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Sorry, One-Year Lectionary Users

November 22nd, 2008
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The survey about the use of the one-year lectionary has provided some very fascinating information. Several hundred people have responded. Sadly, however, it is proving quite dramatically that Concordia Publishing House can not offer much by way of resources for the one year lectionary. Why?

Users of the one-year lectionary are all over the map on their choice of Bible translation: ESV, NIV, NKJV, NASB, AAT. Comments such as: "We would use resources for the one year series, but only if they are in the NKJV" or "Only if they were in AAT" or "Only if they were in the NASB."

Users of the one-year lectionary said they would probably not buy bulletin covers designed for the one-year series, not enough anyway to make it practical to do. They would not want a one-year lectionary Bible study unless it was in…yup, their favorite Bible translation, which, as I said, is all over the map.

And finally, there is no unanimity on which lectionary, precisely, one-year series users are talking about. Most who responded to the survey are using the LSB one-year lectionary.

And finally, the number of persons using the one year lectionary are in the minority compared to those using the three-year lectionary; ironically, even on a survey that specifically is asking one-year users to speak up, and speak out.

So, there you have it. Given the diversity of practice among one-year series users, and relatively low numbers of one-year lectionary users, it is not possible to offer much more for them than an actual lectionary book. I found the diversity and lack of uniformity in practice among one-year users to be a surprise.

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Categories: CPH Resources
  1. November 22nd, 2008 at 20:36 | #1

    How sad. Why can’t we all be on the same page?

  2. November 22nd, 2008 at 20:53 | #2

    That doesn’t surprise me at all. My hope is that in the next years as LSB continues to take hold, that the practices will stabilize, but time will tell. Thanks for doing it. I appreciate it very much.
    Todd Peperkorn

  3. Pastor Tom Rank
    November 22nd, 2008 at 21:27 | #3

    Hi Paul,
    I’m not really surprised by the lack of uniformity from the one-year series followers. No major publishing house has really done much of anything for the historic series for several decades. I doubt most seminaries give much more than passing commentary about the series. (I’m willing to be proven wrong about that.) The three year series has sadly become dominate — sadly, in my opinion, because a new generation of Lutheran pastors has now been raised outside the weekly sermons of Luther, Walther, and others. Certainly these sermons of the fathers have not been completely ignored, but are they major resources? Probably not if you’re using other texts, and no longer even use the pre-Lent texts (-gesima Sundays), for example. Yes, most of the historic series texts may be found in the 3 year series (I would guess so, anyway), but not for the same Sundays, themes, etc. I’m afraid we cut ourselves off of almost 500 years of an important part of our Lutheran heritage: the sermons.
    Pastor Thomas Rank
    Scarville, Iowa

  4. November 22nd, 2008 at 21:59 | #4

    With CPH not doing 1-year lectionary stuff, how hard is it going to be to get permission from CPH for someone outside of CPH to put stuff like that together?

  5. November 22nd, 2008 at 23:15 | #5

    Ironic enough, the primary reason for the lack of uniformity among we who use the 1-year lectionary is that we have been without resources for so long, that we who use it have found our own ways of making it happen. Having uniform resources available encourages uniformity among those who use it. The 1-year LSB book is a start in getting us on the same page, but too many have been doing it their own way for so long…. and you know the old joke… “How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb???” Punch-line: Change????

  6. Mark Buetow
    November 23rd, 2008 at 06:47 | #6

    Thanks for the clarification. Thanks even more for the comma in the post title! :-)

  7. November 23rd, 2008 at 14:17 | #7

    I am surprised at the lack of interest. However, I still think if you ofered bulletin covers with the One-year lectionary on the back you might interest more in the one year lectionary. I have not made use of it myself. I am considering going to the one year lectionary next year. If I do decide then I will have to cancel my subscription to the Every Sunday Bulletin Series.

