I forgot the Kyrie! Lutheran Liturgy pt. 3

I realized the other day that in my haste to get to the Gloria in Excelsis, I skipped right over the Kyrie!    In the 1958 SB&H, they kept the old titles, and I find it interesting that they are a mixture of Latin and Greek.  One of these days I’m going to pull out my copy of St. John Chrysostom’s Divine Liturgy and see how closely they align.

Kyrie is a Greek word meaning, “O Lord,” from the phrase “Kýrie, eléison,” or “O Lord, have mercy.” You might recall the phrase from the 1985 Mr. Mister song.  Here’s the 1958 Lutheran version (congregation’s response in italics), which is generally sung:

In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the peace that is from above, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole worlds, for the well-being of the churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house, and for them that in faith, piety and fear of God offer here their worship and praise, let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, pity and defend us, O God, by thy grace.


I should mention that the music for the liturgy was adapted by Regina Fryxell from various sources, including older Lutheran liturgies and 10th Century plainsongs.  In my opinion, it has much more character than any of the recent Lutheran liturgies I have heard, which in my opinion are really quite horrible.  This past Sunday I attended a Lutheran church who sung the 5th setting from the new, 2006 hymnal.   It was actually unnatural to sing; for example, they used a familiar tune to “Create in Me,” but changed the phrasing so that it actually interrupted the natural rhythm of the lyrics.  Strange.  I don’t think I’ll go back any time soon.

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One Response to I forgot the Kyrie! Lutheran Liturgy pt. 3

  1. James Sucha says:

    Hi Alden!

    Like your posts on the old Lutheran liturgy.
    I am the one who published that biographical hymnal in Colorado that has the SBH second setting and many hymns we lost in the ELCA.

    The format of worship is so changed now since Vatican II changed it for us in the 1970’s, now the Vatican has gone with liturgy words like we had in English in the SBH!

    And I have all the liturgies recorded on CD Rom too from my hymnal. Also have another liturgy setting Regina Fryxell did later on called the Kyriale Setting from Sweden.

    My CD-ROM recording of the SBH Second setting came from an old LP vinyl record that introduced the SBH. It was a poor recording from 1958, but features Regina Fryxell on the organ playing it with a choir from Augustana College in Rock Island.

    I like some of the new settings in the ELCA hymnal, we have ten now. But they really screwed Mrs. Fryxell when they didn’t honor the commission for her to update her setting for the 1978 hymnal. Richard Hillert ghosted her music and it is terrible as Setting 5 in the ELW and Setting 3 in the LBW. It broke Mrs. Fryxell’s heart they sold her down the river.

    My pet peave today in the ELCA is pastors going with low church worship styles and not using the liturgy in full. They are lazy or think there is no time in one hour to have Holy Communion and everything else. And, God knows what they are teaching them in the seminaries these days.

    I have already heard a seminarian praying to a Mother-Father God leading worship because they cannot handle the fact Jesus had a penis!

    Hope you are doing well.


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