purpose for which he instituted the Supper—for Communion,rnnot adoration. Lutherans preserved or subsequently revived sornmueh Catholie tradition in their hturgical practice tiiat, afterrntlie Second Vatican Council, many Lutheran altars look morernlike traditional Catholic altars than the modified Communionrntables the Catholics began to install. Indeed, the willingness ofrnmany Lutherans and Anglicans to imitate Catholic liturgicalrn[Datterns in the effort to preserve coutinuit}’ witii the apostolicrntradition has left some feeling ratiier abandoned as Catholicsrnhac done away with tiiem.rnWhile Lutherans and Anglicans often were appreciative orrncen imitative of manv Catiiolic practices, reformers such asrnJohn Calvin and his followers broke more drastically with thernpast, introducing what is called the “regulative principle.” Thisrnprinciple directs that worship involve only those elements thatrnwere commanded, or at least attested to, in Scripture, hitendedrnto restore the worship of the early Church, its purpose was thernreeoer- of the olde.st and most authentic traditional patterns tornthe detriment ot the “deforming innovations” of medievalrnCatholicism, hi this effort, the Calvinist reforms rather missedrnthe mark, as more recent studies hae shown that, from the ear-rn1- centuries. Christian worship exhibited many of tiie littirgiealrnfeatures that tiie CaKinists deemed unacceptable inno ations.rnSome traditions are ver’ long-lised; others quickly fade. Tornreject all tradition because it is handed down from the pastrnis to cut oneself off from the past. This is an impossibilih’ for anyrnform of Christianit)-, even more so than for Judaism, for thernChristian faitii is based on the historical rcalit}- of very significantrndivine interventions; tiie Incarnation, the Crucifixion, thernResurrection and Ascension of Jesus. Traditional obsenances,rnwhether trid’ religious (such as tire Communion liturg) orrnmore folkloric (such as the Christmas tree), help bond membersrnof the rising generafions to tiie past on which their faitti depends.rnThis is one reason that tiic banning of all traditionalrnChrisfian .svmbols from public schools and facilifies is sociallyrndestrucfi’e een in our “pluralistic” secular societv: It promotesrnthe se’eranee of children from their cultural past and contributesrnto the breakdown of—dare we say it—traditional morality.rnWithout tradition, we rapidly lose touch with our ancestors,rnwith our fathers and mothers in faith, and soon with our ownrnparents.rnThe opposition to tradition in religion once centered on RomanrnCatholic tradition, but today it extends to all Christianitv.rnIt .stems from the conviction, often a simple presupposition, thatrnthe past is bad, the present better, and tiie future best of all.rnF>om this perspective, all ttiat has been handed down from thernpast is undesirable and should be dismissed, the Mass in Latinrnas well as the Christmas tree in schools. Forgotten are thosernwords of Jeremiah cited earlier: “Stand ye in tiie old ways, andrnsee, and ask for the old paths, w here in is the good way, and walkrntherein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” The verse continuesrnwith what seems to be the war cr- of mueh of the current societ}’:rn”But they said. We will not walk tiierein” (Jeremiah 6:16).rnTradition is ubiquitous; to deny its existence is foolish, and tornabolish it altogether is impossible. Driving through any Americanrnsuburb on a Sunday morning, you are likeK’ to see churchrnsigns proclaiming something like this: Traditional Worship,rn9:30 A.M., Contemporap,-, 11 A.M. “Traditional” is for tiie old,rn”eontcmporarv” for the young, or for those who want to bernthought young. But what does “contemporary” mean? Thernpresent quickly becomes the past, and what was once spontaneousrnbecomes ritual. To make it obligatory is wrong, but tornprevent it from appearing is impossible. Thirt}-odd years ago,rnwhen the charismatic movement began, inan of tiie most lihirgieallvrnconservative groups (Catholics, I.utiierans, and Anglicansrnamong them) burst forth in “enthusiastic worship,” withrnchoruses, standing, elap|5iiig, and “praise songs” repeated manyrntimes. Contemporary serices beeanie exciting rather tiianrndull, “the same old thing.” The sign of “spirituall} alie” Prole.staiitrnchurches became the overhead projector, with chorusesrnprojected onto tiie front wall. Now, not so ver) iiian’ years later,rnthe novel has become traditional: Staid churches includerntiieni, sometimes with tiie rather strange label, “tiie worshiprnpart of the service.” Plus qa change, phin c’est la meme chose.rnProtestants may well affirm tiie sufficiene- of Scripture for eternalrnsalvation, and as a Protestant I agree, but \c cannot do awayrnwith the necessit)’- of tradition for life in tiiis world. crn”The gift that keeps on giving.”rnTliLs Christmas, forget the socks and ties and fruitcakes, and give your loved ones a gift that they will trulyrnappreciate: a ‘ear’s subscription to ChronicleN: A Magazine of American Culture. And when you give a giftrnsubscription at our special introductory rate of only $19, you can renew your own subscription for only $28rn($ J1 off of our normal rate). So spread the Yuletide c l i e e r – a n d save some moiie’ as well.rnPlease enter the following gift subscription.rnSend Chronicles as my gift to: Your information:rnNanu-rn.(klrrnNairnArldrcrnC:ily State/Zip Cily Stale ‘Ziprn• I have entered a gift subscription for $19.rnPlease renew my subscription at the low rate of $28.rn(I have enclosed a check for $47.)rnPlease make check payable to Chronicles: A Magazine of American CulturernRO. Box 800, Mount Morris, IL 61054rnTo order by credit card, please callrn1-800-877-5459rnDECEMBER 2000/1 5rnrnrn