St. Michael's Conference 2012

St. Michael's Liturgical Conference 2012

The Fifteenth Annual St. Michael Liturgical Conference was held on Monday, September 24, 2012 at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Detroit.

The theme of the 2012 conference was “The use of the Eucharistic Prayer”. This fifteenth annual St. Michael Liturgical Conference focused on the history, the appropriateness, and the use of the Eucharistic Prayer, or “Prayer of Thanksgiving”, in the Evangelical Lutheran Mass.

The Keynote Address - “The Eucharist Prayer Considered” Before exploring historic Eucharistic prayers and arguing for their legitimacy in principle, along with the need to proceed carefully with their implementation in practice, Dr. Stephenson’s presentation demonstrated the curiously medieval/scholastic roots of Luther’s ostensibly anti -medieval/scholastic changes in the historic liturgy. The Keynote Presenter - The Reverend Dr. John Stephenson has served on the faculty of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario since January 1989. Previously he served as pastor of Lutheran Church of the Escarpment in Lewiston NY. He was ordained at Redeemer, Fort Wayne, by Fr. Charles Evanson on Advent IV 1985. After earning degrees from the English universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham, Dr. Stephenson came to the US in 1982. He and his family moved to Canada in 1991. Dr. Stephenson served as the General Editor of the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics series, and authored the volumes The Lord’s Supper and Eschatology.

Sectional presentations included –

Workshop One: Chanting the Epistles & Rubrics and Ceremony for the Consecration - Complimenting his presentations of the previous two years, Dr. Reuning led the sectional in an applied study of the proper chanting of the Epistle according to Luther’s pointing in volume 53 of Luther’s Works. Participants were encouraged to bring their copies of volume 53. Fr. Eckardt led a careful study of the rubrics and ceremony for the Consecration, including the use of a Eucharistic prayer and its relation to the Lord’s Prayer. His presentation highlighted the content of his book on the Holy Liturgy, which was made available at the conference.

Workshop Two: Q & A with Fr. Stephenson & Zion’s Eucharistic Prayer - Fr. Charles McClean facilitated a Q & A period during which conference attendees discussed Dr. Stephenson’s Keynote Address, receiving answers to their practical questions regarding ceremony, rite and rubrics. Fr. Braden detailed the sources of the language of the Oblation and Eucharistic Prayer of Zion’s rite. He examined their history, content, and discussed the practical and theological implications of this traditional “Prayer of Thanksgiving”.

Purpose: Most Liturgical Conferences deal with the Theology of Worship. This Conference dealt with the use of the Eucharistic Prayer, or “Prayer of Thanksgiving”, in the Evangelical Lutheran Mass. The St. Michael Liturgical Conference is for pastors and laymen concerned with the Evangelical-Lutheran liturgy. It informs them of the liturgy's rubric, rite, and ceremony so that they might make informed decisions about local customs in their parishes.

The Reverend Dr. Daniel Reuning is Kantor and Church Musician at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and an emeritus member of the faculty of CTS, where he served as Dean of Chapel for 31 years. He holds a Doctorate in Musicology from the University of Illinois, a Masters degree in Sacred Music and Liturgy from Union Theological Seminary, and the M. Div. from Concordia Seminary St. Louis. Dr. Reuning is the Director of the Fort Wayne Bach Collegium, now in its eleventh season (2012).

The Reverend Dr. Burnell Eckardt is Pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kewanee, Illinois. He received the Ph.D. from Marquette University and the S.T.M. from CTS in Fort Wayne. Fr. Eckardt is editor of Gottesdienst: A Quarterly Journal of the Evangelical-Lutheran Liturgy, and author of Every Day Will I Bless Thee: Meditations for the Daily Office and The New Testament in His Blood: A Study of the Holy Liturgy of the Christian Church.

The Reverend Mark Braden has served as Pastor of Zion Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Detroit since 2009, prior to which he served as Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church of Cleghorn, Wisconsin. He is an adjunct member of the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary of Fort Wayne, and holds both the S.T.M. and M. Div. degrees from CTS. Fr. Braden has taught Old Testament Bible for CTS, several Exegetical, Systematic and Pastoral courses in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, and currently teaches Biblical Greek online for CTS.