More from the Narrative Commentary on the Divine Service by Prof. John Pless of Concordia Theological Seminary (Ft. Wayne, IN). Again, our pastor had these brief introductions read before each part of the service as a way to teach the liturgy. Notice that the entire liturgy consists essentially of passages of Scripture. When someone objects to the liturgy, I ask, “What words from the Bible do you think we shouldn’t say?”
Having received the Lord’s forgiveness, we are glad to enter into His courts with praise and thanksgiving. This entrance is made in the Introit with the Lord’s own words, most often drawn from the Psalms. Most often the Introit is chanted by the Choir or Cantor.
– Introit –
Kyrie Eleison is a Greek phrase meaning “Lord, have mercy.” In the Kyrie we come before the King of Mercy with the prayer that was on the lips of Blind Bartemaeus, whom Jesus healed. We approach our Merciful Savior and King as citizens of heaven, seeking His mercy for our salvation, the peace of the whole world, the well-being of His Church, our Worship, and our everlasting defense.
The Gloria in Excelsis (Glory to God in the Highest) (p. 187ff)
The Lord to whom we cry for mercy is the Savior who has come to us in the fl esh. The Gloria in Excelsis (Glory to God in the Highest) echoes the hymn that the high angels of God sang to the shepherds at Bethlehem. In this hymn we acclaim and extol the Son of God who humbled Himself to be our Brother and now reigns over us as Savior from the right hand of His Father. In Divine Service I, an alternate to this hymn is “This is the Feast of Victory” taken from the Book of Revelation. This hymn proclaims the victory of the Lamb who was crucifi ed for us. It is appropriately used at Easter and Ascension.