Icelandic mass

Í Flateyjarkurkju á Breiðafirði
Í Flateyjarkurkju á Breiðafirði

Quite often people ask me after the mass in Hallgrimskirkja if they can find a translation of the text of mass of the ELCI, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iceland, on the Internet. Yesterday Mark Silik sent me a note and informed me that he could not find it on the web. For him and all others I add the translation to my page. This is the liturgy in use all over Iceland and it is in line with the liturgy of the main churches in the West. All the best to Mark Silik and others who may want to use it.

THE BEGINNING OF THE MASS

1 The Opening Prayer

As the church bells or the prelude come to an end, the priest goes into the choir or before the altar wearing his surplice and chasuble; or, if there is no vestry in the church, he vests in front of the altar.

P: In the Name of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

C: Amen.

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord

C: The maker of heaven and earth.

Then the priest may kneel at the altar or on the sanctuary steps, and everyone says:

C: Lord, I have come into your holy house to praise you and worship you, and to hear what you, God Father, my creator, you, Lord Jesus, my Saviour, you, Holy Spirit, my comforter, will speak to me in your word.
Lord, hear my prayer and my praise, and open with your Holy Spirit my heart, for the sake of Jesus Christ, that I may repent my sins, believe in Jesus in life and in death, and grow in Christian life and thougt. Hear that prayer, o God, in Jesus Christ. Amen

2 The Introit

At the end of the prayer either an entrance hymn from the hymnbook, or one of the psalms, may be sung.

3 The Kyrie
At the end of the hymn, either the priest, who has turned to face the altar, or the cantor, may

either say or chant:

P: Lord, have mercy upon us, or, Kyrie eleison. C: Lord, have mercy upon us.
P: Christ, have mercy upon us, or, Kyrie eleison. C: Christ, have mercy upon us.

P: Lord, have mercy upon us, or, Kyrie eleison. C: Lord, have mercy upon us.

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4 The Gloria in Excelsis

The congregation stands. The priest turns towards the altar:

P: Glory be to God in the highest.

C: And on earth peace, goodwill towards men.

Either the full text of the Gloria in Excelsis is sung, or hymn number 221: 2-4, or number 223. The Gloria in Excelsis is not sung on the second to fourth Sundays in Advent, or during Lent. (Hymn no. 223:

O Father for your lordship true

We give you praise and honour
We worship you we trust in you
We give you thanks for ever.
Your will is perfect, and your might Relentlessly confirms the right
Your lordship is our blessing. (Decius, tr. Doan))

5 The Collect for the Day

The priest turns from the altar and sings or says:

P: The Lord be with you.

C: And with your spirit.

P: (Turning towards the altar) Let us pray.
The priest says or sings the Collect, which ends with the words: … world without end.

C: Amen.

THE SERVICE OF THE WORD
6 The First Scripture Reading (From the Old Testament)

R: The first reading for this Lord’s Day, which is the …………..Sunday in/after ………….. is from ………………

(On festivals the reading is introduced as follows:

R: The first reading on this holy festival of …………. Is from ………..)

The reader reads the lesson, which ends with the words:

R: This is God’s Holy Word.

C: Thanks be to God.

7 Second Scripture Reading (The Epistle)

R: The second scripture reading is from ………. Or, Thus writes the Apostle in the Epistle ……

The reader reads the lesson, which ends with the words: This is God’s holy Word. C: Praise be to you, O Lord.

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  1. 8  Hallelujah (Hymn)
  2. 9  The Gospel

The congregation stands. At the end of the Hallelujah the priest moves to stand in front of the altar, or goes to the lectern, and either sings or says:

P: The Gospel is written by the Evangelist …………:

C: May God be praised for His glad tidings.

Before the announcement of the Gospel the priest may greet the congregation. After the announcement of the Gospel, the priest proceeds to read it. It ends with the words:
P: This is the Word of the Gospel.

C: Praise be to you, O Christ.

10 The Creed

The congregation stands and the priest turns towards the altar and says:

P: Let us confess our faith.

The Hymn of the day 11 The Sermon

Then the priest goes into the pulpit or to the lectern in the chancel, makes the sign of the cross, or says a prayer. He greets the congregation with the words:

P: Grace and peace be with you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

The priest delivers his sermon, which ends with the words:

P: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Then the priest says:

P: Receive the apostolic blessing (the congregation rises to its feet) The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

12 Hymn, or Other Music (Pulpit Hymn)

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At the end of the sermon either a hymn of prayer or praise may be sung, or some other music may be performed. While this is taking place, the priest puts his chasuble back on if the Eucharist is to take place.

13 The Prayer of the Church

Turning towards the altar, the priest says

P: Let us pray.

The Prayer of the Church is responsive. Each petition ends with the words…. For Jesus Christ our Lord.

The congregation ends with the words:

C: Lord, hear our prayer.

