Liturgical Bibliography

Lutheran Liturgical Bibliography

Updated April 10, 2008

Compiled and annotated by David H. Petersen October 27, 2004 A+D

Primary Resources for the Common Service in the LCMS.

All of these except The Lutheran Lectionary are necessary to conduct worship from TLH. Most of them are also necessary to conduct worship from LW.

Celebrants Notation for The Lutheran Hymnal. St. Louis: Concordia Seminary Press, Winter 1966.

This little reprint has tones needed for the Celebrant to chant the main service. These are the most basic tones. It is a good place to start if the pastor wants to start chanting parts of the Divine Office. More historic and beautiful tones are found in the Liber and elsewhere.

Gehrke, Ralph, Planning the Service: A Workbook for Pastors, Organists, and Choirmasters. Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1961.

This is an indispensable resource for using the Historic Lectionary with TLH. In this volume Gehrke reintroduced the Missouri Synod to the Hymn of the Day and he provides a nice list of suggested hymns and summaries for every Sunday of the Church Year.

“General Rubrics.” The Lutheran Liturgy. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 417–425.

This is the Altar Book for TLH. It does not, however, contain the Lectionary. Nor does it have any hymns. It has the Introits, Graduals, Alleluia Verses, and Tracts, as well as the Ordinaries for all the Services in TLH. The General Rubrics here are the guidelines for conducting the services in the LCMS. LW never replaced them.

Leupold, Ulrich S., and Helmut T. Lehmann (eds.), Luther’s Works, Volume 53: Liturgy and Hymns. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1965.

Here are Luther’s Latin and German Masses. The Latin Mass is the basis of the Common Service. Included in this volume are also Luther’s hymns and the Occasional Rites he wrote. This is the most important volume of the fifty–five.

The Lutheran Agenda. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

This volume contains the Occasional Services for TLH. The LW Agenda is stronger. The ’007 Agenda promises to be stronger again. But there are some things in here worth having, particularly Cranmer’s weaving together of Bible passages at the Burial and Marriage Rites, as well as the Prayer at the Burial of a Stillborn. The prayer is very good for any uncertain death. The daily prayer for the pastor is good also.

The Lutheran Hymnal. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941.

The Lutheran Lectionary. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

This volume contains the Gospels and Epistles for the Historic Year in KJV. It is the companion volume to the Agenda and Liturgy. It is the one volume in this Bibliography I don’t really recommend. It is simply included because it is part of the set.

Lutheran Worship. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1982.

Lutheran Worship: Altar Book. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1982.

The Music for the Liturgy of the Lutheran Hymnal. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1944.

This volume is available from CTS as a reprint. It has the official chant tones for TLH. Notice the publication date: three years after the arrival of TLH. The Synod put TLH in the hands of the people with notation for the laity but none for the Celebrant. In ignorance of the rubrics, because they are in a separate volume, the Liturgy cited above, our congregations followed what they saw in the hymnal. Thus, the pastor spoke and the people responded in chant. But this was never the intent and should be corrected as much as possible.

Polack, W. G., The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, 3rd Ed. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1958.

This rare book provides a history of the hymns and tunes in the TLH, the original texts, omitted stanzas, and information on the authors and composers.

Precht, Fred L., Lutheran Worship: History and Practice. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1993.

Precht, Fred L., Lutheran Worship: Hymnal Companion. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1992.

This is the LW counterpart to The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal.

Secondary sources for the Conduct of the Common Service in the LCMS: Rubrics, Ceremony, and the Theology of Worship

The Bride of Christ. Oxford, MI: Lutheran Liturgical Renewal, Inc.

This journal is the main heir to the important early journal of the St. James’ Society Una Sancta. It is not, however, the only heir.

Brauer, James L., Meaningful Worship. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1994.

Brunner, Peter, Worship in the Name of Jesus. Tr. M. H. Bertram. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1968.

This is the classic volume of the Lutheran Theology of Worship.

