06 July 2008

Wonderful Essay on Duration

of the Eucharist:

click here

Pastor Ben Harju has read and digested Chemnitz on the topic and offers some very sound help in sorting out what the Symbols are saying (and not saying).


Paul McCain said...

Ben Harju is using Chemnitz, ex post facto, to try do defend a notion he has already convinced himself is correct. That's bad research and leads to bad conclusions.

We do best to obey our Lord:

Take, eat.


Take, set aside the left-overs, eat later.

This is the thorough-going position of Lutheranism, with Luther and our fathers, including Chemnitz.

The practice of "reservation" is not a Lutheran practice and we should not defend it, nor practice it.

The Word of our Lord is never to be omitted when we celebrate the Supper, for anyone.

What you are hear assering and trying to defend is not Lutheran, but Roman, notions of the perpetual presence of Christ.

We do best to do what our Lord has given us to do, and thus avoid all foolish questions, speculations and bad practices based on them:

Take, eat. Take, drink.

Piepkorn, on this point, as well as others, was and remains wrong.

William Weedon said...

Where on earth do you recall Piepkorn addressing this question? I don't recall him touching it at all.

As for Pr. Harju's essay, he makes a very sound observation. Chemnitz has no problem with Justin's description of the deacons taking the Eucharist to those who couldn't be there. At very least, this shows that Chemnitz did NOT limit the duration of the Eucharist per se to the benediction or some such.

Obviously Chemnitz sees consumption as the better way; and Harju acknowledges as much. But better does not mean sole or only. His point is that anyone who would make a divine law about this has overstepped the bounds of Scripture and the Lutheran Symbols.

Now, I know you don't want to make a law, but to encourage the Reformation practice. To encourage the practice is a good thing - and in line with Chemnitz.

William Weedon said...

Were you thinking of Piepkorn's words on page 41 of Conduct? He was commenting on the rubric from the Lutheran Liturgy: "He shall carefully remove the bread from the paten and ciborium to a fit receptacle, there to be kept against the next Communion. He shall pour what remains of the consecrated wind into the piscina or upon the ground at a proper and convenient place outside the Church."

He notes: "The rubric does not prescribe the nature of the 'fit receptacle'; it is very clear, however, that the consecrated hosts are not to be mixed with un-consecrated hosts but are to be carefully segregated; it is the celebrant's responsibility to insure that they are the first to be distributed at the next Communion (which need not necessarily be the next parochial Communion Service, but might conceivably be a bedside celebration for a sick communicant)."

But since he was a stickler for the rubrics, he would certainly speak the Verba over the elements whatever service came next, since that is the only option provided in the service books he had at hand.

Fr. Timothy D. May, S.S.P. said...

The practice of consumption of all the elements does not preclude the reservation of elements should they be used for Communion of those in the congregation who are not able to be present. It may even be argued that such reservation upholds our belief and teaching on the Words of our Lord. Although, such reservation is not necessary in some particular congregations there are probably others where this practice might be of benefit. I agree that consumption is preferred but do not consider it to be the only way.

Omar said...

I have a question. In the event that the elements are not consumed entirely at the Supper,could one only reserve the hosts and pour the wine into a piscina/unto the ground outside Church or is the wine also reserved?


Pax Christi,


orrologion said...

I believe that the Orthodox always consume the gifts and would never bury or burn unused portions, as is done with other 'blessed' items. The question is whether they are consumed immediately at the end of Liturgy, the normal practice, on the Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent following consecration on Sunday for the Presanctified Liturgies, or when they are given to those unable to attend Liturgy. I am not sure what is done with reserved gifts that have not been used for a given amount of time. I would guess that they are added to the chalice of a Liturgy and consumed - likely on a Liturgy during Holy Week.

The practice of 'proper disposal' seems itself to undermine the teaching on consumption - and irony.

William Weedon said...

The old rubrics to the The Lutheran Liturgy (altar book for TLH) mandated exactly that, Omar. The reservation of the consecrated hosts (to be used first at next opportunity) and the pouring of the consecrated wine down a piscina or upon the earth.

William Weedon said...


I believe Fr. Gregory confirmed that the Orthodox always consume. But I wonder if that applies to Western Rite Orthodox? I seem to remember an order for the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the St. Andrew's Service Book???

Omar said...

Fr. Weedon,

Thanks for the response. Now, do the sick, shut-in and those who otherwise were not able to participate in the Sacrament of the Altar receive only the previously consecrated hosts or do they also consume wine, since, Lutherans (ordinarily) would receive the elements in both kinds and not simply in one?


Pax Christi

Rev. Benjamin Harju said...

Rev. McCain,

Actually, the very thing you accuse me of is what I thought the Receptionists have been doing. Huh.

My research is not bad (at least not in the way you wish), as I have explained to you on my own blog's comments (so I won't do so here).

Ultimately this question will not be so much about what is the right Lutheran practice, but what Lutheranism itself should be:

Its own bundle of traditions that inform us what God's Word should mean irrespective of what Christians before thought, did, or taught (this is where I believe your position leads or maybe even resides),


a reformation that merely tried to defend and advocate what was catholic, over and against various errors and abuses of the times.

Are the Confessions a "confession for our [their] time" to which we subscribe, or the beginning of a new authoritative tradition to replace that of Rome's?

Omar said...

Oh, I read your entry concerning the Altar Guild Manual and figured out the answer to my last question.

Thanks :-)