Frequently Asked Questions

What is a missal?
A missal is a book that contains all of the readings, prayers, and other texts necessary for celebrating the mass (Divine Service).

Is the Lutheran Missal project associated with a particular church body?
While there is no official connection or endorsement by any church body, the editors and contributors are all clergy or laity within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

How will the Lutheran Missal differ from books like the existing Altar Book for Lutheran Service Book?
The Lutheran Missal will contain all of the necessary readings, collects, and propers for celebrating the Divine Service in a single book, while the current LSB Altar Book contains only collects and minor propers, with the lectionary in a separate volume. In addition, The Lutheran Missal will focus solely on the traditional one-year lectionary, and will have a substantially larger temporal lectionary that includes weekdays, as well as a greatly expanded sanctoral calendar.

What will the order of service look like in The Lutheran Missal?
The order of service will be the Order of Holy Communion from the Common Service of 1888, as found on page fifteen of The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) and Setting Three of Lutheran Service Book (2006), with the only change being an allowance for proper offertories and post-communion collects.

Will there be provisions for a Eucharistic Prayer?
There is no intention at this time of including a Eucharistic Prayer in the body of the service – see the previous question.

What kinds of sources do you rely on?
Our primary sources can be grouped into three broad categories:

  • Early medieval lectionaries, including Murbach, Würzburg, and Alcuin.
  • Late medieval missals, most of which are from northern Europe, focusing on Germanic dioceses, Scandinavia, and the Baltics, with the Low Countries, the British Isles, and parts of modern-day Poland, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria also included – these number about sixty in total. In addition, a scattered grouping of medieval missals has been consulted for specific saints. St. Ansgar, for example, was not well represented in our German sources, so additional records were drawn from Danish sources not otherwise cataloged.
  • Lutheran sources in Latin and German, ranging from the early sixteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century.

A list of the sources presently cataloged and consulted can be found here.

Why so many medieval sources?
When Lutherans began to revise the received medieval liturgical tradition, rather than providing an entirely new work like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, they were quite content to continue using the same Latin missals they had always used, simply omitting or altering problematic passages as necessary. If, for example, you consult the 1569 Church Order of Martin Chemnitz and Jakob Andreae for Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, you won’t find a book that reprints every collect and lection in full, but instead a set of instructions and guidelines on how to use the medieval missal that is already on the altar. In order to understand Lutheran liturgical practice in the years following the Reformation, it is necessary to understand the medieval books that they themselves were using.

Were there any Lutheran sources that provided everything in full?
Many of the extant Lutheran sources from the sixteenth and seventeenth century were focused primarily on music for the choir. So, for example, if you wanted to find the Magnificat antiphon for the Octave of the Epiphany, it would be very easy to find in any number of Lutheran sources. If, however, you wanted to find which readings were to be read at Mass on the Octave of the Epiphany, the pool of sources narrows considerably. Keep an eye out for an upcoming post discussing some of the early Lutheran sources.

What is the estimated date of completion?
As of fall 2022, we estimate five years until completion. We want to take the necessary time to present a thoroughly researched, well-ordered, and beautiful book for the use of the Church.

Is there any way that I can help?
Of course! Please leave your name and contact information in the form below.

More Questions?

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