I’ve long suspected the fruit jellos and taciturn Lake Wobegon stoicism masked some terrible urge like this
A Lutheran friend writes:
I’m risking a great deal in violating the secret oaths and covenants practiced by the Lutheran traditions (bet you just thought they were myths, didn’t you?), but I felt it my beholden duty to you as a friend and a brother in Christ to share with you this important knowledge. Do with it what you will, but be aware that too obvious a leaking of this arcanum could lead to dire consequences to those suspected of breaking the terrible and fatal oaths of the Original Reformers.
He then attaches some Ultra Top Top Secret Intra-Lutheran correspondence that reads as follows (pray for me, fellow papists, I take my life in my hands making this public!):
As we have arrived at the first day of the month that concludes with All Hallows Eve and Reformation Day, I was wondering how people here mark the last day of October….
I also meant to ask about observations of All Saints, either on November 1 or on the following Sunday. How do you and your congregations observe that day?
We have tended to shift emphasis and excitement from Reformation Sunday to All Saints Sunday, in part to get over the “tribal feast day” mentality which makes future ecumenical rapproachment more difficult and in part to observe All Saints almost as a “Little Easter” on the opposite side of the year.
So brass choir et al was moved from Reformation to All Saints. The content and nature of preaching, of course, can undo otherwise fine plans about these days, but at least by the very visible and aural evidence of planning for a “special” day, it becomes evident that All Saints is more special than Reformation. Yet, we have no reason to forget or to be ungrateful for the witness and the work of the Reformers. Deo gratia.
At St James we wouldn’t give up our tribal feast day for the world. We’ll take advantage of the last of the moderate weather and the popularity of Halloween among the kids, by having a Reformation Sunday “dress up” festival. The Pastor will dress up as Martin Luther. The congregation President will dress up as the Pope, will burst into the service during the sermon, and excommunicate Luther. The kids will chase the Pope out of the nave with sticks and whips. Once they have chased him to the back lawn, they will catch him, tie him up, and put him on a dunking stool, where, for $1.00 per two tosses, members and guests will line up to take turns at “Dunk the Antichrist.” The sticks, whips, and dunking will add some extra time to the service but will also provide a sort of “living creed”, so when the congregation returns to the service, the Pastor will get straight to the consecreation of the elements, with bare verba.
Proceeds from the dunking are traditionally used to support our mission work among Lake County’s Jews and Turks.
My suspicions are confirmed.