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The Chief Divine Service

by Lochner, Friedrich

Item #: 531236 / 2020 / Paperback / 344 Pages


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Friedrich Lochner wrote one of the best studies on the Chief Divine Service for the Lutheran Church. His work in liturgy and hymnology as a founding father of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, was foundational to worship life in the LCMS. A full manuscript of his work in English, including the part on music in the liturgy, has never been released in one book before now. This foundational work should be read by all: from theology students and pastors to musicians and lay people.

This authoritative translation includes all of Lochner’s original material, including practices that may no longer be observed in modern culture. Original page numbers have been kept to allow for easy reading alongside the original German text. Translations of liturgical texts have been adapted to the wording of Lutheran Service Book, with some notations to allow the reader to see differences between the source material and translation.

"Lochner demonstrates that the great Lutheran liturgy is catholic, lively, diverse, and doctrinally and biblically rich. He is in sympathy and dialogue with Luther, early Lutherans, great contemporaries like Löhe and Rudelbach, with the ancient church and her theologians, with Roman Catholics, and many others." -President Matthew Harrison from the Foreword



Lochner's book is perhaps the most important work on the Lutheran Divine Service ever produced in North America. A treasure trove of information on the history and doctrine of worship, it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning about the Lutheran liturgical heritage. 

- Rev. Dr. Gerhard Bode. Dean of Advanced Studies, Associate Professor of Historical Theology Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Friedrich Lochner's The Chief Divine Service provides a fascinating picture of church life in the Missouri Synod in 1895, giving the history of each part of the liturgy and practical suggestions on everything from the chanting of prayers to the placement of flower vases to the reason why the altar crucifix should ideally be made of silver rather than gold. The book is finally available in English in Matthew Carver's superb translation. 

- Joseph Herl, Ph.D., Professor of Music, Concordia University, Nebraska. 

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