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Worship Wars in Early Lutheranism Choir, Congregation and Three Centuries of Conflict$
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Joseph Herl

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195365849

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195365849.001.0001

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Luther and the Liturgy in Wittenberg

Luther and the Liturgy in Wittenberg

(p.3) CHAPTER 1 Luther and the Liturgy in Wittenberg
Worship Wars in Early Lutheranism Choir, Congregation and Three Centuries of Conflict

Joseph Herl

Oxford University Press

Martin Luther regarded congregational singing as useful and desirable. He encouraged it in his own congregation, but not at the expense of the choral liturgy. In Luther’s theology there is no conflict between a choral liturgy and his desire for the people to sing. The German Mass (Deutsche Messe) of 1526, widely regarded as a congregational service, actually describes what was, at the time of its publication, mostly a choral mass. It was not well received, and the congregation in Wittenberg continued to sing poorly for years. The choral mass in Latin remained the principal service in Wittenberg throughout Luther’s lifetime.

Keywords:   Martin Luther, German Mass, Deutsche Messe, congregational singing, choral liturgy, Latin mass

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