19 August 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

And so faith has in the use of the Eucharist a firm anchor of consolation, trust, and certainty concerning the forgiveness of sins. It also has an effectual remedy for raising up and supporting a feeble faith in the midst of sorrows and trials, against want of confidence, doubt, faintheartedness, and despair. Moreover, the Son of God testifies that in the true use of the Eucharist He grafts the believers into Himself as members that He may bear, sustain, guide, and quicken them, in order that they may be united with Him more and more and may be enabled to continue more firmly in Him and hold fast the benefits they have received. -- Blessed Martin Chemnitz, Examen II:239,240

7 comments:

Prince Valiant said...

Pastor Weedon,

I'm LCMS Lutheran and I've never seen a Lutheran pastor hold the bread and the cup up like as shown in this picture. Are they afraid that the congregation might worship the host (and the cup)? But I thought after the consecration, the bread is the body of Christ and the cup his blood . . .

William Weedon said...

Dear Prince,

It's actually not all that uncommon in these parts to see this during the Pax Domini, following the consecration. We do it at our parish; it's done at the parish nearest us; and I can think of several more in the immediate area. Might depend on where one lives.

We distinguish, though, and are careful to say that we do not adore the bread as bread per se, but we adore the Body of Christ which has been sacramentally united with that bread; likewise not the cup, but the Blood of Christ which has been sacramentally united with that cup. Our Symbols teach that only an Arian heretic would deny that Jesus Christ, true God and man, who is certainly present in the Eucharist, should not be adored.

Prince Valiant said...

Dear Pastor Weedon,

I think, then, that since it's a normal, natural thing for a Lutheran (an evangelical Catholic) to worship Jesus in the Eucharist, at the Pax this Sunday (being it's--luckily--"Communion Sunday") I will kneel in adoration (even though our pastor does not elevate the bread or the cup). I'm certain to incur many hostile stares, but I think I'm up to that.

William Weedon said...

Maybe not hostile, but confused. But that's okay. The idea that all the worshippers are supposed to be doing the exact same things lock-step has always struck me as more German than Lutheran. At St. Paul's, some stand for the distribution; most kneel. Some cross themselves before receiving either our Lord's body or His blood. Some only after both. Some not at all. Some turn and face the cross as it enters and bow to it as it passes; others face forward without any special reverence shown to the cross. It strikes me that it should be this way: we should be so concentrated on the Lord that we should NOT be being busybodies about what our neighbors are up to.

Prince Valiant said...

Well, I think you're right in what you say. It might be a good thing--and encourage others who would like to but are hesitant--to kneel at the distribution. In our parish, parishioners approach the altar in groups of, say, 12 and remain standing (never kneeling) while receiving the Precious Blood in little thimble shot glasses. (Our confessional-minded pastor also offers the common cup--which I always choose--for those who desire it.) I guess I shouldn't be so derogatory about the little cups--it sort of irks me to see the whole idea of "oneness" shattered be partaking from individual cups, but I suppose the same could be said for the individual hosts that we receive--the idea of "oneness" would be left more intact by breaking a one loaf of bread and distributing the pieces.

Paul McCain said...

But...Your Highness...the greater image of the one loaf/one bread is shattered with individual "breads," is it not?

Prince Valiant said...

Paul,

I agree with you--that was exactly my point. If I could wave my magic wand (in that case, I would be a magician, not a prince!), every Lutheran church would have a common cup and would break one loaf into pieces. (By the way, calling me "Your Highness" was a nice touch! My preference, though, is "Your Majesty." ;-) )