Gottesdienst. Eckardt, Burnell F. (ed.), Kewanee, IL: Evangelical–Lutheran Liturgical Press.

I count this journal as the premier modern on–going commentary on the Liturgy. I don’t always agree with it. But they are dealing with the things I am interested in: the Historic Lectionary, the Historic Evangelical Mass, the traditional ceremonies, and preaching. And they do it with serious Theological integrity and faithfulness to the Lutheran Confessions.

Jungmann, Rev. Joseph A., The Mass of the Roman Rite. Tr. Rev. Francis A. Brunner. New York: Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1959.

This is the classic Roman commentary on the Roman Rite. It is very informative. It is also the most authoritative text for the meaning of the liturgy and its history. The translation is available in the abridged volume above, missing mainly footnotes, or in a two volume set.

Lamburn, E. C. R. (ed.), Ritual Notes: A Comprehensive Guide to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Book of Common Prayer of the English Church. London: W. Knott & Son Limited, 1964.

This is the Anglo–Catholic rubrical description and commentary. It is very informative and often better written than Fortescue.

Lang, Paul H. D., Ceremony and Celebration. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1965.

Lang provides a very nice description of the conduct of the Service including the role of deacons and subdeacons, as well as some explanation of the liturgy and ceremonies. This is a very nice introductory book. It is the best book to give to laymen who are first awakening to the beauty and joys of the liturgy. It should soon be available as a reprint from Redeemer in Ft. Wayne.

Lang, Paul H. D., What An Altar Guild Should Know. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1964.

This is the classic LCMS Altar Guild manual. It has some nice diagrams and descriptions. It is well worth owning.

Maxwell, Lee A., The Altar Guild Manual. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1996.

This is the updated version of Lang’s original manual.

McClean, Charles The Conduct of the Services Originally printed as a pamphlet in 1972 by Clayton Publishing House, St. Louis.

Piepkorn provides the most authoritative, Lutheran commentary and description of the “General Rubrics.” He only deals with the Divine Office. McClean provides a nice updating of Piepkorn’s work which considers free standing altars and adds the conduct of Matins and Vespers. McClean also includes footnotes and sources that are very helpful. Both pamphlets have been reprinted in a hardbound book available from Redeemer Lutheran Church, 202 W. Rudisill Blvd, Ft. Wayne, Indiana 46807 (260) 744–2585.

Mueller, John Baptist, Handbook of Ceremonies: For Priests and Seminarians. Ed. Adam Ellis. St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1958.

Myers, Kenneth A., All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians & Popular Culture. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1989.

An interesting analysis of the problems with bringing pop culture into the ceremonies and music of the Church. A bit dated now.

O’Connell, J. O., The Celebration of Mass: A Study of the Rubrics of the Roman Missal. Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1940.

This is a very detailed description of the Pre–Vatican II Mass. It is more detailed in ways than Fortescue for O’Connell also describes bad practice and includes photographs. Unfortunately, this is out of print. You can get it through inter–library loan and photocopy it.

Pfatteicher, Philip H., and Carlos R. Messerli. “Manual on the Liturgy.” Lutheran Book of Worship. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1979.

This is interesting because LBW is more serious about things like the Easter Vigil and the use of deacons.

Piepkorn, Arthur C. The Conduct of the Service. Originally printed as a pamphlet in 1965 by Concordia Seminary Print Shop, St. Louis.

Reed, Luther D., The Lutheran Liturgy: A Study of the Common Service of the Lutheran Church in America. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1947.

This is the classic Lutheran textbook. It is really the early American Lutheran counterpart of Jungmann. In some ways, Reed was the dean of the Lutheran Liturgical renewal.

Reed, Luther D., Worship: A Study of Corporate Devotion. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1959.

Reid, Scott M. P. (Ed.), The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described. The Saint Austin Press, 1996. Originally published by Burnes and Oates Ltd. 1962. Written by Adrian Fortescue and J. B. O’Connell.

