THE BRIDE OF CHRIST has been published four times per year by Lutheran Liturgical Renewal, Inc., a non-profit society of evangelical catholics who have united to recall the Evangelical Lutheran Church to the position of the Reformers as stated in the Augsburg Confession, Article XXI, "There is nothing [in our confession] that varies from the Scriptures, from the Church Catholic, or from the Church of Rome as known from its writers." Lutheran Liturgical Renewal, Inc., is dedicated to the production and distribution of materials that exhibit a catholic form of doctrine, liturgy, and ministry. from the masthead of the last published issue:
Volume XXIX, No. 4, AFTER PENTECOST, A.D. 2007

Friday of Reminiscere + St. Peter's Chair at Antioch + 22 February 2008

WELCOME to the blog for THE BRIDE OF CHRIST: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgical Renewal (BOC). This is a resurrection of the BOC Journal website which is dedicated to the publication of "The Bride of Christ" and Lutheran Liturgical Renewal. With the resurrection of this site it is our hope that THE BRIDE OF CHRIST will once again see publication, either as a published quarterly journal, or in a digital version, or both. To this end we are re-constructing the website and are offering a companion blog for the purpose of discussing issues related to the journal and Lutheran Liturgical Renewal. Miscellaneous articles, essays, etc. from past issues will be made available on the blog from time to time. We invite you to join us in the discussion and share your ideas and suggestions.

1. Providing a digital version of the journal.
2. Use of the journal as a print forum in connection to the annual St. Michael Liturgical Conference.
3. Call for papers - articles, papers, book reviews.
4. Additional suggestions.

Thank you for visiting the blog. We hope to hear from you.

In Christ,
Rev. Timothy D. May

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Journal and the Website

You may notice that the website ( is no longer. For financial reasons I thought it best not to renew the account. The website has not been very active and the purposes for it may also be accomplished here on this blog without the same expense. It is better to get the journal going and when there is some readership to consider again a website.

As the heir of the editorship of this journal I have been given to much reflection on this journal in recent years, on the liturgy and on the state of Lutheranism in general. Changes in recent years such as the previous editor, who contributed greatly, leaving Lutheranism for the Orthodox Church, and the publishing of the "final" issue speak volumes especially to those who were supporters up to that point.

In addition, another Lutheran liturgical journal, "Gottesdienst," has filled a niche with readers, providing much to support in these liturgically vacuous days. There is no doubt about it, the journal calls itself "The Journal of the Lutheran Liturgy." Having a German name also links it with the land of the Reformation.

Such a niche "The Bride of Christ" does not hope to compete with. First of all, this editor has the disadvantage of not being able to speak German. On the other hand, this gives "The Bride of Christ" an opportunity to address and uphold the catholicity of the historic liturgy in its relationship with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. "The Bride of Christ" is a Lutheran journal yet it has never shied from accepting the historic liturgy and in its catholicity and orthodoxy.

Admittedly, the state of Lutheranism today makes any discussion of liturgy and ecclesiology difficult. I have all but given up discussing liturgy online for this very reason even on the discussion list I began over ten years ago. Some suspect any discussion of liturgy as having an agenda of seeking unity where there is none. Granted, the "Liturgical Movement" of the 20th c. was also an ecumenical endeavor. Others have run away from the liturgy altogether and by doing so have also abandoned Lutheranism and any remnants that might have existed of historic Christian worship. They worship in the "here and now" (some without even leaving their houses!) and are becoming less and less tied to any ecclesiastical desires and concerns while becoming more and more tied with the entertainment industry and its networks. For some, the church is now the "community," a word being used in the names of many churches these days. Today we received a flyer in the church office from a para-church organization which included an endorsement from the "National Community Church." These are strange days indeed.

We must not retreat from any advances in our congregations. Are Lutherans learning to make the sign of the cross as Luther himself encouraged? Is there more attention in the congregations to more frequent offering and reception of the Holy Eucharist? Are people learning the meaning of the crucifix? Do the people know and appreciate the sacramental nature of the liturgy and its relation to Christ's Bride, the Church? What can we learn from why some of our pastors who have left and are leaving for the Catholic and Orthodox Churches? These and other questions remain.

These types of concerns are greater than any society or journal can fix or answer. In a sense, the nature of Lutheranism makes it unlikely that its weaknesses, which sometimes also double as its strengths, might be corrected. As one former Lutheran pastor said, the problem goes way down. This does not mean all is lost. "The Bride of Christ: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgical Renewal" is meant to continue as there is always need for renewal. As the journal states confidently in the masthead: "There is nothing [in our confession] that varies from the Scriptures, from the Church Catholic, or from the Church of Rome as known from its writers." Lutheran Liturgical Renewal, Inc., is dedicated to the production and distribution of materials that exhibit a catholic form of doctrine, liturgy, and ministry."

For now we will continue without a website. In the meantime the blog may see more use. Primarily, hope for renewal continues to be encouraged in our local congregations where the Eucharist is celebrated and Christ's Bride is mercifully fed in her faith toward God and love toward the neighbor.

In Christ,

Fr. Timothy May


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Update on Archived Articles

St. Michael the Archangel

An observant reader notes that some of the links do not work. Thank you for your note, they are now fixed.

Once again, you can find a few recently digitized and archived files in .pdf form at the website. Scroll down the main page to find them. When you click on the page links they automatically download to your computer so you will need to check your download file on your computer to find them.

