I love the historic lectionary. The rhythm of the readings, the Psalms and Introits, the use of traditional hymnody that speaks references it directly, it flows in a way that is beautiful, reverent and stirring. It stirs up the faith, just as the historic collects remind us as we prepare for Adventtide.
That is why I am so utterly mystified by confessional Lutheranism today.
As Rev. McCain pointed out to us in a recent survey his offered in connection with Cyberbrethren, there is little uniformity amongst practitioners of the historic lectionary. This is no surprise. Since no major publishing house has really supported it in a couple generations, those of us who use it are left to our own devices to come up with translations and practices that fit our given parishes. I can understand that, but it doesn’t make me happy.
But that’s not the real problem. The real problem as I see it is this:
1. While it is in the hymnal, it isn’t really supported or “resourced” by Concordia Publishing House, beyond the production of the lectionary book for LSB.
2. It isn’t taught or supported in any meaningful way to my knowledge at either seminary. I am very happy to be proven wrong on this.
3. It’s been dropped from the Thrivent Calendar, and I don’t believe it is in the more recent CPH pastor’s calendar either.
4. It is not only not taught or “resourced”, I hear pretty consistent anecdotal evidence that it is specifically disdained by liturgical scholars throughout the synod.
Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not pointing fingers, trying to start a fight, incite liturgical or lectionary rebellion, or in any other way be difficult. It’s really this simple:
I DON’T GET IT
Why? Is it marketing? Is it money? Is it ecumenism with other churches today? Why is there not only a lack of interest, but a near irrational hostility to this lectionary? What is the deal?
Please. Help me out here. This is truly a mystery to me.