This is the authoritative ceremonial and rubric book for pre–Vatican II Rome. It is dense, but essential. Be wary of similar books by the same title that deal with the Vatican II Rites. This latest original publishing date should be 1962. St. Austin Press didn’t publish this, they merely reprinted it in 1996.

Reuning, Daniel G., Lutheran Worship Prospectus Appendix. Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1988.

There is a lot in these notes, diagrams, journal articles, even several bibliographies. They are well worth having.

Senn, Frank C., Christian Liturgy: Catholic and Evangelical. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.

Senn is not as interested in the Lutheran Liturgy and the 16th Century as he is in all of the Western Church. He sees Liturgy as a means to achieving unity.

Stauffer, S. Anita, Altar Guild and Sacristy Handbook. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2000.

Not really very helpful but there are a couple of nice illustrations.

Strodach, Paul Z., A Manual on Worship: Venite Adoremus. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1946.

Other Hymnals and sources for understanding the Common Service and Lutheran Worship, some following the Roman reforms of the 2nd Vatican Council

Benedictines of Solesmes (eds.), The Liber Usualis with Introduction and Rubrics in English. Belgium: Society of St. John the Evangelist, 1947.

This is the book Luther used and to which his modifications were made. Often Luther states that we should simply leave the practice and Rite alone but doesn’t give the text. This is it. Thus it is really invaluable as a primary source when working with Luther or trying to find what the tradition actually is.

Caraman, Philip, and James Walsh, The Fulton J. Sheen Sunday Missal. New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1961.

This pre–Vatican II Missal is valuable for it provides the full Rite and rubrics in both English and Latin. It is useful for deciphering the Liber.

Commission on Worship, Worship Supplement. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1969.

Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church. Philadelphia: The Board of Publication of The United Lutheran Church in America, 1918.

Davies, John Gordon. The New Westminster Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986.

Very comprehensive. This is often the quickest way to find an answer.

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn–Book. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

Hymnal Supplement 98 Grime, Paul, and Joseph Herl (Eds.), St. Louis: CPH, 1998.

Lefebvre, Dom Gaspar, The Saint Andrew Daily Missal: With Vespers for Sundays and Feast and Kyriale. Great Falls, MT: St. Bonaventure Publications, 1999.

Lutheran Book of Worship, Inter–Lutheran Commission on Worship. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1978.

The People’s Anglican Missal. Athens, GA: The Anglican Parishes Association, 1995.

This is the easiest Missal to follow. Its translation is generally better than the Latin–English Missals.

Service Book and Hymnal of the Lutheran Church in America, Music Ed., 1958.

This Hymnal contains nearly the same Common Service as TLH but with several things fixed. It also follows a different set of OT readings for the Historic Lectionary which I find superior. The hymns are weaker than TLH.

Church Year, Lectionary, and Preaching

Anglican Missal on–line

Here is another way to get the full Propers for almost any day. Using the on–line resource means they do some of the thinking for you. Missals can be hard to figure out sometimes.

Barbee, C. Frederick, and Paul F. M. Zahl, The Collects of Thomas Cranmer. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999.

This book gives the Collect and also some history behind it. The devotions based on the Collect are hit or miss. But the information on the Collects is very useful.

Historic Lectionary on–line:

From the site: “Welcome to the Historic Lectionary Online Project (HLOP). This project is dedicated to preserving the lectionary which the historic church used and providing services which aide Pastors and Lay People in preparation of the liturgy and for personal devotion.” Lemon provides the Propers for any day in any Bible translation you want. He follows the TLH Old Testament lessons.

Krause, George, The Pastor at Prayer. Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1998.

Lectionary Central: for the study and use of the traditional Western lectionary

From the site: “Within these pages you will, in time, find sermons, music, commentaries, scriptural texts, anecdotes, images, and even some humour…. all based on the traditional lectionary. We have been online since 2000 and are continually adding resources. We have materials ready for all of the Sundays in the Christian Year now and hope soon to have materials for the Holy Day lections. Simply follow the links for whatever Sunday you are searching for, and the rest will become obvious…” Indeed. Click on any Sunday and get the full Propers plus links to sermons by the fathers, Luther, and, yes, Zwingli and Calvin. This is a very useful site.

