you are in Milwaukee, drop in for a sandwich & a pint, as well as some good live music.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

An Excellent Macroanalysis of LSB

Over at the blog, Lutheran Theology, Father John Paul Salay, Ph.D., who is an outstanding liturgical scholar and theologian, has provided an excellent assessment of Lutheran Service Book. Fr. Salay is a hypereducated liturgist, especially for a modern American Lutheran, and his perspective is informed by a sensitivity and appreciation for genuine liturgical renewal which preserves the organic development of liturgical tradition. I commend his article to all readers.