  8. November 23rd, 2008 at 18:21 | #8

    But the 1-year series is the unified lectionary of the Entire Church Catholic! How can such diversity be?
    McCain: Beats me. Except it is not, but other than that, I have no idea how to account for such diversity. ; )

  9. November 23rd, 2008 at 21:24 | #9

    All sarcasm aside, the reason there is such diversity in practice is in part because Concordia Publishing House has not offered materials to support the historic lectionary, which is the only lectionary that has been in every hymnal that the LCMS has ever produced. Since pastors and congregations who are using our church’s hymnals receive no real support from the synod in terms of publications, we are each left to make it up. Of course it will be diverse.
    Offering electronic resources would be tremendously helpful, and very cost effective. Or if Concordia can’t or won’t, how about giving permission for someone else to do the same?
    I am continually befuddled by the lack of support for the traditional lectionary in confessional circles. our own three year lectionary is even more sectarian than the LW one. If we want to be ecumenical in the modern sense, the only real option is the RCL. I prefer to be ecumenical with the church of the past thousand years or more. It’s not perfect. It’s not everything. But at least I know where to go for sermon helps that are helpful.

  10. Ryan
    November 24th, 2008 at 09:40 | #10

    Thanks Paul for doing the survey, especially since I am the one who pushed for it.
    Its easy to push the blame on CPH isn’t it? There is no uniformity in the one-year series users because there are no resources? Now just wait, I can see a slight divergence between TLH, LW, and LSB users. Yet each has a lectionary so the translations out there should be KJV, NIV, ESV. And of course the materials by CPH will be the LSB lectionary and translation, how would you expect them not to be? I grumbled with the NIV and I grumble times with the ESV but I go with Synod – out of freedom – on this for the love of uniformity in Synod.
    There is truth that if the one-year had some support like bulletin covers et a.l that a more would use it, but I am surprised by the diversity and saddened when there are some uniform resources to rally around, albeit few. In some ways this smells closer to doing one’s own thing than catholicity, at least on a Synod level.

  11. November 26th, 2008 at 08:03 | #11

    The references to the readings are all in the computer and online. The translations are all available on computer and online. Making a webpage to generate a pdf with the preferred translation is not a big deal.

  12. Thomas Wm Winter
    November 26th, 2008 at 09:43 | #12

    If every “one-year” pastor were on the same page, would there be enough to consider working on materials? What if you needed only ten more…for the sake of ten…?
    Actually, I do believe that Ryan and Todd have a great point: Some good materials would provide a rallying point. The ongoing lack of materials has left people in the time of the judges; each doing his own thing.
    Perhaps if another party started producing some LSB-ESV one-year stuff, others would jump on board for the sake of unanimity. Then CPH could start with that and build on it.
    Thanks for the survey!!

  13. Rev. Jerry Gernander
    November 26th, 2008 at 09:54 | #13

    Very interesting. The variance in Bible translation is a sad comment not mainly on CPH, but on the state of affairs in American Christianity. I am willing to be proven wrong, but when everyone was raised on the KJV, wasn’t there a better common memorization of Bible verses? For this reason I can’t justify going wider afield than NKJV for the sake of the various generations of people I serve as pastor. (Our children still learn the Christmas gospel and the 23rd Psalm in the KJV.) Of course, this cuts me off from all the ESV-oriented, high-quality materials from CPH, such as Treasury of Daily Prayer.
    I think it is a serious problem that one can hardly have a Bible verse memorized in this Constantly Changing Bible Version Society. But I know that is not on the subject so …
    I find it interesting that many Lutherans can swear to be devoted to Bach’s cantatas — which are 100 percent based on the historic lectionary — then in some way can justify going away from, or in some way losing, the historic lectionary. What preachers do Bach’s cantatas help most, if not the ones using the historic lectionary? And Pastor Rank’s comments about the preaching resources from the history of the church are so on target. To say nothing of the preaching resources in the hymnody: For instance, goodbye to Wachet Auf Sunday in this way of doing things. How sad.
    Think of what is being missed!
    Pastor Jerry Gernander
    Bethany Lutheran Church (ELS), Princeton MN
    {{{McCain response: Jerry, I believe that nearly all the Gospels in the one year series, are in the three year series, so I can see Bach’s Cantatas being a helpful resource also for three year guys.}}}

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