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An Essential Unity: A Contemporary Look at Lutheran and Episcopal Liturgies

by David L. Veal

Buy the book: David L. Veal. An Essential Unity: A Contemporary Look at Lutheran and Episcopal Liturgies

Release Date: April, 1997

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: David L. Veal. An Essential Unity: A Contemporary Look at Lutheran and Episcopal Liturgies


A Great Overview of Lutheran-Anglican Unity in Worship

This book is a wonderful document that places liturgies for Eucharist and Baptism from the Lutheran Book of Worship and the Book of Common Prayer in columns, with commentary on the opposite page. It shows the great unity that exists between the two liturgical traditions, both of which follow a broader tradition that is also evident in post-Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgy. (It would be great to see a larger work that also included the Roman Catholic order of worship).

Far from a book written just for Pastors, the book is incredibly useful for laypersons who are curious about one another's traditions. It is especially useful in light of the full communion agreement between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church USA. The book can be employed in personal study, as a resource for group study, and by worship leaders planning joint Lutheran-Episcopal worship services.

What the book is unable to do is highlight the differences you find in the musical settings used for worship in both jurisdictions. The Lutheran Book of Worship has four musical settings, with notation in the LBW that can be followed. The BCP is in plain text, with musical settings offered in the front of the Hymnal, so those unaccustomed to Anglican worship may have to fumble between two resources in the pew. Despite this minor shortcoming, this thin volume is an invaluable resource.

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