||Hardcover, 198 pp., 9″ x 6″
Reprinted 2013, orig. pub. 1965
This book covers a broad spectrum of topics relating to Lutheran liturgical worship. Rev. Paul H. D. Lang describes the theological significance and historic, confessional Lutheran position on liturgy, ritual, and ceremony. He gives a wonderful commentary on the physical elements (church architecture, sacred vessels, churchly furniture, use of candles, etc.) and the physical movements (standing, kneeling, crossing oneself, processing, etc.) within the Divine Service and other minor services and orders, including the role of the clergy and others assisting in worship as well as the role of the laity. Lang provides principles of liturgical music as well as a detailed explanation of the liturgical church year with its richness and variety, saints’ days, and the use of colors in the church.
As noted in the Preface to Ceremony and Celebration, there is “a pious desire of both pastors and parishioners to be reverent in worship. That is the genius of this little book: It speaks to all participants in the Divine Service, not just pastors and theologians.” This is an essential resource not only for pastors, elders, altar guild members, organists, choir directors, and other congregational leaders, but also and especially for earnest laity who want to better understand the way we worship.