Ship of Fools: Alleluia Lutheran, Phoenix, Arizona, USA


imageShip of Fools: Alleluia Lutheran, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Good music, friendly congregation, tasty coffee

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Comments

  • Lutherans do not have deacons as an ordained order. We do have communion assistants, who function in a somewhat similar manner as deacons in Catholic and Anglican rites. In ELCA, their roles are pretty clearly defined: they can lead the petitions of the Kyrie-litany, lead the intercessions, pray the collect at the conclusion of the preparation of the gifts, the post-communion collect, and give the dismissal. If your acolyte/deacon did these things, she was a communion assistant. If not, an acolyte.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Which explains the puzzled look on her face when, afterwards, I asked her if she was a deacon. She did tell me she was an "assistant," but I was unaware that it is an official Lutheran title. I assumed she meant acolyte. (I am not Lutheran.)

    As I recall, she read the first reading, gave the children's talk, received the gifts, and ministered the chalices. The pastor did all the rest.
  • Interesting. What I described is what one would see in a "high" church Lutheran setting; what you describe is the more flexible use of the "liturgical deacon" in a not-so-high setting. Lots of "local custom" in Lutheranism. I will note that I have been in parishes where the communion assistant reads the Gospel, and wears the deacon's stole Not the norm, though..
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Ah yes. I'm sure I have seen a deacon's stole worn in more than one Lutheran church I have visited -- but then again, what I have seen in some other churches (Methodist comes to mind) would make the Baby Jesus and his Blessed Mother cry.
  • UrgandaUrganda Shipmate
    A pack of feral chihuahuas would instantly create an atmosphere of Heaven. How I would love to meet them!
  • Hmm... I'm not so sure! Ankles would suffer...

    Re deacons, and Lutheran churches, I understand the Church of Sweden has deacons, though whether they are ordained, or simply 'licensed', or 'authorised', I know not.

    At any rate, they wear the deacon's stole, read the Gospel etc. etc., as an RCC (or Anglican) deacon would do.

    As Grenache says, lots of local custom.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Urganda wrote: »
    A pack of feral chihuahuas would instantly create an atmosphere of Heaven. How I would love to meet them!
    Hmm... I'm not so sure! Ankles would suffer...

    Now I understand why most locals wear cowboy boots. :anguished:
  • Black boots, hopefully, if the said locals are serving in the sanctuary...
    :wink:
  • Grenache wrote: »
    Lutherans do not have deacons as an ordained order. We do have communion assistants, who function in a somewhat similar manner as deacons in Catholic and Anglican rites. In ELCA, their roles are pretty clearly defined: they can lead the petitions of the Kyrie-litany, lead the intercessions, pray the collect at the conclusion of the preparation of the gifts, the post-communion collect, and give the dismissal. If your acolyte/deacon did these things, she was a communion assistant. If not, an acolyte.
    My understanding was that the ELCA recently created/restored the order of deacons. (See here and here, for example.) Of course, that doesn't mean that the person encountered Miss Amanda was a rostered deacon.

    And if I recall correctly, deacons in the ELCA are "consecrated" rather than "ordained."

