Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Matins #182

Smoky Mountain Reflections #182

            I am going to use my reflection this month to talk about worship. This summer we will be offering a third worship opportunity during the Sunday school hour at 10:00. From a practical stand point this offers our congregation and our visiting summer guest more flexibility with a third worship time on Sundays. The service will be a bit shorter to avoid conflict with the two other services. We will use the Matins setting, two of the readings and two of the hymns from the divine service being used that day as well as the same sermon, the Lords supper will not be available at this service.

            So what is the Matins service. Early in the third century daily prayer offices became a regular part of the churches prayer and worship life. Matins grew out of this tradition. Matins means “of the morning” as it was the service that was used to begin the day at first light. The format of the service while ancient most of the elements in its current form is about 1200 years old.

            One of my favorite parts of this service aside from the fact that its music and words are beautiful renderings of God’s holy word is the “Te Deum”. Canticles sung in this manner are an acquired taste but once you learn the tune you start focusing on what it confesses. The Te Deum is an ancient canticle which is believed to have been sung by many of the martyrs of the early church as they marched to their death. The two final stanzas are a little newer being only about 1500 years old and the musical setting is only about 1100 years old. It is in essence, the creed set to music. We will also sing one of my favorite hymns in the place of the Te Deum for part of the summer 941 “We Praise You and Acknowledge You” The tune used for this hymn is quite contemporary less than 100 years old and the Lyrics were composed by a living, breathing, preaching LCMS pastor Stephen P. Starke in 1999.               

            So if you want to give this third service a try this summer, feel free to join us. 

In Christ alone
Pastor Portier