This was a big Sunday at Kinsmen for so many reasons. Reformation Day, Confirmation Day for ten confirmands, some first communions, the rededication of their building following the completion of the renovation that resulted from the massive destruction caused by pipes bursting in the winter freeze, and the launching of their series called Joyful Generosity!

Services at Kinsmen are Saturday at 5:30, Sunday at 8:30 and 11 in English, with faith formation in between, and a 12:30 Spanish language service.

Pastor Beth Warpmaeker at the Saturday 5:30 service at Kinsmen
Pastor Gabriel Marcano
Sunday 8:30 AM, the choir follows in the processional cross
Pastor Mark England
Sara Ray with the kids at the 11 o’clock service for the children’s sermon

Luther rose coloring and cookie making between services.

It was also my first time wearing a miter. The miter is the traditional shield-shaped headwear of bishops. Our synod does not own a miter, but Pastor Gabriel Marcano said the symbol was important to his congregation so this one is a loaner. He is also a fan of the Tridentine rite, so the liturgy reflected that tradition. (More on vestments and miters at the end, if you’re interested.)

Confirm and their families begin lining up for the 12:30 confirmation service in Spanish
Pastor Beth and Pastor Gabrielle laying on hands

More photos to come…

More on vestments and miters

Vestments are considered adiophora, a word, which means “indifferent.” Various liturgical vestments can be worn or not worn. It really doesn’t matter. There’s nothing about albs, stoles, chasubles, copes, miters, or crosiers in Scripture. Under the freedom of the gospel we are neither forbidden nor required to wear any particular vestments.

Some iconoclastic Lutheran Church traditions shunned anything that smacked of monarchy or hierarchy. Others, after the break with Rome continued with many of the traditions to which they were accustomed. Lutheran bishops in Germany, Denmark, Iceland, and Norway do not wear miters. Lutheran bishops in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Jordan, India, et al, do.

Lutheran bishops in Denmark
A Lutheran World Federation gathering of Bishops

In North America, Lutherans tended to follow the pattern of the country from which they immigrated. Some pietistic groups wear no vestments or clerical collars. There are no canonical or constitutional rules about vestments in any North American Lutheran bodies of which I’m aware.

I don’t recall ever seeing any LCMS district presidents in miters. (The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod does not have bishops but district presidents.) In the ELCA, I have noticed miters and crosiers more common amongst the higher church East Coast synods:

ELCA, Bishop Bill Gohl, left, from the Delaware-Maryland Synod and former Bishop Mike Rhyne, from the Allegheny Synod, right.