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Liturgy workshop inspires Nicaraguan church workers

April 20, 2018 No Comment

Pastor Douglas celebrates the “Christmas” eucharist during the liturgy workshop.

CHINANDEGA, Nicaragua – For six days following Easter, 23 pastors and deaconesses, and a musician from the Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua (ILSN) gathered for a series of workshops on Lutheran liturgy and hymnology led by Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) pastors Rev. Dr. David Somers (de l’Ascension, Montreal) and Rev. David Saar (St. John’s, Mount Forest, Ont.).

Held at LCC’s Central America Mission Centre the primary goal of the workshop was to provide a theological and holistic understanding of the liturgy in the context of training leaders chosen by the ILSN to teach all ILSN congregations how to use various liturgies and hymns from the new Spanish-language hymnal.

“In the mission of God and for Lutheran Church–Canada and the Lutheran Church Synod of Nicaragua, the music and liturgy workshop is a significant moment in the Church,” noted Dr. Somers. The workshop was part of LCC’s commitment to continuing education for ILSN church workers.

Each day the participants explored how liturgy strengthens the people of God in Christian worship, trains for witness through its music, unifies ILSN church practice, and strengthens the doctrine of the Word through congregational singing. The presentations also noted that using the liturgy discourages sentimentality, solidifies doctrine when used daily in personal, congregational, and family life, and comforts, soothes and heals the soul with the divine message of Law and Gospel.

The workshop noted that Martin Luther expressed high regard for music in the church saying, “I judge fully, and I am not hesitant to affirm that, with the exception of theology, there is no other art that can be placed on the same level of music. With the exception of theology, only music produces what only theology can produce, that is, a cheerful and calm disposition.”

Luther also observed: “This is the reason why the Prophets did not make use of no other art except music. When they taught theology, they would not use geometry, mathematics or astronomy, however the music, so as to maintain the theology and music firmly connected and proclaimed the truth through the Psalms and songs.”

Dr. Somers expressed the hope that as a result of the workshops “the pastors and deaconesses and their congregations will grow steadily in their love and appreciation for corporate worship in the house of the Lord as well in their families and personally.”