I goofed big time today during Divine Service. I just skipped right over the Prayer of the Church. I had the prayers in the Altar Book ready to go, but completely forgot about them. Never done that before. I've made other goofs (one time I drew a complete blank when it came time for the Benediction and had to turn around and get the Altar Book to get the words; another time I forgot to prepare the altar for Communion and had to hurry through it during the Lord's Prayer), but I've never forgotten to pray. Talk about embarrassing. And, to make matters worse, I didn't even realize I had forgotten until Larry, the elder on duty, whispered to me during the singing of the closing hymn, "Pastor, did we forget the prayers?" Even then, I wasn't sure. I feared that he might be right, but couldn't remember if we had prayed or not. It wasn't until we had recessed out of the nave that it fully hit me that he was right. And it was confirmed by a number of members as I greeted them on their way out, all of whom were very gracious and forgiving toward their idiotic pastor. It was too late to do anything about it at that point, so we prayed the prayer of the church before Bible Study.
I know exactly what happened to me. I was in DS 1 and 4 mode, but we were doing DS 3. In DS 1 and 4, the prayer of the church comes right after the sermon. Then the offering/offertory, then the preface, etc. In DS 3, the offertory/offering follows the sermon, then the prayer of the church , then the preface, etc. So, after I had gathered the offerings, being in DS1/4 mode, I just turned and chanted the preface and went forward. Knowing now what I did explains a few of the odd looks I noticed when I began the preface. :)
If I wasn't such a fan of having different settings of the Divine Service, this would be a good occasion to make the argument for having only one setting. But, being a fan, I won't. :) Besides, even were that the case, this pastor would inevitably goof something up once in a while anyway.
Lord, have mercy!