The Corporate and Confessional Character of Worship: The Common Service Debate

Michael B. Aune

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 1/1/1988

Issue: Spirituality and Community (Vol. 8, No 1, Winter, 1988)

The Common Service debate is most instructive, even challenging, to contemporary efforts of shaping, celebrating, and understanding the worship of the church as a corporate and confessional event. Yet it has received little or no attention from students of American Lutheran liturgical history. We shall consider the instruction and challenge of this debate to our current concerns with better understanding the role and value of historical research, properly relating worship and doctrine, and contextualizing a liturgical tradition so that the worship of the church might indeed be a corporate and confessional event. But it is necessary to begin by situating the Common Service debate in its wider context marked by preoccupation with answering the question of how to be Lutheran, American, and of the nineteenth century.

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