THE COMMUNION AROUND GOD’S TABLE 14 The Peace

Continuing directly from the Prayer of the Church, the priest turns towards the altar as says:

P: Let us confess our sins and let us live in grace and reconciliation with all men.

C: I confess before you, almighty God, my creator and redeemer, that I have sinned in many ways, in thought, word and deed. For your mercy’s sake forgive me and lead me to eternal life, to the glory of your name.

Here may follow a time of silence for reflection. Then, lifting up his right hand, the priest turns from the altar and says:

P: May the almighty God forgive you your sins, strengthen you, and lead you to eternal life, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

The priest makes the sign of the cross with his right hand.

C: Amen.

The priest says or sings:

P: The peace of the Lord be with you.

C: And with your spirit.
15 A Hymn (or Other Music)

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16 The Preface

The congregation stands. Turning from the altar, the priest either says or sings:

P: The Lord be with you.

C: And also with you.

The priest turns to face the altar:

P: Lift up your hearts:

C: We lift them up unto the Lord.

P: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

C: It is right to give Him thanks and praise.

P: Truly it is meet and right and salutory that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto you, O lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God for Jesus Christ, our Lord.

(Here follow different prefaces, according to the Church year.

P: Therefore, with angels and archangels, with the company of heaven and also with all the heavenly hosts, we praise your holy name and say unceasingly….. or, Therefore we praise your holy name, and in the communion of saints in heaven and earth we praise the Glory of your name for ever saying:

17 The Sanctus

The congregation stands.

C: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. The heavens and the earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

18 The Prayer of Thanksgiving (Oratio eucharistica)

The congregation sits. There are five possible prayers of thanksgiving which the priest may use.
I.
P: Truly you are holy, O Lord, and rightly everything that you have created

praises you. You have given life to everything and sanctified it with your Holy Spirit for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who took upon himself the form of a servant, humbled himself and became like men, and became obedient unto death on the cross, and thereby bought for you a people that might serve you and offer itself up to you as a living, holy and acceptable sacrifice. We humbly pray you, merciful Father, receive the offering of our praise and grant that these, your gifts of bread and wine, might be to us the blessed body and blood our your son, according to his holy command.

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Who, in the night that he was betrayed, took bread, and gave you thanks; he broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: “Take eat, this is my body which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me”.
In the same way after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks, he gave it to them, saying “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins: do this as often as you drink this in remembrance of me”.

Therefore, we remember in adoration that he loved us and gave himself for us as a ransom, defeated death by his resurrection, and has been granted lordship of everything in heaven and earth.
We offer this holy bread of eternal life and this cup of everlasting salvation, and we give you thanks for this once and for all sacrifice, the living hope of eternal life in your communion of saints, and the promise of his coming again in power and glory.

We pray you, send us your Holy Spirit and unite us in steadfast faith and love, for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. For him, with him and in him, be to you, almighty Father, in one Holy Spirit, honour and glory in your holy Church throughout all ages.

C: Amen.

19 The Lord’s Prayer

P: Let us pray together the prayer which our Lord has taught us:

C: Our Father …..

20 Agnus Dei

C: Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grants us your peace.

21 The Communion

The first table of communicants kneels down. The priest turns from the altar with the paten in his hand and says:
P: The bread that we break is the fellowship in the body of Christ.
To each communicant he says:

P: The body of Christ, the bread of life.

Each communicant may answer:

C: Amen.

After the bread has been distributed, the priest takes the cup and says:

P: The cup of fellowship that we bless is the fellowship in the blood of Christ,

To each communicant he says:

P: The blood of Christ, the cup of life.

Each communicant may answer:

C: Amen.

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Each communicant signs himself with the sign of the cross when he has drunk from the chalice, and another kneels in his place

P: May Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord and Saviour, preserve us in fellowship with him in living faith to eternal life. His grace and peace be with us all. Amen.

The priest makes the sign of the cross with the chalice.

22 Post-Communion

P: Let us pray.

There are prayers appropriate to the main church seasons.

THE CLOSING OF THE MASS

23 The Blessing

The congregation stands. Turning from the altar, the priest either says or sings:

P: Let us give thanks and praise to the Lord.

C: Praise and thanks be to God.

With arms uplifted, the priest says:

P: The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

C: Amen.

At the close of the blessing the priest makes the sign of the cross with his right hand. At the same time he may say these words:
P: In the Name of God + Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

  1. 24  Hymn
  2. 25  Closing Prayer (if used)

Before the church bells are rung, either the assistant or the whole congregation say this prayer:

A: Lord, I thank you that you have allowed me to take part in the worship of your congregation, and have thereby reminded me of those things that I should believe, of how I must live, and the things in which I may place my hope. O my God, help me now by your Holy Spirit to preserve your word in a pure heart, be strengthened by it in faith, learn from it to progress in a God-fearing life, and be comforted by it in life and in death. Amen.

26 The Church Bells
A postlude may be played on the organ.

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