Sunday, May 06, 2007

He Keeps Me Singing

Hooray, no Gravy Song this week. I thought it was the hymn of the month and I'd have to chuckle for three more weeks. But new month, new music.

The Choir sang He Keeps Me Singing today. It has a barber shop type harmony and a very lively piano accompaniment. While singing that song, I started wondering if any other Lutheran church in the country would be singing barber shop harmony today.

I guess I was day dreaming more than that. I started longing for my lunch and thought about going to the grocery store across the street for a ham steak and some hash browns, onions, and green peppers. When I got home, I discovered that I had forgotten to eat my breakfast. No wonder I was hungry.

The pastor is away at the synod convention today. Our bishop granted our parish nurse the privilege of presiding over the communion.


  1. I have some real struggles with the idea of lay seems to be an innovation without grounding in historic practice. I've never understood why bishops would grant such a thing rather than simply have churches celebrate a Service of the Word.

  2. I understand the requirement of ordained clergy presiding over Holy Communion is to ensure good order, but a lay people can do far more damage preaching and no one says anything about that. As long as the Gospel is preached, go for it. Clergy have no special power.

  3. I don't think the issue is either doing damage or about having special power. I think it really is about the office of ministry. While some reformation texts argue the "good order" only line of reasoning, others push ordination in a more sacramental direction. I am thinking of the Wittenburg Ordination rite, which refers to ordination as a second sanctification. One could argue, by extension, that this is the thing necessary for presidency at the altar. The confessions themselves seem to contradict one another in the matter of ordination and what it means (ie is it a sacrament itself), but in my estmation, it seems that the church is well advised to preserve activities such as sacramental ministries to the clergy.

    As an aside: I would even extend this into preaching. If a lay person is to speak at our church, I ask to see a copy of what they are going to say in advance.

  4. Still laughing about the gravy song....and on another note entirely (ba dum bump) I tagged you for a meme. See my place.

  5. I don't know this for a fact, but I'm guessing that our bishop doesn't grant the communion priviledge to just anybody. The woman who presided has been our parish nurse for many years and leads many of the spiritual groups in our church.

  6. lutherpunk,
    Would you suggest, then, that a seminary intern would need to have their sermon approved by their supervisor before they preach?

    As for preserving "activities such as sacramental ministries to the clergy." I partially agree with you. I believe clergy are called and ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. But in extreme situations it is perfectly alright for lay people to preside at communion and preach the word. After all, it is the proclamation of the Gospel that is important.

    But there also needs to be some supervision. I would want to make sure a lay person was trained and knew what they were doing at the Table. As for reviewing a sermon before hand, that would depend on the person. A synodically trained lay person I would trust. Someone who was not trained I would have some more conversation with.


And what do you think?