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Devotional Life In Hymns, Liturgy, Music, And Prayer

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Chapter Summary

This chapter seeks to illumine that piety of song and prayer in both public and private contexts within 16th-century Lutheranism. The hymns, used in the home to teach and to comfort, were a key manifestation of the universal Christian priesthood, which-as the Lutheran clergy themselves urged-was not inferior in its capacity to the public ministry of the Word. Though the vernacular hymnal was essentially a Lutheran invention, the prayerbook was well-established as a prominent feature of medieval piety. Simplified vernacular equivalents of the liturgy of the hours were introduced not only for the secular laity but also for the lay brothers, nuns, and beguines of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The literature of Lutheran devotion is thus rich in paradox. It is a preparation for life amid the estates of the world arising out a deep sense of the fragility of those estates in the face of increasing diabolical assault.

Keywords:16th-century Lutheranism; devotional life; monastic liturgy; prayerbook; vernacular hymnal



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