Hope this helps. Thank you for your interest.

Fr. May

Monday, September 28, 2009

Archived Articles

St. Wenceslaus
28 September

Some archived articles are now available at the website in .pdf format. Scroll down below the announcement of the annual meeting to find them. Below is a copy of what is now archived and available:

ARCHIVE of past articles, essays, etc.:
About Being Lutheran, VII: The Holy Catholic Church
(Vol. 12, No. 1)page 20
Angels: Messengers of God by the Rev. George A. Maloney, S.J.
(Vol. 14, No. 4) page 5, page 6, page 7,page 8, page 9, page 10, page 11
Holy Absolution by the Rev. Arthur Carl Piepkorn
(Vol 16, No. 2) page 5, page 6
The Sign of the Cross (Vol. 2, No. 1; Incarnate Word Tract Series, No.3)
page 30, page 31

Friday, September 4, 2009

De Ecclesiasticis Officiis

Recently I picked up a recent English translation of the Latin, De Ecclesiasticis Officiis by Isidore of Seville (c. 560 - 636). This writing would be of most interest to those interested in liturgical history and the education of clergy, which are two emphases of Isidore here. The reason for these emphases was the Visigoths had recently converted from Arianism to Orthodoxy and Isidore was responsible for moving toward ending the remaining influences of Arianism.

The Mozarabic Rite, or "the old Spanish liturgy" (Fortescue), is one of the western Rites that pre-dates the Roman Rite. Although this Rite is in limited use today the history and practice of this Rite is helpful in understanding the development of the eucharistic liturgy. Book I describes the liturgy. Book II describes the office of clerics and other offices of the Church. The translation includes notes and a selected bibliography at the end.

Isidore is writing for the Church. Those interested in the history and development of the liturgy and the offices of the Church and how both continued in difficult times should read this book.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Looking Back - Holy Absolution (1992)

The following two images are copies of an article on Holy Absolution by the Rev. Arthur Carl Piepkorn. This article was reprinted in The Bride of Christ: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgical Renewal Volume XVI, No. 2 Resurrection 1992.

As promised, copied articles, essays, etc. from previous issues of The Bride of Christ will be shared via this forum under the heading "Looking Back." The articles chosen will be taken from issues from the earliest to the latest days of the journal and will reflect a wide variety of topics that have been addressed by the journal and her authors throughout the years.

As the editor of the journal, it is my hope that these reprints will help not only to catechize and encourage you and other Lutherans toward liturgical renewal in evangelical faithfulness to the catholic tradition but also spur future publication of the same journal.

In Christ,

Fr. Tim May

The Rev. Timothy D. May, Editor
The Bride of Christ: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgical Renewal

Holy Absolution
The Rev. Arthur Carl Piepkorn

Friday, July 10, 2009

Liturgical Piety

Within Christianity, when a different church body or denomination is raised in discussion, often similarities and differences are brought up or highlighted in terms of particular practices of piety and acts of devotion. This is also the case among those within one's own church body or denomination who differ on these matters.

When liturgical piety is attacked or undermined within church bodies that are historically liturgical it may be due to the questioning of acts of piety or a questioning of the essence of the liturgy itself. Whole movements within and outside of Christianity have arisen over the centuries in opposition to the liturgy. Charges of "ritualization" or "hyper-ritualization" are raised. The liturgy may be characterized in different ways and minimized as mere aesthetics (which implies that action is disconnected from the faith; worship is but public "show").

Is it rationalism? Is the liturgy now defined by the social sciences? The Scripture and the Church's tradition dare root the practice of liturgy in the Church's prayer. In the Christian tradition the liturgical direction is toward Christ in the Eucharist on the altar where the Lord's death is proclaimed. Even the preached Word leads to the altar.

When the liturgy and liturgical piety are attacked or undermined this may be due to a desire for new and exciting trends and fads, a desire to follow after movements or groups who do not follow the practices of the historic liturgy or a misunderstanding or rejection of the focus and spirit of the liturgy - that is the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Liturgical piety is best practiced in the light of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church and her Tradition. The handing over of the deposit of faith takes place in the Church and is prayed in the liturgy. The Church believes, teaches and confesses what she prays and what she passes on to the faithful.

Rejection of the liturgy and acts of liturgical piety, even if we ourselves are not comfortable with such, is a conscious or unconscious rejection of the continuity of the faith. We do best to uphold the distinct nature of the liturgy and return to an appreciation of the essence of liturgical piety as is summarized in the lex orandi, lex credendi.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lutheran Liturgical Renewal

Lutheran liturgical renewal is both evangelical and catholic. "Evangelical" here does not mean a style/substance move toward less "ritual" and toward "user friendly" and minimalistic and entertaining worship. Rather, Lutheran liturgical renewal is a move toward what is truly catholic, as is found in the historic liturgy, where the "evangel," ie, the faith, is delivered to the saints. This means that Lutheran liturgical renewal is not bound by the Reformation nor the Englightenment and that which came later, nor even that which has prevailed in the West as a result of Vatican II, but rather it demonstrates an appreciation of the catholic continuity in the liturgy that is found in Scripture and in the early church and is today also shared in greater part with the Church catholic throughout the world. Lutheran liturgical renewal upholds the lex orandi, lex credendi.