Sunday, July 5, 2009

Influence and impact

I've been reading a book of Peter Bernstein's old essays about Wall Street, and one of them from 1967 discusses whether the influence and impact of a phenomenon is "baneful or salutary." It reminded me of the LBW liturgy of the Great Thanksgiving where pastors would speak or sing "It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places, offer thanks and praise to you..." as the introduction to the Sanctus. I always loved the poetry of that verbiage.

However, that raises the question: Is it baneful or salutary to rewrite and change the liturgy to omit such "archaic" words as "salutary"? Alas (to editorialize my regret), it probably is a good idea to keep the language modern and the tunes fresh. After all, when was the last time you used "salutary" in a sentence?

I hope that the tunes of our summer liturgy are becoming familiar to your ears. Thank you, Lisa, for singing the Sanctus and Agnus Dei this morning. The congregation is sounding stronger with each passing week.

1 comment:

  1. Rev. Robert FerroJuly 6, 2009 at 6:54 AM

    For me the wording of the Proper Preface from the SBH (the precurser to the LBW) has always been the most poetic, "It is truly meet, right, and salutary, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God." Even though I've never used it in worship nor heard in used in a worship service for over 30 years, it is still the wording that I automatically remember and quote if I'm thinking of how the Proper Preface begins. Both the LBW and the ELW wording leave me cold. I guess it depends upon what you heard and learned as a child.