Here's a snippet to whet your appetite:
Sadly, people seem to forget that these "rubrics" (specific instructions about worship) are ancient, appear in Lutheran hymnals and/or liturgical guidebooks, are nowhere taught as meritorious for salvation and are never touted as such today by any Lutherans, and simply give direction about how to do things.And here's the comment I just posted there:
They are, in short, etiquette.
Great post and a great discussion going on here! Thank you for some good, sanctified common sense (that, sadly, may not be so "common" for self-styled "Confessional Lutherans").
The Piepkorn quote mentioned above also reminds me of another way of approaching things liturgical: "noble simplicity." We conduct the liturgy with a view to both things--the nobility of being in the Lord's presence and the simplicity of acting both courteously and naturally. In fact, I would argue that the attention to rubrical details does indeed free us up to focus on what's really happening. After all, if one has constantly to worry about where to stand, which way to face, and if those things change from week to week or every so often, then such matters distract from serving the Kingly Lord in His house.
I'm also reminded of Dr. Korby's way of looking at "Christian freedom." We live in a time in which it's common to spout "Christian freedom" as "I don't gotta do that!" However, I like to turn it around. "Christian freedom" most certainly means that we can and do conduct the liturgy with the utmost in courtesy and reverence, nobility and simplicity.
Thanks again for a great post!