With the advent of Gutenberg's printing press (about 1450), the bulk production of liturgical books accelerated the liturgical changes that
White, Protestant Worship, 41.
"Concerning the Ministry," Luther's Works, XL, 11.
The Catholic priest administered seven sacraments, while the Protestant pastor only administered two (baptism and the Eucharist). However, both priest and pastor were viewed as having the exclusive authority of proclaiming the Word of God. For Luther, the use of clerical robes, candles on the altar, and the attitude of the minister while praying were matters of indifference (Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 7:489). But though he was indifferent about them, he did advise that they be retained (Senn, Christian Liturgy, 282). Hence, they are still with us today.
This liturgy was published in his German Mass and Order of Service in the year 1526. n Senn, Christian L/turgy, 282-283.
Notice the sermon was both preceded by and followed by singing and prayer. Luther believed that sandwiching the sermon with songs strengthened the sermon and provided a devotional response to it (Senn, Christian Liturgy, 306). Most of the songs sung in Luther's German Mass were versifications of Latin liturgical chants and creeds. (Versification is making verse out of prose.) To Luther's credit, he himself wrote about 36 hymns (Luther's Works, LIII). And he was a genius at taking contemporary songs and redeeming them with Christian lyrics. His feeling was, "Why let the devil have all the good tunes?" MarveJ. Dawn, Reaching Out without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 189. (Note that others have been credited with this quote also, William Booth of the Salvation Army being one of them.)
the Reformers attempted to make.' Those changes were now set to movable type and printed in mass quantity.
The Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) made a few of his own reforms that helped shape today's order of worship. He replaced the altar table with something called "the Communion table" from which the bread and wine were administered.' He also had the bread and cup carried to the people in their pews using wooden trays and cups."
Most Protestant churches still have such a table. Two candles typically sit upon it—a custom that came directly from the ceremonial court of Roman emperors." And most carry the bread and cup to the people seated in their pews.
Zwingli also recommended that the Lord's Supper be taken quarterly (four times a year). This was in opposition to taking it weekly as other Reformers advocated.' Many Protestants follow the quarterly observation of the Lord's Supper today. Some observe it monthly.
Zwingli is also credited with championing the "memorial" view of the Supper. This view is embraced by mainstream American Protestantism." It is the view that the bread and cup are mere symbols of Christ's body and blood." Nevertheless, aside from these variations, Zwingli's liturgy was not much different from Luther's." Like Luther, Zwingli emphasized the centrality of preaching, so much so that he and his coworkers preached fourteen times a week."
Senn, Christian Liturgy, 300.
Hardman, History of Christian Worship, 161. On this point, Frank Senn writes, "In Reformed churches, the pulpit dominated the altar so totally that in time the altar disappeared and was replaced by a table used for Holy Communion only a few times a year. The preaching of the Word dominated the service. This has been taken as a consequence of the so-called rediscovery of the Bible. But the rediscovery of the Bible was the invention of the printing press, a cultural phenomenon" (Christian Worship, 45). Senn, Christian Liturgy, 362; White, Protestant Worship, 62. B Jungmann, Early liturgy, 132-133,291-292; Smith, From Christ to Constantine, 173. Senn, Christian Liturgy, 363. White, Protestant Worship, 60.
Zwingli's view was more complex than this. However, his idea of the Eucharist was not as "high" as that of Calvin or Luther (Maxwell, Outline of Christian Worship, 81). Zwingli is the father of the modern Protestant view of the Lord's Supper. Of course, his view would not be representative of the "liturgical" Protestant churches, which celebrate both Word and Sacrament weekly. Zwingli's order of service is listed in Senn, Christian Liturgy, 362-364. White, Protestant Worship, 61.
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