by Max Kommet, Superintendent of Lüneburg-Celle. Dr. Herl pointed this out to me and we both found it striking on a number of points:
"The celebration of the Lord’s Supper is so full of burning love, its reception so full of grace and righteousness, but then also its celebration the highpoint in the life of the congregation. According to the thinking of Christian antiquity, every complete Congregational divine service culminates in the celebration of Lord’s Supper, to which according to the old Christian practice the whole congregation went every Sunday. They viewed the celebration of the Supper as the high point of their congregational life.…..
They built their chancel so that the altar was the summit. Our Divine Service is as the climbing of a great mountain. It begins with the cry from the depths: “Lord, have mercy!” and lifts itself up to the confession of redemption in the Angel’s song: All glory be to God on high! Then it climbs higher with the epistle and the gospel, to which the Creed echoes back. After the sermon comes intercessions for all troubles and estates upon earth. Then after the bidding of prayer, the giving of thanks proceeds, with the call: Hearts on high! And the course climbs onward. In the thanksgiving we mingle voices with the choirs of the Church triumphant, as we sing with them the thrice holy hymn, and with the Hosanna greet Him who draws near in His Supper. On our knees we pray the Our Father and receive the Words of Institution. From one level to the next we have ascended, and now the congregation has arrived at the summit of the mountain: above her, heaven is open, before her a divine table spread with one bread and one cup for all, she herself one family of the children of God. A household of brothers and sisters in Christ. There is something deeply moving about this journeying of the congregation to the altar, as if it called out in our hearts: “I will arise and go to my Father,” and now the dancing begins in our Father’s house, and the the Kingly feast commences and the angels rejoice, and the Father frolicks over having found again his sons and daughters gathered at the table. They receive Christ’s body and blood, confessing this is nothing else than was upon the Cross. As Paul said: “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death,” and so it is. For every celebration of the Supper is a great proclamation of Christ’s death before God and the world. Here is the high point of the Divine Service, which then draws quickly to a close with the Canticle of Simeon: “Lord, now you let Your servant go in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation.” For at the summit of the mountain the Lord has met us in the mystery of the Sacrament, as near as we can draw to Him in this pilgrimage."
As a sort of visual, check out this (HT: McCain):