Our Father

The celebrant, still facing the altar, holds his hands high over his head as the deacon and subdeacon (facing center) and server (at the rail) kneel from this point until they have communed. Now the celebrant chants the Our Father. At “deliver us . . .” he and the attendants cross themselves. While the congregation chants “For Thine . . .,” the celebrant takes both front corners of the corporal between his thumbs and index fingers, and gently rubs them on either side of it.

It is fitting, notwithstanding Piepkorn's discouragement of this practice, to ring the bells of the church for the Our Father, as this highlights its consecratory nature.

The placing of the Our Father before the Verba is a distinctly Lutheran feature--one might even call it an innovation--which nevertheless has held sway in our churches for half a century. In spite of the longevity of the reverse order, I prefer this, as it serves to imply its consecratorial use, as is proper.

It is also noted here that the canon of the mass is omitted in the Lutheran rite, though McLean allows for its inclusion. With Luther (and St. Gregory himself, actually), I prefer to see the Our Father alone as being sufficient. St. Gregory admits to its being alone consecratorial, in contradistinction to the other prayers of the canon.

The celebrant's chanting of the Our Father alone (as provided in TLH and in LSB setting three) is also consistent with its consecratorial nature, and is therefore to be preferred.


Father Eckardt said...

The matter of the Our Father as the canon needs considerable discussion and, I believe, promotion. This was the view of Gregory the Great, and I expect a study of the history could uncover a great many in agreement. Then the question arises, is the Lutheran liturgy justified in altering the arrangement at this point, i.e, placing it before the Verba and omitting the rest of the canon?

Chris said...


I had read in George Weckman's book "My Brother's House" that Piepkorn had revised a form of the canon of the Mass which was used at St. Augustine's House. Is this true, and if so, where would I find a copy of it?


Fr. BF Eckardt, Editor-in-chief, Gottesdienst