  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    The Swedish Church has deacons and always has.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Black boots, hopefully, if the said locals are serving in the sanctuary...
    :wink:
    If Miss Amanda saw anyone in the altar party wearing cowboy boots of any color, she'd reach for her smelling salts faster than a chihuahua's jaw could close on an unsuspecting ankle.
  • Nick Tamen, I think the link you shared (thank you) is an attempt to bring some order to a variety of diaconal ministries that have been present in ELCA for some time (and to provide parishes with a roster of lay ministers, as well as ordained pastors. As long ago as 1982 the book of "Occasional Services" had a service for the "Setting Apart of a Deaconess." Many diaconal ministries came under the category of Associates in Ministry. Communion assistants have often been referred to as "liturgical deacons" (and some parishes even have "liturgical sub-deacons," with the liturgical deacons and sub-deacons vested in dalmatic and tunicle). I suspect some of the origins of this multitude of terminologies and ministries results from the variety of different Lutheran bodies that came together into ELCA. But my original post holds, as you noted: ELCA does not have a diaconate as an ordained ministry.
  • Alan 29, it should be noted that the Church of Sweden practices direct, rather than sequential, ordination: if you are going to be a deacon, you are ordained as a deacon. If a priest, you are ordained as a priest. There is no transitional diaconate. (I could be wrong, but I believe Associated Parishes has advocated for direct ordination to be adopted in the Episcopal Church).
  • Thanks Grenache. I’ll be the first to admit my grasp of Lutheran polity and ministry isn’t nearly as strong as it is for some other traditions.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Black boots, hopefully, if the said locals are serving in the sanctuary...
    :wink:
    If Miss Amanda saw anyone in the altar party wearing cowboy boots of any color, she'd reach for her smelling salts faster than a chihuahua's jaw could close on an unsuspecting ankle.

    Is there any hope for me? If in the sanctuary, I often wear black RM Williams boots. No fancy decorations on those of course.
  • Yeah...we are sorta weird. Still trying to bring together different traditions.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Gee D wrote: »
    If in the sanctuary, I often wear black RM Williams boots.
    Just be sure your trouser cuff covers their tops. Miss Amanda doesn't want to see sock -- or, worse still, bare leg.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited September 10
    Well and truly covered up. But Williams boots are plain leather with elasticised sides in the same colour. No metalwork at all.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited September 10
    Sounds perfectly seemly to me - as long as alb (or cassock) are of the correct length.
    Grenache wrote: »
    Alan 29, it should be noted that the Church of Sweden practices direct, rather than sequential, ordination: if you are going to be a deacon, you are ordained as a deacon. If a priest, you are ordained as a priest. There is no transitional diaconate.

    Thanks for that, @Grenache. However, could a Swedish deacon subsequently be ordained priest, should that turn out to be his/her vocation, IYSWIM?

  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Grenache wrote: »
    Alan 29, it should be noted that the Church of Sweden practices direct, rather than sequential, ordination: if you are going to be a deacon, you are ordained as a deacon. If a priest, you are ordained as a priest. There is no transitional diaconate. (I could be wrong, but I believe Associated Parishes has advocated for direct ordination to be adopted in the Episcopal Church).

    We have a new deacon in our RC parish. He was somewhat taken aback when I asked him if he was permanent or transitioning.
  • Well, he could be either, so it wasn't a silly question!
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited September 10
    It depends on the boot. Some years ago I used to wear cowboy boots - specifically black lace-up ropers - in the sanctuary to strengthen a troublesome right ankle. They looked very similar to Victorian men's boots with their low heels, and the more obviously work related aspects of the boot's design were decently hidden under the cassock.
  • Bishops Finger, I see what you mean...and I don't know.
  • In light of this discussion, I found it interesting that this past Sunday, we prayed for "...all pastors and deacons" during the intercessions at the small ELCA parish I attended. That's the first time I can recall hearing that language in the intercessions.
  • Ah, covering all bases!
    :grin:

    Perhaps the person leading the prayers was Swedish?
    :wink:
  • The intercessions we use each Sunday are from Augsburg Press. The parish is German in origin, formerly Missouri-Synod. Like a number of parishes, they left after the fundamentalist take-over of LCMS.
  • At the risk of boring my non-Lutheran friends, who may not be aware of the various mergers that led to the current state of Lutheranism in North America: ELCA came about in the late 1980s as a result of a merger between the American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. The first named came about in the 1960s as the result of a merger between four different bodies; the LCA came about as the result of a merger between a different four bodies. One of those four, the United Lutheran Church in America, was in turn the result of a merger between five different Lutheran bodies. Small wonder that it has taken us a while to decide on what a deacon is.
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