Lindemann, Herbert, The Daily Office. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1965.

Lindemann gives a lot of nice litanies, hymns, and other resources by the day. Unfortunately he does not credit his sources or provide tunes.

Nesper, Paul W., Biblical Texts. Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press.

Nesper lists all the lectionaries of the synodical conference. He also gives passages for confirmation, funerals, and other occasions.

Strodach, Paul Z., The Church Year: Studies in the Introits, Collects, Epistles and Gospels. Philadelphia: The United Lutheran Publication House, 1924.

Church Year, Lectionary, and Preaching, continued.

Talley, Thomas J., The Origins of the Liturgical Year, Second Emended Edition. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1991.


Franzmann, Martin H. Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets St. Louis: CPH, 1994.

Here are 15 sermons by Martin Franzmann. I return to them again and again. Nothing inspires me to preach so much as 4 or 5 of these sermons.

Hohle, Elmer M. Tr. Postilla: An Explanation of the Sunday and Most Important Festival Gospels of the Whole Year, Volume 1:Sermons for the Church Year from Advent through Pentecost by Johann Gerhard Malone, Texas: The Center for the Study of Lutheran Orthodoxy, 2003.

Klug, Eugene F. A., ed. Sermons of Martin Luther: The House Postils Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996, 3 volumes.

Lenker, John Nicholas, ed. Sermons of Martin Luther Grand Rapids: Baker Reprint, 1996, 8 volumes.

Lindemann, Fred H., The Sermon and the Propers: Volume IV Trinity Season – Second Half. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959.

Lindemann takes entire paragraphs and pages out of Parsch without credit. He does have some of his own stuff in here as well as some nice Gerhard sermons. At times, it seems as though Parsch has a better understanding of the Gospel than Lindemann does. Lindemann’s strength is in the seasonal explanations and he brings all the texts around to emphasize the Eucharist and encourage every Sunday communion.

Nagel, Norman Edgar, Selected Sermons of Norman Nagel: from Valparaiso to St. Louis. Edited by Frederick W. Baue. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2004.

Nagel can teach us all something about words of grace. His eloquent and unexpected style carries the Gospel as far as any preacher ever has. A particular bonus is that this volume largely follows the Historic Lectionary.

Parsch, Pius, The Church’s Year of Grace: Volume 1 Advent to Candlemas. Tr. Rev. William G. Heidt. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1964.

This is the premier text on the historic propers. Parsch is very grace–oriented for a papist. The translation is beautiful. This is a must–have.

Redeemer Lutheran Church Ft. Wayne, Rev. David Petersen, website

Petersen and Bird post nearly weekly sermons. There is also other material of interest on the site, including “Nuggets of Foolishness” under “Resources of the Ministry.” Besides the database of searchable sermons you can also sign up to have weekly sermons e–mailed to you.

Safire, William Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History. Revised and expanded edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1997.

This isn’t a book of sermons. It is a book of speeches. Safire introduces each speech with its historic context and also to alert the reader to certain techniques. His introduction to the book and to each speech is an excellent text–book on sermon writing.

Scaer, David P., In Christ: The Collected Works of David P. Scaer, Lutheran Confessor. Edited by Peter C. Bender, Susan E. Gehlbach, Lawrence R. Rast, and Ralph G. Tausz. Vol 1, Sermons. Sussex, Wisconsin: Concordia Catechetical Academy, 2004.

These chatty sermons by Dr. Scaer show something about connecting theology to life.

Sermons by Rev. William Cwirla:

These are some of the best modern sermons anywhere.

Zion Lutheran Church Detroit, Rev. Fr. John Fenton, website

Anything Fenton writes is worth reading. He is a good preacher, too. Through the site you can sign up to have Fr. Fenton’s sermons e–mailed to you.