In 2003, Redeemer Press published The Conduct of the Service, an invaluable resource for conducting the liturgy of the Church. After the first two print-runs quickly sold out, it was republished in 2006 after various aspects of the book were improved and reformatted, with pictures added and diagrams cleaned up. Now Redeemer Press has passed the torch to us, asking us to manage the distribution of this fine book. This excerpt from the Preface explains its origin:
“Most of Piepkorn’s students had little experience with the ceremony, reverence, and decor that flowed from him so naturally. They recognized in his liturgical actions something of the Church that they wanted to imitate. Fortunately for us they continued to press him, until finally he relented and produced The Conduct of the Service, revised in 1965. It was printed by the Concordia Seminary print shop in St. Louis and sold in the seminary bookstore. He wrote it for his students, at their insistence. He never promoted it. And thus, it never enjoyed widespread dissemination and was quickly lost to the Church. Over the years it has been much sought after and much photocopied, but the copies that still exist are mostly torn and dog-eared.
When he finally acquiesced to their demands, his training and preference for
systematics showed itself. He came at the description of ceremonies in a unique and
systematic way. He went after the rules. The rules he used are the rubrics prescribed in The Lutheran Hymnal of 1941 and in the companion volume for that Hymnal, The Lutheran Liturgy. We have reproduced the latter in an appendix for easy reference. Incidentally, those rubrics have never been replaced by the LCMS. Unless they are explicitly contradicted, replaced, or restated in new Rites provided by the Commission on Worship, they are STILL the guide for the conduct of the Services in our churches. Where they have been updated and revised, Piepkorn´s descriptions and explanations tend to make even more sense. Thus, this is the best work up to our day on the practical execution of liturgy in the LCMS…
It is our prayer that these words would again serve the Church and help unclutter Her
Services from things that hinder and distract God’s people from His gifts.”
Be sure to read the full prefaces and take a look at the Table of Contents here.