Prayer of the Church

Piepkorn holds that the Prayer of the Church should always be the General Prayer as found in TLH. This custom has not prevailed in SBH, although it should be noted that a constancy in this prayer is greatly to be preferred, and at this juncture in particular a reversion to uniformity would be desirable.

That said, the General Prayer is not necessarily the best. My variation is to use the commonly employed responsive prayer, introduced by LBW and LW, which has the congregation responding to each petition with "hear our prayer." This make the Prayer of the Church into a sort of bidding prayer. The subdeacon gives the bid, the celebrant prays, and the people respond. Nevertheless, even this prayer ought to have a set agreed-upon formula.

5 comments:

Father Eckardt said...

I'm very interested in seeing what sort of variations are to be found in the Prayer of the Church. I expect there are many.

Venkman said...

I find it interesting that Piepkorn holds that the Prayer of the Church should always be TLH's General Prayer. Isn't the Prayer of the Church a proper? I've always felt conflicted on this issue because if it is a proper than how does it change from week to week? I know that a lot of pastors write their own prayers which change every Sunday, often based on the readings. Yet that seems like an awful lot of work.

Father Eckardt said...

It's either Piepkorn, McLean, or Lang that makes a point of saying that the Prayer of the Church should not be a reflection of what was said in the sermon, but follows a general pattern, as in all liturgical worship.

Rev Parent said...

My variation is to use the collects found in TLH "The Lutheran Liturgy" for any given Sunday or feast day as the basis or foundation for the prayer followed by a bid for the leadership of the Church, our country and its leaders, our seminaries, schools etc., our military, our adopted seminarian and family, the sick and shut-in, any deaths in the congregation, right reception of the Lord's Supper, and a closing. Each, except of course the closing, which has an appropriate termination, is followed by "Lord, in Your mercy..." and answered "hear our prayer." The bids also come from the same volume and are not ex corde. In this way we have the same foundational format every week much like praying the General Prayer but it is tailored more toward the theme of the day or season. Thus I am praying with the Church but also attending to my congregation's specific situation.

Father Eckardt said...

Very similar to our own practice . . .

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