In the two weeks since our initial request for field testing volunteers, we’ve been happy to receive nearly 150 responses. The map below displays the states in which clergy have signed up to use the temporal lectionary in congregational worship and provide feedback on a regular basis.
As you can see, we have congregations in 31 US states and 2 Canadian provinces who have signed on, and several more states (not indicated on the map) in which individuals have volunteered to read along with us and provide their feedback. The substantial majority of the congregations and individuals who have responded thus far are members of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod or of partner churches in other countries, but we have also heard from congregations and individuals in the ELCA, ELS, LCMC, NALC, WELS, several other Lutheran churches, as well as Anglicans and Roman Catholics. We’re glad to welcome everyone on board for this next year, and look forward to hearing your feedback.
We plan to send out the readings for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in the very near future, so if you haven’t yet signed up, please do so here, and pass it along to others who may be interested.
4 thoughts on “Field Testing Update”
Thank you for all your hard work on the missal. I’m really looking forward to it.
Please forgive my forgetfulness, but the field testing will be only the readings, correct? What you send out will not include introits, collects, etc.?
Yes, only readings at this point.
It occurs to me that many pastors planning advent services may be at a loss for *how to use* the readings given in the Field Testing. Secretaries asking what to put in the bulletin aren’t going to know what to do with this, as the field testing is not a drop-in replacement for the Advent service series that Lutheran publishing companies sell. What to do about an introit/psalm/gradual/verse, etc? Where are the advertising images and oriental trading gimmicks and prayer shawls?
Fortunately, the Lutheran Missal project described a bit of how this works in an earlier post. Forgetful/ignorant field testers like me likely need a refresher on how a “feria” is supposed to work (service of the sacrament that falls neither on a Sunday or a feast day):
I’m not (yet) able to have multiple midweek services, but I am planning on using some of these for midweek services during Advent. No, it is probably not the pristinely repristinated historical perfection of the perfectly, no-problems 1500’s Lutherans, but here it is anyway:
1 LSB propers for St Andrew (yet using the historic readings as uncovered by the missal project).
2 “Ferial” service as described in the linked blog post above, with readings for Advent 2 Weds from the missal project.
3 Ember Wednesday … with readings from missal project and propers from the brotherhood prayer book from Emmanuel Press (if you don’t own it, you should!).
4 LSB propers for St. Thomas (yet using the historic readings as uncovered by the missal project).
We’ll see how it goes. It might be a bit strange to try out this year, since two feasts fall on the Wednesdays, and that might make a different “feel” for how the texts progress as they’re read midweek. Nevertheless, thanks for your hard work.
You make a good point about some people possibly having difficulties in using the readings provided in the field testing materials. I have not personally used any Advent series put out by a seminary or publishing house, so that wasn’t quite on my radar. As you mentioned, hopefully the post on ferial masses was helpful, but it probably bears mentioning in the first of the weekly emails with the notes on the readings for the coming week.
The approach you describe to the other propers is the one we assume most people will follow for the time being. We hope that, by next Advent, we will be able to provide Introits, Graduals, Tracts, etc. from the Temporale for use, and likely also at least a lectionary for the Sanctorale. Most of the intervenient chants from Advent through Trinitytide will, like the Sunday lectionary, be nearly identical to those currently in use (apart from the differing translation), though the Tracts as provided by the Common Service are sometimes greatly reduced from the traditional medieval/Lutheran use, and will be provided in their original form.
Our hope is that, even though two apostles displace the Wednesday ferial readings in Advent this year, people will take a few moments to simply read through the ferial texts that aren’t being read in worship. That way, at the very least, one can have a feel for the historic progression of lessons. If you take a look at the lectionary booklet PDF that has been provided, you will see seasonal overviews at the beginning of each section, which try to give an overarching picture of how the readings for a particular season fit together and build upon one another.
Thanks for your comment, and for being a field tester!