Full Text for Lutheran Worship 2- Volume 24 - The Ordinaries of the Liturgy (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY LUTHERAN WORSHIP 2 24.LW2 Captioning provided By: Caption First, Inc. P.O. Box 1924 Lombard, IL 60148 ******** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. ******** >> JOSHUA: As long as we are asking about technical terms, I would like to understand better the ordinaries and why they are part of the historic liturgy. >> DR. ARTHUR JUST: Thank you, Joshua. We need to talk about the ordinaries because in many ways, when we look at the ordinaries, we are looking at what it is that we, as the people of God, do in response to the gifts that we receive. In a sense, this is our worship. This is where we give praise and thanksgiving to God. And they are fundamental to the worship life of the church. In the earliest Christian committees, the ordinaries were very simply these: the Kyrie and Gloria that were part of the entrance rite, and the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei that surrounded the liturgy of the Lord's Supper. Later on, in the medieval period, there are two other things that were added that we now call ordinaries, the Creed, which doesn't come in until about the year 1,000, and then the hymn of the day, which is really something that is a post-Reformation ordinary. And so when I talk about the ordinaries, now, in this early period, I'm only going to talk about the Kyrie, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei. Now, these are Latin words. And let me explain what they mean. The Kyrie comes from the word for Lord, and it's the acclamation, we could say, Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy. I'll explain more about it later, but it comes from the first word, Lord. The Gloria in Excelsis comes from the hymn of the angels in Luke 2:14, glory to God in the highest. That's what Gloria in Excelsis means. And this is the great hymn of the Angels at the birth of Jesus. The Sanctus comes from the word holy. We've already talked about this. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabbath, the words of Isaiah 6. And the Agnus Dei are the words translated, Lamb of God, the words of John the Baptist in John Chapter 1 verse 29 where in seeing Jesus, he says, behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Now, one of the things that I want to press upon you from the beginning is that these four hymns are biblical texts. They also have some liturgical language that is added to them, but they come from the scriptures. And they are inspired by the scriptures. And as I said before, the ordinaries are our responses. One of the things that you're going to see in the early Christian church is that they were very careful about what they said back to God. In the introduction to Lutheran Worship, Norman *Nagels speaks about how our Lord speaks, and we speak back to him what he has given us to say. And one of the things that we want to do when we respond to God in our praise and thanksgiving, is we want to say things to God that are true. We want to say things that reflect what we believe. And certainly, the best place to get something that we know is true is from the scriptures itself. So when our Lord speaks to us, we respond back to him with words that are from the scriptures like the psalms and like these ordinaries. Those words of Norman *Nagle are so beautiful that they are worth repeating, and I'm going to read this to you right now. But when I do, I want you to hear where he refers to the ordinaries. And what the ordinaries do, and I'll give you that language right here and then you can hear it in its context. What the ordinaries do is acknowledge the gifts received with eager thankfulness and praise. That's what the ordinaries are all about, our acknowledgment in these wonderful liturgical hymns based on the scriptures where we acknowledge, give thanks, praise God for the gifts that we have received. Now, here are the words from the introduction to Lutheran Worship by Norman *Nagle. He says, "Our Lord speaks, and we listen. His word bestows what it says. Faith that is born from what is heard acknowledges the gifts received with eager thankfulness and praise. Music is drawn into this thankfulness and praise enlarging and elevating the adoration of our gracious giver God. Saying back to him what he has said to us, we repeat what is most true and sure. The rhythm of our worship is from him to us and then from us back to him. He gives his gifts and together, we receive and extol them. We build one another up as we speak to one another in Psalms and hymns and spirituals songs. We are heirs of an astonishingly rich tradition. Each generation receives from those who went before and in making that tradition of the divine service its own, adds what is best that may serve in its own day, the living heritage and something new." These liturgical hymns are our responses to the gifts. And as you can see, they are so deeply biblical, and they have been sung by Christians for at least 1,600 years. And in the case of something like the Sanctus, it goes back all the way to the time of our Lord who probably sang it in the synagogue liturgy. In other words, for over 1,000 years, Christians have been singing these hymns in response to the gifts that they have received. And that is why we must look at them very carefully to see what it is that they say and how it is that they reflect so beautifully what it is that we want to say back to God as we acknowledge, with thanksgiving, these gifts from him.