As I mentioned yesterday, LCMS parishioners will never call their pastors “Father” for any number of (bad and specious) reasons. But what is interesting is that they have no problem calling them “Pastor.” They will refer to their minister (a term that everyone in America likes because it also denotes, “servanthood” which everyone likes so long as the servant is the other guy) as Shepherd, which by implication makes them sheep (one of the dumbest, most inept of animals), but not by “Father” which makes them beloved children: go figure.
But as I was re-reading Chemnitz’s Enchiridion recently I noted something that had escaped me in the past. In the prefaces both Chemnitz and Polycarp Leyser are referred to as “Dom” Chemnitz and “Dom” Leyser.
I had encountered this title before with Roman Catholic monks and clergy—e.g. Dom Gueranger (he of the famed The Liturgical Year volumes) but found it fascinating to be applied to our confessional forebears. The end notes correctly cited the word as an abbreviation for Dominus (Lord). This is not Lord as in Adonai but as in “Lords & Ladies of England.” Still, if it was good enough for the Second Martin, maybe our people will start to use it with us where they would be burned at the stake in Smithfield before calling us “Father.”
Lord Watson or Dom Watson…does have a ring to it. J