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The Lutheran Missal and Zion’s Midweek Service

You may have noticed during Advent a few months ago that the readings we read for the midweek services were different than in years past, and that I did not preach on the Old Testament reading from the previous Sunday, as the other vicars have done. Instead, we are trying out the readings from the Lutheran Missal project, which is an effort by a group of LCMS pastors and laymen to provide the English-speaking Lutheran church with a complete missal, for the first time in its history.

What is a missal? Early on in the Church’s history, as the form of the Divine Service took shape, various books were required to conduct the service properly. One book contained the assigned readings for the day, another contained the prayers, another contained the minor propers (Introit, Gradual, Offertory, etc.), and so on. As time went on, convenience dictated that all the contents of these books would be brought together into one resource that could be easily consulted for any Divine Service of the year, whether Sunday, weekday, or feast day. These books were often very large, but also very ornate and beautiful, because of the care and reverence taken while preparing them. An internet image search for “medieval missal” will yield pictures of Latin text, often surrounded by astonishingly intricate drawings. Nowadays, because of modern printing, a missal of the kind one might find in Roman Catholic churches is much less expensive to produce, but also less artistic.

Among other things, the Lutheran Missal project is also an attempt to recover the historic lectionary in its fullness. The one-year lectionary as it appears in Lutheran Service Book and that we use here at Zion is only a small portion of what the Church has historically read at worship. We at Zion are blessed to inherit the timehonored tradition of having a service on Wednesday, not only during Advent and Lent, but year-round. Though Sunday has been honored as the Lord’s Day since apostolic times, the Church has also throughout its history gathered for the Divine Service on Wednesday and Friday. These days were also associated with fasting, because of Judas conspiring with the chief priests to betray the Lord on Wednesday, and the passion of our Lord on Friday. During Lent, because of the increased penitential character of the season, there were gatherings for the Divine Service every day.

As a result, we have readings for not only Sundays and feast days, but also Wednesdays, Fridays, and every day in Lent. If one were to attend every service over the course of the liturgical year, they would hear almost the entire New Testament! So thorough is the lectionary’s scope. Moreover, one finds that the Scriptures as arranged in the historic lectionary provide a certain rhythm to the liturgical year. As I preached in my Advent midweek sermons, I pointed out how well-placed the readings were for the season; that they focused on the coming of the Lord, both in flesh and at the end of time. Another example is the Lenten weekday services, which feature a reading from the Old Testament, usually the prophets denouncing God’s people for their wicked ways, and a reading from the Gospels, usually catechetical in nature. (Lent, besides being a season of penitence and sorrow over sins, was also a time when adult catechumens would prepare themselves to be baptized at the Easter Vigil.)

The Lutheran Missal project is currently field-testing its lectionary. Since we at Zion have no established series of readings for the midweek services, especially during Advent and Lent, Pastor decided that we would give it a try. Of course, we’re not having a service every day, but we’ll be using the readings assigned for Wednesday. Since the readings from the Gospels tend to be catechetical during Lent, I’ll be preaching on different sayings and discourses of Jesus. One such example is when he compares himself to Jonah and to Solomon, which will be on the second Wednesday in Lent. The notable exception to this will be the fourth Wednesday, on which we will have a rather lengthy reading from John 9, concerning the man blind from birth. Precious few words are spoken by our Lord during this Gospel lesson; rather the man’s dispute with the Pharisees takes up the bulk of the reading.

I am excited that Pastor has given me the opportunity to preach on these texts, which otherwise would not be heard or preached on during the year. I hope that your hearing of them will prove to be edifying during this upcoming season.

In Christ   Vicar Schotte

Sunday Services with Holy Communion
8:00 AM & 10:30 AM
Wednesday Mid-Week Services 7:00 P.M.


February 22nd Ash Wednesday Services with Holy Communion/Imposition of Ashes 11:00 AM & 7:00 PM
March 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th Lenten Worship Services 11:00 AM & 7:00 PM


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Join us at OSU for LCMS-U weekly Vicar-led Bible Study!

RESUMING January 23, 2023

Mondays, 4:00 PM   (NEW TIME)

Meeting Location: Destination Ohio Room

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Wednesday Night Service & Bible Study

The First Wednesday (February 1st), the Service, beginning at 7:00 PM, will be Divine Service Setting Three, with Holy Communion. On Wednesdays (February 8th & 15th), the Service will be Compline, and will begin at 7:00 PM. There will be a Bible Study following the Services (7:45 PM), in the Family Room. Private Confession and Absolution will be available (by appointment) on Wednesdays with the execption of Ash Wednesday, from 6:15- 7:00 PM, in Pastor Hromowyk’s Office.

Ash Wednesday Services on February 22nd will be a Matins Service at 11:00 A.M. and a 7:00 P.M. Evening Prayer Service.