18 December 2009

From Christian Gerber

in his monograph on the ceremonies of the churches of Saxony (1732):

At the consecration or singing of the Words of Institution there will still be in many places in the Saxon Churches, especially in the larger cities, a quite loud ringing of little bells twice; once during the blessing of the bread and the second time during the blessing of the chalice. (p. 455)

Gerber, who was a first class pietiest, despises the custom as "Romisch" but honestly notes that it was indeed a practice in Lutheran Saxony. What I find fascinating about this is that I don't recall anywhere seeing in the Church Orders a single word about the custom. It leads me to wonder what other ceremonies were retained commonly without being noted explicitly in the Church Orders! He goes on to complain about the pastor donning the chasuble to celebrate too. He further notes the customary distribution formula:

Take and eat, this is the true body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given into death for all your sins; this strengthen and keep you soul and body in the true faith unto life everlasting.

He notes the sign of the Cross is made when distributing the true Body, but not the Chalice.


John Frahm said...

There were probably a lot of things done that were rarely written down. Think of what develops today as custom even if not prescribed or suggested in rubrics (e.g. prayers in the pew after Communion, etc).

Have you found rubrics in the Lutheran sources on kneeling during the Verba?

Rev. David M. Juhl said...

Findst du nach Google Books? Wie lautet der Titel?

William Weedon said...


Yes, he notes that the communicants have come to the altar and knelt before the Lord's Prayer is begun.


Here you go:


Title: Historie der Kirchenceremonien in Sachsen (1732)


David Jay Webber said...

The McCreesh recording of the Bach Epiphany Mass includes this chancel bell usage at the consecration.

William Weedon said...

Jay, I downloaded that piece from iTunes. Fabulous!!!