Full Text for Lutheran Worship 2- Volume 65 - Confessional Principles and Worship Music (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY LUTHERAN WORSHIP 2 65.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. ******** >> PAUL: Thank you for your response to Nick�s question. Along those same lines, how do the confessional principles assist with choices about music for worship? >> DR. JAMES BRAUER: OK, Paul. This is where we want to get with the pastoral decisions of working with a congregation about choices of music. That's the reason we have principles to work from. So that the central principle is obviously that justification is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This is what we hold up to be believed. So our fifth principle about the purpose of worship is obviously then going to work from that to offer continually what God gives in forgiveness, life, salvation and which we believe every time we gather. We also want to think in terms of what is that gift giving and what is the response because we're also going to ask for fruits of faith within that worship service. So music can serve both sides. And that's what we need to examine. How can it assist the gift? How can it assist the response? You can think of music as a tool, then, for serving this. It may be three kinds of music, shall we say. Two kinds have text, that which may be chanted, and you can distinguish that kind of music from what is sung that has a rhythmic background to it like a hymn, a psalm. And you can think of just purely instrumental music. Now, that middle category with congregation singing a song, it could also be a part of the congregation, a choir. So those are kind of the categories within which we work. And under the first category, chanted, that might be a single voice, a pastor. It may be the congregation singing something that doesn't have this rhythm of underpinning. Then we can ask for each of those moments that has a text or opportunity to use music -- and were going to focus first on text-assisted music. Does the music help the moment of the worship? Or does the music distract from it? Obviously, if music is powerful in that it can carry and present a message that's nonverbal in its own way, but powerful in connecting with emotions and causing people to have remembrances of other experiences with music or occasions, then we want to select music which does that helping side, and not distracting. Then we can also examine the text itself. Is this a form of text that helps to make clear what God says, or does it distort the message? Does it distract from the real message that God would like us to have? Does it make it fuzzy, or does the text really bring forth the doctrine and the way of life of God? So that's a theological question you ask of the text. So you can now divide the question about music into the musical questions and the text questions. In both cases, we want to use our *lex orandi, lex credendi principle which, simply put, is what people are going to be believing is what they hear and experience as text within the service, what they experience as the elements of worship. We want those to be entirely of God, Godly, fitting with what he said. So the pastor�s first response to the principle applied to music is to think is the text proper. If it's not proper, then it has no place. Then you ask how does the music assist the moment of worship. If it's to praise God, does it totally distract them because it's too powerful music, or it causes them to remember some other kind of occasion, then it's not very helpful, and it could be a distracting type of music and it won't fit. This connects now to our eighth principle, the one about culture. And we have to keep in mind that this is a continuous judgment, a use of critical reasoning and thinking along with your people every year. So it doesn't solidify, and it isn't just a repetition from one year, one decade to the next. This can change over time depending on the people. For the cultural adaptation of worship, the continuously keeping it meaningful and fitting to their way of living, causes us to rethink a lot of those questions. For example, in American society, and then globally of course, we had with Elvis Presley and his generation of music, a sudden incorporation into the popular music world a strong beat that runs the whole piece and a simplifying of melody, a simplifying of harmonic factors. If you would go to the music that came from the popular music world twenty or thirty years earlier, you would discover there was a much wider range of harmonic vocabulary and melodic moves. Because the beat drove it, and that was the central experience, and this was, you could observe, borrowed from the African way of designing music, as opposed to the European way of making melodies when many melodies at once, the polyphony, that particular factor being brought as a central structure to the piece changed it significantly. So the generations that followed that grew up, and that is their kind of natural habitat for music, they're going to be looking for that be quality. In fact, it's kind of surprising that Lutheran Worship in the two canticles that we know on Page 158, the Divine Service II, Setting One, introduced music for "This is the Feast," a brand new text that is beat driven. Likewise, "Thank the Lord and sing his praise," after Holy Communion is beat driven music. Now, I don't know anybody in my circles that thinks of it that way, but I can just tell you it's very clear when you examine it comparing to what was in the Lutheran Hymnal for those kind of texts. They were not beat driven, but suddenly it was. And this was by a more artistic kind of composer Richard *Heller and this is true of other compositions for the service. So this cultural fit is a changing thing, depending on who you have. We'll be talking more about it later. But we want the music to serve, to make clear what God offers in Jesus Christ, and to express in a way that seems fitting to the people that gather with you and express their thankfulness to God in their prayers. And that's a fit you have to continually work at it.